With fans in stands, Ukraine beats Spain for 1st time

KYIV, Ukraine (AP) — Viktor Tsygankov scored shortly after coming off the bench in the second half and Ukraine defeated Spain 1-0 in the Nations League on Tuesday for its first-ever victory over “La Roja.”

The nearly 15,000 fans who were allowed entry to the Kyiv Olympic Stadium celebrated loudly as Tsygankov struck the net from outside the area after a through-ball by captain Andriy Yarmolenko completing a counterattack in the 76th minute.

It was Ukraine’s first goal against Spain in 17 years. Tsygankov had entered the match about 10 minutes earlier.

The Spaniards had most of the significant scoring opportunities throughout the match but the hosts capitalized on their late chance to earn the victory.

Despite the loss, Spain with its 7 points remains in first place in Group 4 after second-place Germany was held by last-place Switzerland to a 3-3 draw in the other group match on Tuesday.

Ukraine, which has been depleted because of coronavirus cases in its squad, was in third place with the same six points as Germany. Switzerland has two points from four matches.

Spain was looking for its third straight Nations League win after opening with a draw against Germany. It had beaten Ukraine 4-0 and Switzerland 1-0.

It was the first time that young sensations Ansu Fati and Adama Traoré — touted as the future of Spain’s national team — were together in the starting lineup. They helped Spain pressure from the start but neither could hit the target in front of the net.

In November, Spain visits Switzerland and then hosts Germany. Ukraine visits Germany and Switzerland.

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