Stat Line Of The Night — 6/11/12 — Andriy Shevchenko
Andriy Shevchenko has had quite the football career, but at the age of 35, few expected him to still be playing at a world class level. However, with the 2012 European Football Championships taking place in his home country of Ukraine, the former AC Milan striker promised to do everything he could to make the squad and play one last tournament for his country, in his country.
After scoring 23 goals in 53 appearances over the last three seasons with Ukrainian club side Dynamo Kyiv, Shevchenko was rewarded with a spot in Ukraine’s starting XI during their tournament opener against Sweden on Monday, and he made the most of it, erasing a 1-0 Swedish lead with not one, but two goals. His first came in the 55th minute, as he headed in a cross to tie the game at 1-1 just three minutes after current AC Milan striker Zlatan Ibrahimovic opened the scoring for Sweden. And in the 62nd minute, he put his country in the lead with yet another header, this time off a corner kick. The Ukrainian defense would hold on the rest of the way, giving the host country an impressive 2-1 victory to kick off their EURO 2012 campaign.
With the win, Ukraine find themselves on top of Group D with two difficult matches against England and France remaining. It was just the type of start they needed if they hope to advance into the knockout stages of the tournament, and they have Shevchenko’s brilliant striking abilities to thank, as he earns “The Stat Line of the Night” for Monday, June 11, 2012.