Ukraine vs. Sweden: Andriy Shevchenko Proves Age Is Just a Number with Two Goals

Mikhail Turner@MikhailTurnerContributor IIIJune 11, 2012

KIEV, UKRAINE - JUNE 11:  Andriy Shevchenko of Ukraine celebrates victory at the final whistle during the UEFA EURO 2012 group D match between Ukraine and Sweden at The Olympic Stadium on June 11, 2012 in Kiev, Ukraine.  (Photo by Laurence Griffiths/Getty Images)
Laurence Griffiths/Getty Images

Ukraine defeated Sweden, 2-1, and set themselves up to progress from the group stages of the tournament. A standout performance from Andriy Shevchenko gave the co-hosts just what they needed to get a really big result.

Shevchenko put a stop to all talk about his age (he's 35) and carried Ukraine to a great victory in its first every European Championship game.

The former AC Milan hitman didn't have the greatest of seasons with Dynamo Kyiv and that, as well as his age, shed some doubt on his ability to come through for his side.

No one should have ever doubted a player who constantly found the back of the net throughout his career, except for an unfortunate spell at Chelsea.

On the other side of the field, Zlatan Ibrahimovic put in some solid work, scoring a goal and creating numerous opportunities for his side, but he was overshadowed by his more experienced counterpart.

With his two goals in the match, Shevchenko's tally for his country goes to 48 goals in 109 caps and furthers his legend as the shining light in Ukranian football history.

As far as the tournament is concerned, at the very least, all the co-hosts have to do is defend well against their remaining opponents and gain two points from those games.

Sweden has to win against both France and England to stand a chance, and considering how well each team played—France offensively and England defensively—it is a lot to ask of the Nordic nation.

But back to Shevchenko we go.

Headers are not necessarily a rarity in the Ukranian's game, but he is much more potent with his left and right foot than his noggin.

He used all his experience, and some great deliveries from his teammates, to get his head on the ball and showed some of the other strikers in the tournament how to get the job done.

His two strikes make him one of the top scorers in the tournament alongside Alan Dzagoev and Mario Mandzukic.

Hopefully, there will be more goals to come.