West Ham United forward Andriy Yarmolenko offered a dreadful display for Ukraine as he captained Andriy Shevchenko’s side to defeat at home to Germany in the UEFA Nations League.
Joachim Low’s 2014 World Cup champions had failed to claim a win in any of their last six fixtures in the UEFA competition prior to Saturday’s meeting with Ukraine at the NSK Olimpiskyi stadium, which was settled thanks to first-half goals from Matthias Ginter and Leon Goretzka.
Ruslan Malinovskyi pulled a goal back for the hosts from the penalty spot inside the final quarter of an hour to leave Low nervy in the dugout, but Germany held on to claim their fifth point from three games as they bid to reach the finals of the competition.
Yarmolenko opened the Germany clash as Shevchenko’s favoured right-hand attacking option as the 2004 Ballon d’Or winner awarded the 30-year-old his 90th international cap, but only saw fit to leave the Irons man on the field for 69 minutes.
With Ukraine two goals behind, Shakhtar Donetsk’s 32-year-old midfielder Marlos came on to replace Yarmolenko and try to fire his side back into contention, but could not prevent Germany from winning and leave Ukraine third in Group 4.
Ukraine next face group leaders Spain on October 13, looking to end Luis Enrique’s unbeaten start to the qualifying campaign having beaten Shevchenko’s men 4-0 already.
During Yarmolenko’s time on the field on Saturday night, the West Ham forward failed to register a single shot on goal or key pass, while making just one attempted dribble and failing to find a teammate with either of his two crosses, per SofaScore.
Up against Chelsea’s Antonio Rudiger – who was linked with a potential move to the London Stadium this summer – Yarmolenko also managed to register a mere 20 touches of the ball, complete just six passes, lose possession 12 times and get caught in an offside position once.
It was the third game running where Yarmolenko has failed to have any involvement in the scoring for Ukraine after blank records against Spain and France in 4-0 and 7-1 defeats respectively, maintaining his Premier League record for the season having added his eighth and ninth West Ham goals in this term’s Carabao Cup.