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Ukraine finally loses in Scotland, 3-0 in Nations League


By Associated Press

GLASGOW: Ukraine finally lost a game at Hampden Park, beaten 3-0 by Scotland which moved atop their Nations League group.

The teams returned to the place where Ukraine won a World Cup playoff in June, though neither will go to the tournament in Qatar in November because Wales advanced from their knockout bracket.

Scotland dominated play and wasted good scoring chances before captain John McGinn struck in the 70th minute with a low shot after using his strength to shrug off defender Valeriy Bondar.

Substitute Lyndon Dykes padded the lead with a pair of headers from corners in the 80th and 87th. Scotland now leads Group 1 in the Nations League second tier by two points from Ukraine with two rounds left.

Scotland hosts Ireland on Saturday then travels to play Ukraine again on Tuesday. The group winner will be promoted to the Nations League top tier when the next edition starts in September 2024 and will be assured of a place in the qualifying playoffs for the 2024 European Championship.

Ukraine next plays at Armenia and then hosts Scotland in Krakow in neighbouring Poland. Ukrainian teams cannot host international games for security reasons during the Russian military invasion.

Ukraine has found Glasgow a welcoming adopted home after its World Cup playoff win three months ago and victory in June 2021 against Sweden in the European Championship round of 16.

Before kickoff Wednesday, the teams lined the center circle for a minute’s applause for Queen Elizabeth II, whose funeral was held in England on Monday. Some booing was clearly heard from the stands during the tribute.

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