Wednesday 01 Sep
Updated Thursday 02 Sep 09:06
First Team

International Round-Up: Yarmolenko earns 100th Ukraine cap

Andriy Yarmolenko

 

Andriy Yarmolenko reached a century of caps for Ukraine as they began their September FIFA World Cup qualifiers with a 2-2 draw in Kazakhstan on Wednesday night.

Ukraine reached the quarter-finals of Euro 2020, with West Ham United forward Yarmolenko playing a starring role, and they began the clash in Nur-Sultan at real pace, establishing a second minute lead through Benfica's Roman Yaremchuk.

However, the hosts hit back to level after the break, pre-empting a dramatic finale when both teams scored in stoppage time.

First, Ukraine thought they had won it when Shakhtar Donetsk’s Danyio Sikan forced home, only for a second equaliser from Ruslan Valiullin, in the fifth of five added minutes, to ensure the points would be shared.

It meant for a frustrating end to the evening for Yarmolenko, who became just the fourth Ukrainian to reach the 100-cap mark for his country.

Despite losing two points late on, Ukraine nevertheless didn’t concede ground at the top of Group D to France, who were held to a 1-1 draw by Bosnia and Herzegovina. Kurt Zouma was an unused substitute for Les Bleus, who now have eight points from their four qualification games. Ukraine, having drawn all four of theirs, are four points further back in second.

Elsewhere on Wednesday, deadline day signing Nikola Vlašić started for Croatia in their 0-0 draw with Russia in Moscow in Group H.

The attacking midfielder was returning to the city where he has played for CSKA for the previous three seasons, and he had a team-high five shots and completed the full 90 minutes at the Luzhniki Stadium.

The point keeps Croatia ahead of Russia at the top of the group on goal difference. Both nations have seven points from their four games to date.

Finally, Academy defender Michael Forbes impressed as Northern Ireland U19s defeated their Faroe Islands counterparts 1-0 at Mourneview Park in Lurgan in their first international fixture in almost two years.

Keep track of where all the Hammers’ internationals are in action this international window with our round-up here.