After impressing but coming up short against North Macedonia over the weekend, Mykhailo Mudryk found paydirt against Malta on Tuesday night, leading Ukraine to a 3-1 come-from-behind victory in Euro 2024 qualifying.
The home team took a surprise lead in the 12th minute thanks to a howler from young Anatoliy Trubin, who let an easy shot squirm through his legs and into the net, but an equally hilarious own goal got Ukraine back on level terms (defender slipping as he attempted to clear the ball), then Mudryk won a penalty a couple minutes later, which Artem Dovbyk converted to put them ahead 2-1 at half.
Mudryk himself made sure of the three points late on, grabbing his first senior international goal (in his 15th appearance) with a wonderful strike from distance — after the goalkeeper had denied him twice before on similar efforts. The power that Mudryk can generate on his shot is almost as impressive as his raw pace. The man’s got all the physical tools and all the tricks you could ever want — again: just have to somehow to put it all together on the pitch. At just 22, we have to believe that he can.
The win keeps Ukraine in second spot in qualifying Group C, with one game to go — which will be against Italy, who are one spot and three points behind. Massive game, that, for Ukraine, with Italy assured of a playoff spot even if they don’t qualify directly (due to their Nations League results).
Top spot in the group belongs to England, who have now clinched qualification with their own come-from-behind 3-1 win over Italy last night. Harry Kane scored twice, Marcus Rashford scored once, Conor Gallagher and Levi Colwill watched from the bench.
Similarly, Malo Gusto watched from the bench as France also came from behind, to beat Scotland, 4-1. Billy Gilmour scored the game’s opening goal for his first senior international goal for Scotland (22nd appearances). Congrats, Billy G!
And last but certainly not least, over in South America some hours later, Enzo Fernández collected an assist (nice run and cutback) as Lionel Messi ran riot over Peru, scoring all
three two goals in Argentina’s 3-0 2-0 victory. Messi was briefly credited with a hat-trick before his third goal was ruled out for offside.