Ukraine return to international football amid emotional scenes in 2022 World Cup play-off against Scotland

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The World Cup qualifying play-off clash between Scotland and Ukraine on Wednesday was preceded by a tribute to the visiting country.

The Ukraine players came out of the tunnel draped in Ukraine flags as they lined up in the crucial match at Hampden Park.

Fans held up Ukraine flags throughout their national anthem in a show of solidarity with the nation amid the ongoing invasion by Russia.

What happened before the Scotland vs Ukraine clash?

It was an emotional occasion as Ukraine lined up for their first international match since before Russia invaded the country in February.

The encounter was initially supposed to go ahead in March, but had to be delayed because of the ongoing conflict.

The crucial match was finally allowed to be played on Wednesday, but emotions still run high around Ukraine.

The singing of the national anthems was a particularly intense moment as the visiting players wore Ukraine flags and belted out the song of their country.

In his press conference before the match, Oleksandr Zinchenko teared up as he spoke of his team's desire to secure a spot at the 2022 World Cup for the people in the war-torn country.

How did Ukraine beat Scotland?

Ukraine went ahead in the first half when Andriy Yarmolenko controlled a long pass and lifted it over goalkeeper Craig Gordon.

Roman Yaremchuk then doubled their lead in the second half before Callum McGregor pulled one back for the home team.

Just as Scotland pushed for the equaliser, Artem Dovbyk was sent through on goal by Zinchenko and fired past Gordon to make it 3-1 in stoppage time.

Ukraine captain Oleksandr Zinchenko told Sky Sports: "Every game for us now is like a final. We have one more and we need to win it - we need to take it or this won't mean anything.

"We scored three goals, we could've scored even more. [Sunday] is going to be a massive game for us. We need to show the best performance of our lives."

Scotland star Andrew Robertson admitted that his side did not live up to previous performances against Ukraine and apologised to the Scotland fans.

"We've waited a long time for this," he said to Sky Sports. "Our performances before have been good but we didn't show up.

"Ukraine settled into the game quicker and that continued. We gave ourselves too much of an uphill battle. We didn't play the way we wanted to and that's disappointing. It's passed us by.

"We've let ourselves down. We have to hurt and we need to reflect. But we have to stick together, we know scrutiny will come our way.

"All we can say is sorry to the fans."

Further reading

Scotland vs Ukraine: More than a game