Shevcheno kicks off Ukraine party

Ukraine's Euro 2012 party started in style when Ukraine sealed a thrilling 2-1 comeback win over Sweden in Group D and Andriy Shevchenko struck twice to complete a perfect evening for the co-hosts on Monday.

The 35-year-old Shevchenko powered in two headers, cancelling out Zlatan Ibrahimovic's opening goal and reminding everyone of his sheer class, grit and determination.

Ibrahimovic left the pitch to a standing ovation after being substituted and the final whistle triggered wild celebrations in the stands before "Sheva" embraced coach Oleg Blokhin and ran towards the crowd with his arms raised in celebration.

Ukraine's first win in a European championship match also resounded in Lviv with thousands of happy fans walking through the streets chanting 'Ukraine' and 'Sheva, Sheva'.

The win, however, was not only down to Shevchenko as Ukraine played neat football in the first half and Sweden looked nothing like the team who had scored 31 goals in their qualifying campaign.

"O-oo-O Go Ukraine!" was played to deafening volume to the sound of old school techno music before kickoff in a friendly and festive atmosphere with the crowd looking as one wearing yellow shirts, either Swedish or Ukrainian.

With UEFA president Michel Platini among the crowd, none of the racism fears that have clouded the build-up to the tournament materialized as the game was played in a loud but peaceful Olympic stadium.

Ukraine, who had lost their last two warm-up games, sit proudly on top of Group D after France and England shared the points in a 1-1 draw in Donetsk.

"We have good chances to qualify from the group," said man-of-the-match Shevchenko.

Blokhin's team were focused throughout, showing composure at the back and nice movements in the midfield before playing their hearts out to preserve their advantage.

An hour after the final whistle, a few fans were still looking at the giant screens in the stadium showing countless replays of Shevchenko's double.

Sweden, instead, seemed to rely heavily on Ibrahimovic and appeared short of ideas, especially in a dull first half.

Ibrahimovic and the whole team stepped up a gear after the break but sloppy defending on set pieces and a lack of sharpness up front proved too much to overcome against Ukraine, who became the first team to come from behind and win at Euro 2012.

They next face France in Donetsk as a team who now have a good chance of advancing to the quarter-finals, especially since Les Bleus failed to sparkle against England.

Sweden, who sat back too much after Ibrahimovic opened the scoring with a classy close-range finish seven minutes into the second half, will take on England in a must-win game in Donetsk on Friday.

Sweden, which has been sharply critical of the prosecution and jailing of former prime minister Yulia Tymoshenko, did not send any government minister to the game as some Western countries continue to boycott Ukraine over its record on democracy and human rights.

(Additional reporting by Timothy Heritage and by David Ljunggren in Lviv; Editing by Ed Osmond)