A Valerii Luchkevych and Viktor Kovalenko-inspired Ukraine stormed to a 6-0 win over Myanmar, scoring all of their goals in the second-half to put one foot in the FIFA U-20 World Cup last 16.
After a drab first 45 minutes the Europeans found their rhythm as Luchkevych became the catalyst for an avalanche of goals, with Kovalenko leaving the field with a brace and two assists to his name.
It was rare that the game flowed in the opening stages, though Ukraine were certainly in command of the early passages of play. But their first sight of goal would largely characterise the half. Artem Bieseidin was slid through inside five minutes, but he dallied and his lack of composure allowed keeper Myo Min Latt to smother.
Myanmar grew into the game, but an absence of cutting edge was regularly evident as Ukraine spurned a hatful of chances. There was one moment to get the Myanmar fans off their seat, who have been turning out in their droves for the Asian underdogs, as a mazy run from halfway by Aung Thu – skipping past three men in blue – deserved more than the corner his deflected shot earned.
That will have felt a long time ago 12 minutes into the second half, largely thanks to the introduction of Luchkevych. He only played a small part in the opener, where Yevhan Chumak's cross picked out Roman Yaremchuk to head home, but he was instrumental from there on.
Well found by Viktor Kovalenko – who was domineering in the centre of middle – in acres of space on the right flank, he delightfully chipped the keeper from the edge of the box. Another fine run saw him create the second, as Min Latt saved his shot only for Kovalenko to slot in the rebound, completing a nightmare six minutes for the Asian debutants.
Another Kovalenko pass picked out full-back Eduard Sobol to make it four, before Luchkeyvich was at it again as his neat turn in the box allowed him to set-up Bieseidin for an easy finish. The Dnipro midfielder, absent from the first game because of his involvement in UEFA Europa League final, should have had a second, but Thiha Htet Aung's handball on the line saw the defender sent off.
Pavlo Polehenko missed the resultant spot-kick, but great work by Biesieden down the right allowed Kovalenko to double his tally for the afternoon with a simple finish.