MX23RW : Friday, June 18 15:43:49| >> :120:59339:59339:
Nov 14, 2015 at 5pm UK
Yarmolenko (22'), Seleznyov (54')
FT(HT: 1-0)

Result: Ukraine to take two-goal lead into second leg against Slovenia

Ukraine take a big step towards Euro 2016 qualification after beating Slovenia 2-0 in the first leg of their playoff match on Saturday evening.

Ukraine have beaten Slovenia 2-0 in the first leg of their Euro 2016 playoff match at the Arena Lviv on Saturday evening.

The hosts, who dominated the contest for long spells, opened the scoring in the 23rd minute through Andriy Yarmolenko, before Yevhen Seleznyov doubled their lead nine minutes into the second period.

Andriy Yarmolenko from Ukraine celebrates after scoring the first goal during the UEFA EURO 2016 Play-off for Final Tournament, First leg between Ukraine and Slovenia at Lviv Arena on November 14, 2015 in Lviv, Ukraine.© Getty Images

The first half-chance of the match came inside the opening five minutes when Vyacheslav Shevchuk delivered a dangerous cross from the left, but Seleznyov could not make contact inside a crowded Slovenia box.

Wide pair Yarmolenko and Yevhen Konoplyanka continued to cause problems as the half progressed and a dangerous cross from the latter saw Denys Garmash head over the crossbar in the 16th minute.

The deadlock was broken in the 23rd minute when Yarmolenko twisted inside the Slovenia box before finding the bottom corner during a period where Garmash and Serhiy Rybalka also came close for the dominant hosts.

Slovenia's only real chance of the first half came in the 28th minute when Josip Ilicic met a smart knockdown from Milivoje Novakovic inside the box, but his effort was too high.

A fairly unsavoury first period, which saw Ukraine register three attempts on target to Slovenia's zero, also brought four yellow cards, with both teams guilty of play-acting during the opening 45 minutes.

Jasmin Kurtic had the first opportunity of the second period, but the Slovenia midfielder could not find the target after smart work from Valter Birsa.

Ukraine had their second of the match in the 54th minute, however, when Artem Fedetskiy delivered a low cross from the right and Selezynov could not miss as he turned the ball over the line from close range.

Ukraine's Andriy Yarmolenko (L) celebrates after scoring against Slovenia in the Euro 2016 play-off football match between Ukraine and Slovenia at the Arena Lviv stadium in Lviv on November 14, 2015.© Getty Images

Garmash had a wonderful chance to make it 3-0 just before the hour when he met a dangerous cross from the right, but his header was straight at Samir Handanovic from close range.

Seleznyov came close to his second of the match when he burst into the box in the 69th minute, but the attacker's effort hit the post, before the danger was cleared as the visitors continued to wobble in defensive areas.

Yevhen Khacheridi fired one over the crossbar in the 72nd minute as the pressure continued from Ukraine, with Slovenia struggling to make their mark despite a couple of substitutions. One of those subs, Nejc Pecnik, had an effort 15 minutes from time, but he cleared the crossbar from inside the box.

Slovenia had their moments late on, but the opportunities continued to fall to Ukraine, with substitute Ruslan Malinovskiy and Konoplyanka coming close to a third, but the hosts were ultimately made to settle for a 2-0 win, which makes them big favourites ahead of the return fixture, which will take place on Tuesday.

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Captain Wayne Rooney of England prepares to restart after conceding the first goal during the UEFA EURO 2016 Qualifier between Slovenia and England on at the Stozice Arena on June 14, 2015
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