KIEV (Reuters) - Ukraine earned their biggest ever win by beating San Marino 9-0 at a packed Lviv Arena on Friday before they host England in a key World Cup Group H qualifier in four days’ time.
Serbia’s emphatic victory over a San Marino side who have now conceded 38 goals and scored none in seven matches came courtesy of eight different goalscorers with Evhen Khacheridi scoring twice with a goal either side of the break.
The win left Ukraine in third place a point behind England, who are top with 15 points after a 4-0 win over Moldova, and Montenegro, who have played a game more and are second after a 1-1 draw away to Poland who have 10 points.
Ukraine’s Serbia-born striker Marco Devic opened the scoring after 11 minutes, shooting low into the far corner following a fine headed pass inside the area by right back Artem Fedetskiy.
Striker Evhen Seleznyov headed the second from close range in the 26th minute after an assist from centre back Khacheridi got above his marker in the penalty area.
Brazilian-born playmaker Edmar slotted home to make it 3-0 from the centre of the area six minutes later before San Marino keeper Federico Valentini failed to clear the ball and Khacheridi nodded in at the end of the first half.
Ukraine’s scoring spree continued after the restart when Evhen Konoplyanka curled in the fifth goal and a prone Khacheridi tapped the ball in following a corner kick.
Roman Bezus needed just three minutes to score after coming off the bench on the hour and Artem Fedetskiy added an eighth goal before centre back Yaroslav Rakitskiy wrapped up the 9-0 victory by curling home a freekick in added time.
Ukraine’s previous highest score was 6-0 in wins over Andorra and Azerbaijan.
Reporting by Igor Nitsak; editing by Ken Ferris