Pre Match  England and the French both looked OK, but if one of these teams can produce a big performance it could throw the group wide open.  However, this could the first true dud of the competition as 2 of the lesser lights go head to head.  I'll be writing up my thoughts on the England game tomorrow.

For this game I will be providing Minute by Minute coverage...but without the help of any sound from the commentators or crowd.  So, I'll be relying on my vast football knowledge (ahem) to help with the updates.  I've haven't exactly picked the easiest game for this as these aren't 2 of the more star studded teams in the tournament.


Ukraine: 12-Andriy Pyatov; 9-Oleh Gusyev, 3-Evhen Khacheridi, 17-Taras Mykhalyk, 2-Evhen Selin; 4-Anatoly Tymoshchuk, 18-Serhiy Nazarenko, 11-Andriy Yarmolenko, 19-Evhen Konoplyanka; 7-Andriy Shevchenko, 10-Andriy Voronin

Sweden: 1-Andreas Isaksson; 2-Mikael Lustig, 3-Olof Mellberg, 4-Andreas Granqvist, 5-Martin Olsson; 6-Rasmus Elm, 9-Kim Kallstrom; 7-Sebastian Larsson, 10-Zlatan Ibrahimovic, 20-Ola Toivonen; 22-Markus Rosenberg

Hmm, I'll be able to recognize about 4 players from each team, I'm hoping for lots of captions and shots of players from behind (insert joke).  Obviously Zlatan Ibrahimovic is the one to watch here...if he turns up.  There are also a few familiar other names in the Swedish side - Larsson, Mellberg, Isaksson and Kallstrom are tournament veterens

For the hosts, they'll be hoping that the crowd can whip up a frenzy and other such cliches.  The lesseer spotted Voronin starts up front (I think) alongside the seemingly ageless Andriy Schevchenko.  Tymoshchuk has over 100 caps in midfield and is a regular in the Bayern Munich team.  Oh yeah, I'm not allowing myself any research tonight, so there may be a few factual errors.  Wikipedia is for wimps!

Prediction - I'm going for a 1-0 win for the Swedes, and around 12 pieces of misinformation 

1 Min  Good start from the Swedes. Nice fluent passing.  Looks like Rosenburg is up front with Zlatan just behind.

5 mins 2 long range efforts (1 for each team) fail to trouble the keepers and it's not been a classic start.  More importantly, I've just tried a new Eton Mess Muller Fruit Corner - 6/10.  The Cherry Bakewell one is the best though!

7 mins  Hmm, dud number one could be on the way! Ukraine are having more of the ball but not doing much with it.

9 Mins  Kallstrom is harshly booked for what appeared to be a clean tackle as Ukraine booked....the replay makes me look silly.  Definite yellow.

13 Mins  It's all very pleasant but there's very little oomph from either team.  Sweden waste a couple of decent free kicks out wide.  

15 Mins Best moment of the game. great play out wide from Zlatan ends with a lovely cross that the keeper just about deals with, a touch form anyone and that was a goal.

18 Mins  Ibramiovic is pulling the Ukraine defence all over the place.  Players are just bouncing off him...sadly the 21 other players on the pitch are somewhat average.

20 Mins  The Ukrainian front 2 are anonymous....much like their time in the Premier League.  I'm happy with  my pre match prediction at present.  

22 Mins  Predictably enough, Ukraine then have the best chance of the game. Schevchenko is played in but fires wide from a tight (but not impossible ) angle.  A few years ago that would have buried.

25 Mins  The game is improving a bit.  Voronin is almost played in by someone or other, but can't quite reach it.  

28 Mins Scrappy but faster.  Snapshot by Rosenburg is unconvincingly saved by Pyatov - who looks a bit shaky.  The crowd look quiet! No idea if they are or not, maybe the posh seats are opposite the camera.

31 Mins  Pretty functional stuff, but not much luxury.  Zlatan has gone quiet and so has the game.

34 Mins  Great play from (I think) voronin, he shoots from distance but Isaksson deals with it.  Good shot that, moved a lot in the air. I remember Isaksson having a wonderful game against the Germans at WC 2006 - prevented a thrashing. 

36 Mins  Swift break from the hosts, but number 19 fires over...he has a long name.

37 Mins  So close for Ukraine, Schevchenko's shot is blocked but he manages to head the ball across goal and another shot is blocked.

38 Mins  Zlatan hits the post.  He's found unmarked but a lovely cross but places it against the post when he really should have scored.  Great few minutes of action.

41 mins  Ukraine go close again, a deep cross is volleyed over.  Tough chance but that bloke out of Kasabian would have buried it.  

Half Time  I'll give that 4.5/10. Not great, but just about above the depths of a dud.  Fair to say, neither of these teams will be playing on July 1st.  Still hopefully for a goal though, there were enough chances to suggest one could be on the way.  

I'm fairly happy with my "silent" effort so far.  Not knowing some of the players isn't proving much of a problem.  I miss not having the crowd noise though, bit like at the England France game earlier.  Boom tish!

Revenge is starting soon on E4 - surprisingly good considering it has the look and soundtrack of a standard teenage drama.  Didn't think I'd like it but enjoying it so far.  Praise the Lord for Sky+. 

Second Half  

46 Mins good attack from the hosts end with an attempted overhead from Voronin.  It was a failed overhead from Voronin.  However, he's playing well.

48 Mins Rosenburg's shot is blocked following a flowing Swedish move. Pyatov then does his best Dean Cain impression and cuts out a Zlatan cross. I applaud myself for mentioning Dean Cain in a football report.

51 Mins Goal!  Zlatan pounces with a nice flick from a cross.  Ukraine actually had a player down when the Swedes attacked but, quite rightly, Sweden played on.  There appears to be a big Swedish contingent in the crowd, lots of bouncing.

Isaksson then makes a great catch form a decent cross. I like Isaksson, shame he never had much chance at Man City. 

54 Mins  Goal! Shevchenko heads in and we're all square.  Lovely cross, and even it the age of 85 Andriy doesn't miss those.  Dud averted! 

56 Mins  The atmosphere might be electric now!  The game is opening up and Ukraine are looking like a different team.  

61 Mins more good play from Voronin, he turns his defender but his cross is deflected behind by someone.

Goal!!  Schevchenko again!!! Header number 2, this time from a corner, poor defending from the Swedes but a lovely near post header.  What a second half!  The Swedes looked bewildered.  

63 Mins Anders Svensson comes on for his 745th cap. 

67 Mins The game's gone quiet.  Zlaten looks annoyed with life, so doesn't join in with the Mexican Wave that starts up.

69 Mins  Wilhelmsson comes on for Larsson.  Elms reaches a through  ball but is stretching and can only volley the chance up in the air. Elmander comes on for the last 20 minutes.  The decidedly average Rosenburg comes off.

72 Mins  Hard to see the Swedes coming back, if they had any stuffing it's been knocked out.  In contract Ukraine are laying some neat possession stuff.

75 Mins Violent hit from Ibrahimovic has the keeper flapping. That had some pace behind it.  This keeper isn't a great one though.

79 Mins  Pressure from the Swedes but it ends with a shot from Wilhelmsson that even Pyakov can catch. Ie it was weak!

81 Mins  The hero of the hour comes not Voronin, the other hero. Voronin is still working hard and wins a fk 30 yards out. It goes narrowly wide.  

84 Mins Voronin off, Rotan on.  Sure Rotan played for them in 06...but Rotan may be the ukrainian smith for all I know.

87 Mins Ukraine are looking a bit panicky.  But calm things down with a nice period of possession play.

89 Mins  Awful miss from Elmander. Glorious flicked through ball from Zlatan but Elmander blazes over from inside the box.  Should have been 2-2.

90 Mins Everything grinds to a halt as Ukraine waste some time with subs and an injury. 

Now Mellberg misses a glorious chance, he volleys over from 8 yards.  And that should be that...

It is.  The hosts win, I turn the sound on and it is very noisy in Kiev!

A fair result, and a wonderful story for the Ukrainians. Shevchenko can retire a happy man now. But he has to lace up to play France on Friday in what could be a fascinating game.

I'm back tomorrow with a look at In Play betting!