On Monday night, Stade Josy Barthel welcomed the Ukrainian football team. In the second match of the qualification for the UEFA European Football Championships, Luxembourg;s hopes took a knock. (videos/audio in Luxembourgish throughout)
On the second game day for Group B of the qualifications for the UEFA European Football Championships, Luxembourg had to face a challenging opponent: Ukraine.
In their first match, against Lithuania, the Red Lions came away with a resounding result, so they were keen to build on that momentum against Ukraine.
The stadium on Route d'Arlon counted 4,653 spectators on a cool Monday night and while head coach, Luc Holtz, team's performance was great, it wasn't enough to bag a win.
D'Ekipp kritt vum Public fir déi gutt Leeschtung applaudéiert. / © Luc Marteling
It was in the third minute of the extra-time that disaster struck. Gerson Rodrigues, who had played excellently during the throughout, made the unfortunate error of heading the ball into his own team's net.
With the clock run down this was to be the deciding goal, so Luxembourg went agonizingly close to securing a draw and instead went down 1:2 to their Ukrainian counterparts.
Group B following the 2nd game day
Match highlights and audience reactions
Match summary Luxembourg vs. Ukraine
Following the match against Lithuania, Luxembourgish national trainer Luc Holtz made two changes: at the back, Kevin Malget took Lars Gerson's position and among the strikers Dave Turpel replaced Dan Da Mota at the start of the game.
From the off, the Luxembourgish team did well by putting the pressure on. Bit by bit, Ukraine followed suit and decided to bank on the offensive as well.
© Roland Miny
Between the 32nd and the 34th minute, Ukraine had a free kick opportunity, but Yevhen Konoplyanka shot well over a metre wide of the Luxembourgish goal.
Fräistouss aus kuerzer Distanz fir d'Ukrainer. / © Luc Marteling
Lust after that, the Red Lions saw their chance: a scoring opportunity for Maxime Chanot was dealt with by the Ukraines, and the ball fell to Vincent Thil. He passed it on to his brother Olivier who then moved it on swiftly toward Dave Turpel. The latter then had an easy tap-in and pushed the ball over the line to make it 1:0 for Luxembourg.
Grouss Freed nom 1:0 bei de Roude Léiwen! / © Luc Marteling
Less than 5 minutes later, Andriy Shevchenko's team got their comeback. Victor Tsygankov, finding the back of the net and bringing the teams back to level terms.
In the second half, Luxembourg wanted to keep their attacking shape and place pressure on their opponents, which resulted in a series of corners but no end result.
Lëtzebuerg huet och am 2. Duerchgang flott no vir gespillt a gutt matgehalen. / © Screenshot
In the second half, Ukraine had another free kick opportunity in a good position, which again resulted in nothing.
© Luc Marteling
20 minutes before the end, the score was still 1:1, and the Luxembourgish team hoped to gain new strength by getting Stefano Bensi onto the playing field, while the defence had to be very careful, given that the Ukrainians were still attacking heavily.
Among the Luxembourgish strikers, Gerson Rodrigues, who plays professionally in Japan, and was the socreer of memorable strike last time out, managed a number of nice moves.
There was an opportunity for Luxembourg in the closing stages of regulation time, but they were lacking the strength at the end.
The final seconds, however, were worse: following a final free kick for Ukraine, which wasn't necessarily justified, Gerson Rodrigues accidentally headed the ball into his own goal.
So close, yet so far.
Batter Néierlag an der leschter Minutt duerch ee Selbstgol. / © Luc Marteling
Results overview from the other groups
Portugal - Serbia 1:1 (1:1)
Turkey - Moldova 4:0 (2:0)
France - Iceland 4:0 (1:0)
Andorra - Albania 0:3 (0:1)
Montenegro - England 1:5 (1:2)
Kosovo - Bulgaria 1:1 (0:1)