Shevchenko scores to help Ukraine draw 2-2 with France
In Euro 2008 qualifier
Andriy Shevchenko scored the equalizer Wednesday to help Ukraine hold France to a 2-2 draw in a European championship qualifier, according to AP. Shevchenko scored in the 46th minute following a blunder by France goalkeeper Sebastien Frey, who was making his international debut. The Fiorentina goalkeeper was under no pressure from Shevchenko`s looping header, but managed to push the ball into the top corner.
Liverpool forward Andriy Voronin had given Ukraine a 14th-minute lead, but Thierry Henry levelled in the 20th with his 44th international goal.
Winger Sidney Govou put France ahead in the 34th after collecting a pass from teenage striker Karim Benzema.
Italy won Group B with 29 points after beating the Faeroe Islands 3-1, and France finished second with 26. Both Italy and France had already qualified for Euro 2008 after Italy beat Scotland 2-1 at the weekend.
"It was not an easy match against a good team," France coach Raymond Domenech said. "Our objective was to show everyone that we did not need anyone else. We did what we had to do. Tonight we proved we could rely on ourselves."
Shevchenko, who scored his 36th international goal, called it "a good result against the World Cup runner-up," but coach Oleh Blokhin regretted that his team could not get a winning goal after late pressure.
"It was a good game. We did our best," Blokhin said. "We could have won and we could have lost. We were on top in the second half."
Frey had hardly touched the ball before Voronin`s opening goal.
Midfielder Oleh Gusev played the ball back to Voronin on the edge of the penalty area, and his powerful shot flew into the bottom corner.
Henry levelled after collecting a pass from Claude Makelele some 25 yards out, spinning past defender Serhiy Fedorov and shooting past goalkeeper Andriy Pyatov.
Ukraine came straight back and Frey made a smart save from Shevchenko in the 28th.
Govou netted for the second time in less than a week when he ran through a big hole in the Ukraine defence and curled the ball into the bottom corner. He scored in Friday`s 2-2 home draw with Morocco and now has seven international goals.
Voronin continued to trouble the French defence and Frey dived quickly to his right to save his shot in the 43rd.
A minute after the interval, Shevchenko`s slow header appeared easy to deal with, but instead of using two hands, Frey tried to catch it with one, and pushed the ball into the net with William Gallas a stunned onlooker.
Shevchenko volleyed just wide of the top corner in the 51st, and Henry volleyed just wide shortly after.
Fedorov headed wide in the 69th and Makelele went close to his first international goal in the 72nd.