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Ukraine back on track after comeback win over Slovakia at Euro 2024

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Ukraine back on track after comeback win over Slovakia at Euro 2024
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Ukraine back on track after comeback win over Slovakia at Euro 2024

2024-06-22 01:07 Last Updated At:01:11

DUESSELDORF, Germany (AP) — It's all about resilience for Ukraine at the European Championship, whether on the field or trying to inspire those at home in wartime.

After being blown out by Romania 3-0 in its first match, Ukraine conceded the opening goal to Slovakia on Friday but fought back for a much-needed 2-1 win, prompting emotional scenes with their fans afterward.

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Slovakia's Ivan Schranz celebrates after scoring his side's opening goal during a Group E match between Slovakia and Ukraine at the Euro 2024 soccer tournament in Duesseldorf, Germany, Friday, June 21, 2024. (AP Photo/Andreea Alexandru)

DUESSELDORF, Germany (AP) — It's all about resilience for Ukraine at the European Championship, whether on the field or trying to inspire those at home in wartime.

Slovakia's Ivan Schranz (26) scores against Ukraine's Oleksandr Zinchenko (17) and goalkeeper Anatoliy Trubin (12) during a Group E match between Slovakia and Ukraine at the Euro 2024 soccer tournament in Duesseldorf, Germany, Friday, June 21, 2024. (AP Photo/Alessandra Tarantino)

Slovakia's Ivan Schranz (26) scores against Ukraine's Oleksandr Zinchenko (17) and goalkeeper Anatoliy Trubin (12) during a Group E match between Slovakia and Ukraine at the Euro 2024 soccer tournament in Duesseldorf, Germany, Friday, June 21, 2024. (AP Photo/Alessandra Tarantino)

Slovakia's Stanislav Lobotka challenges for the ball with Ukraine's Oleksandr Zubkov during a Group E match between Slovakia and Ukraine at the Euro 2024 soccer tournament in Duesseldorf, Germany, Friday, June 21, 2024. (AP Photo/Andreea Alexandru)

Slovakia's Stanislav Lobotka challenges for the ball with Ukraine's Oleksandr Zubkov during a Group E match between Slovakia and Ukraine at the Euro 2024 soccer tournament in Duesseldorf, Germany, Friday, June 21, 2024. (AP Photo/Andreea Alexandru)

Ukraine's Mykola Shaparenko celebrates after scoring his side's opening goal during a Group E match between Slovakia and Ukraine at the Euro 2024 soccer tournament in Duesseldorf, Germany, Friday, June 21, 2024. (Rolf Vennenbernd/dpa via AP)

Ukraine's Mykola Shaparenko celebrates after scoring his side's opening goal during a Group E match between Slovakia and Ukraine at the Euro 2024 soccer tournament in Duesseldorf, Germany, Friday, June 21, 2024. (Rolf Vennenbernd/dpa via AP)

Ukraine's Mykola Shaparenko, left, scores his side's opening goal during a Group E match between Slovakia and Ukraine at the Euro 2024 soccer tournament in Duesseldorf, Germany, Friday, June 21, 2024. (AP Photo/Alessandra Tarantino)

Ukraine's Mykola Shaparenko, left, scores his side's opening goal during a Group E match between Slovakia and Ukraine at the Euro 2024 soccer tournament in Duesseldorf, Germany, Friday, June 21, 2024. (AP Photo/Alessandra Tarantino)

Slovakia's Denis Vavro is dejected at the end of a Group E match between Slovakia and Ukraine at the Euro 2024 soccer tournament in Duesseldorf, Germany, Friday, June 21, 2024. (AP Photo/Andreea Alexandru)

Slovakia's Denis Vavro is dejected at the end of a Group E match between Slovakia and Ukraine at the Euro 2024 soccer tournament in Duesseldorf, Germany, Friday, June 21, 2024. (AP Photo/Andreea Alexandru)

Ukraine's Roman Yaremchuk, center, celebrates after scoring his side's second goal during a Group E match between Slovakia and Ukraine at the Euro 2024 soccer tournament in Duesseldorf, Germany, Friday, June 21, 2024. (Rolf Vennenbernd/dpa via AP)

Ukraine's Roman Yaremchuk, center, celebrates after scoring his side's second goal during a Group E match between Slovakia and Ukraine at the Euro 2024 soccer tournament in Duesseldorf, Germany, Friday, June 21, 2024. (Rolf Vennenbernd/dpa via AP)

Ukraine's Roman Yaremchuk celebrates after scoring his side's second goal during a Group E match between Slovakia and Ukraine at the Euro 2024 soccer tournament in Duesseldorf, Germany, Friday, June 21, 2024. (AP Photo/Andreea Alexandru)

Ukraine's Roman Yaremchuk celebrates after scoring his side's second goal during a Group E match between Slovakia and Ukraine at the Euro 2024 soccer tournament in Duesseldorf, Germany, Friday, June 21, 2024. (AP Photo/Andreea Alexandru)

Ukraine's Roman Yaremchuk, right, scores his side's second goal against Slovakia's goalkeeper Martin Dubravka, center, during a Group E match between Slovakia and Ukraine at the Euro 2024 soccer tournament in Duesseldorf, Germany, Friday, June 21, 2024. (AP Photo/Alessandra Tarantino)

Ukraine's Roman Yaremchuk, right, scores his side's second goal against Slovakia's goalkeeper Martin Dubravka, center, during a Group E match between Slovakia and Ukraine at the Euro 2024 soccer tournament in Duesseldorf, Germany, Friday, June 21, 2024. (AP Photo/Alessandra Tarantino)

Ukraine's Roman Yaremchuk celebrates after scoring his side's second goal during a Group E match between Slovakia and Ukraine at the Euro 2024 soccer tournament in Duesseldorf, Germany, Friday, June 21, 2024. (AP Photo/Andreea Alexandru)

Ukraine's Roman Yaremchuk celebrates after scoring his side's second goal during a Group E match between Slovakia and Ukraine at the Euro 2024 soccer tournament in Duesseldorf, Germany, Friday, June 21, 2024. (AP Photo/Andreea Alexandru)

Ukraine's Mykola Shaparenko celebrates after scoring his side's opening goal during a Group E match between Slovakia and Ukraine at the Euro 2024 soccer tournament in Duesseldorf, Germany, Friday, June 21, 2024. (Fabio Ferrari/LaPresse via AP)

Ukraine's Mykola Shaparenko celebrates after scoring his side's opening goal during a Group E match between Slovakia and Ukraine at the Euro 2024 soccer tournament in Duesseldorf, Germany, Friday, June 21, 2024. (Fabio Ferrari/LaPresse via AP)

“Our mental strength was shown to the best of our ability on the pitch,” midfielder Mykola Shaparenko said through a translator after scoring one goal and setting up another.

Ukraine's first comeback win in the Euros in 12 years was also their third comeback win in four competitive games this year. More importantly, the Ukrainians remained in contention for the last 16 after substitute Roman Yaremchuk's goal sealed the win.

Showing that Ukraine can fight, overcome obstacles and win “is exactly what Ukraine’s National Football Team is doing today,” President Volodymyr Zelenskyy posted on social media after the game.

After two 2-1 comeback wins in the playoffs in March to reach Euro 2024, Ukraine result against Slovakia by the same score has revived the team's campaign. The next aim is reaching the knockout stages in the first major tournament for Ukraine since Russia's invasion in 2022. That is likely to require at least a draw against Belgium on Wednesday.

Ukraine’s poor goal difference following a 3-0 loss to Romania on Monday meant another defeat would have put it on the brink of elimination.

“Today, it was a different spirit,” coach Serhiy Rebrov said. “It was a very important win for our country, for Ukraine, for our fathers, for our supporters, and I’m sure today they were proud of the players.”

Slovakia is level with Ukraine and Romania on three points in Group E. Romania and Belgium meet on Saturday.

Rebrov made four changes to the team after the Romania loss but the same fragility in defense remained — at least to begin with.

Goalkeeper Anatoliy Trubin, in for Andriy Lunin after errors against Romania, made a series of saves early on but could do nothing to stop the opening goal.

Ivan Schranz, who also scored the only goal in the surprise 1-0 win over Belgium four days ago, was left free at the far post when his marker Oleksandr Zinchenko jumped to intercept a cross which flew over his head.

Zinchenko was at fault for the first goal but pivotal to the second, overlapping on the left flank to receive the ball and cross low for Shaparenko, who found space to score his first international goal in nearly three years.

Bringing Yaremchuk off the bench to replace the mostly ineffective Artem Dovbyk changed the game again as he surged past the Slovakian defense to score the winner.

Slovakia is fighting to prevent a repeat of the 2021 Euros, where it won its first game but lost the next two and was eliminated in the group stage on goal difference. It may have to play its next game against Romania on Wednesday without defender David Hancko, who injured his hamstring, coach Francesco Calzona said.

AP Euro 2024: https://apnews.com/hub/euro-2024

Slovakia's Ivan Schranz celebrates after scoring his side's opening goal during a Group E match between Slovakia and Ukraine at the Euro 2024 soccer tournament in Duesseldorf, Germany, Friday, June 21, 2024. (AP Photo/Andreea Alexandru)

Slovakia's Ivan Schranz celebrates after scoring his side's opening goal during a Group E match between Slovakia and Ukraine at the Euro 2024 soccer tournament in Duesseldorf, Germany, Friday, June 21, 2024. (AP Photo/Andreea Alexandru)

Slovakia's Ivan Schranz (26) scores against Ukraine's Oleksandr Zinchenko (17) and goalkeeper Anatoliy Trubin (12) during a Group E match between Slovakia and Ukraine at the Euro 2024 soccer tournament in Duesseldorf, Germany, Friday, June 21, 2024. (AP Photo/Alessandra Tarantino)

Slovakia's Ivan Schranz (26) scores against Ukraine's Oleksandr Zinchenko (17) and goalkeeper Anatoliy Trubin (12) during a Group E match between Slovakia and Ukraine at the Euro 2024 soccer tournament in Duesseldorf, Germany, Friday, June 21, 2024. (AP Photo/Alessandra Tarantino)

Slovakia's Stanislav Lobotka challenges for the ball with Ukraine's Oleksandr Zubkov during a Group E match between Slovakia and Ukraine at the Euro 2024 soccer tournament in Duesseldorf, Germany, Friday, June 21, 2024. (AP Photo/Andreea Alexandru)

Slovakia's Stanislav Lobotka challenges for the ball with Ukraine's Oleksandr Zubkov during a Group E match between Slovakia and Ukraine at the Euro 2024 soccer tournament in Duesseldorf, Germany, Friday, June 21, 2024. (AP Photo/Andreea Alexandru)

Ukraine's Mykola Shaparenko celebrates after scoring his side's opening goal during a Group E match between Slovakia and Ukraine at the Euro 2024 soccer tournament in Duesseldorf, Germany, Friday, June 21, 2024. (Rolf Vennenbernd/dpa via AP)

Ukraine's Mykola Shaparenko celebrates after scoring his side's opening goal during a Group E match between Slovakia and Ukraine at the Euro 2024 soccer tournament in Duesseldorf, Germany, Friday, June 21, 2024. (Rolf Vennenbernd/dpa via AP)

Ukraine's Mykola Shaparenko, left, scores his side's opening goal during a Group E match between Slovakia and Ukraine at the Euro 2024 soccer tournament in Duesseldorf, Germany, Friday, June 21, 2024. (AP Photo/Alessandra Tarantino)

Ukraine's Mykola Shaparenko, left, scores his side's opening goal during a Group E match between Slovakia and Ukraine at the Euro 2024 soccer tournament in Duesseldorf, Germany, Friday, June 21, 2024. (AP Photo/Alessandra Tarantino)

Slovakia's Denis Vavro is dejected at the end of a Group E match between Slovakia and Ukraine at the Euro 2024 soccer tournament in Duesseldorf, Germany, Friday, June 21, 2024. (AP Photo/Andreea Alexandru)

Slovakia's Denis Vavro is dejected at the end of a Group E match between Slovakia and Ukraine at the Euro 2024 soccer tournament in Duesseldorf, Germany, Friday, June 21, 2024. (AP Photo/Andreea Alexandru)

Ukraine's Roman Yaremchuk, center, celebrates after scoring his side's second goal during a Group E match between Slovakia and Ukraine at the Euro 2024 soccer tournament in Duesseldorf, Germany, Friday, June 21, 2024. (Rolf Vennenbernd/dpa via AP)

Ukraine's Roman Yaremchuk, center, celebrates after scoring his side's second goal during a Group E match between Slovakia and Ukraine at the Euro 2024 soccer tournament in Duesseldorf, Germany, Friday, June 21, 2024. (Rolf Vennenbernd/dpa via AP)

Ukraine's Roman Yaremchuk celebrates after scoring his side's second goal during a Group E match between Slovakia and Ukraine at the Euro 2024 soccer tournament in Duesseldorf, Germany, Friday, June 21, 2024. (AP Photo/Andreea Alexandru)

Ukraine's Roman Yaremchuk celebrates after scoring his side's second goal during a Group E match between Slovakia and Ukraine at the Euro 2024 soccer tournament in Duesseldorf, Germany, Friday, June 21, 2024. (AP Photo/Andreea Alexandru)

Ukraine's Roman Yaremchuk, right, scores his side's second goal against Slovakia's goalkeeper Martin Dubravka, center, during a Group E match between Slovakia and Ukraine at the Euro 2024 soccer tournament in Duesseldorf, Germany, Friday, June 21, 2024. (AP Photo/Alessandra Tarantino)

Ukraine's Roman Yaremchuk, right, scores his side's second goal against Slovakia's goalkeeper Martin Dubravka, center, during a Group E match between Slovakia and Ukraine at the Euro 2024 soccer tournament in Duesseldorf, Germany, Friday, June 21, 2024. (AP Photo/Alessandra Tarantino)

Ukraine's Roman Yaremchuk celebrates after scoring his side's second goal during a Group E match between Slovakia and Ukraine at the Euro 2024 soccer tournament in Duesseldorf, Germany, Friday, June 21, 2024. (AP Photo/Andreea Alexandru)

Ukraine's Roman Yaremchuk celebrates after scoring his side's second goal during a Group E match between Slovakia and Ukraine at the Euro 2024 soccer tournament in Duesseldorf, Germany, Friday, June 21, 2024. (AP Photo/Andreea Alexandru)

Ukraine's Mykola Shaparenko celebrates after scoring his side's opening goal during a Group E match between Slovakia and Ukraine at the Euro 2024 soccer tournament in Duesseldorf, Germany, Friday, June 21, 2024. (Fabio Ferrari/LaPresse via AP)

Ukraine's Mykola Shaparenko celebrates after scoring his side's opening goal during a Group E match between Slovakia and Ukraine at the Euro 2024 soccer tournament in Duesseldorf, Germany, Friday, June 21, 2024. (Fabio Ferrari/LaPresse via AP)

MILWAUKEE (AP) — Donald Trump said he plans to announce his vice presidential pick on Monday, the first day of the Republican National Convention.

It remains unclear whether the assassination attempt Saturday at his Pennsylvania rally has changed the former president's thinking about his potential second-in-command. But he told Fox News Channel host Bret Baier in a call that he planned to make his pick Monday.

The roll call vote to nominate that person is expected Monday, according to a person with direct knowledge of the schedule who spoke on the condition of anonymity. The person cautioned that Trump could always change his mind.

After Saturday's shooting, Trump's choice carries considerably more gravity. If a bullet had struck just a little bit to the right, Trump likely would have been killed or seriously injured.

The close call puts in stark relief the significance of a position that is a heartbeat away from the presidency. Trump has repeatedly claimed that choosing someone who was qualified to take over as commander in chief was his top consideration for the role.

“You need somebody that can be good just in case, that horrible just in case,” he said in an interview with “The Clay Travis & Buck Sexton Show” in May.

In an interview with Fox News’ Harris Faulkner taped hours before the Butler, Pennsylvania, rally, Trump was asked about how close he was to his VP pick and whether his decision-making would change if President Joe Biden steps aside.

“It’s a very important position especially if something bad should happen,” Trump said. “That’s the most important, if something bad should happen.”

Those on Trump's shortlist have differing levels of governing experience. Ohio Sen. JD Vance, for instance, has been in office less than two years, while North Dakota Gov. Doug Burgum helms a state with a population (780,000 people) smaller than Columbus, Ohio (908,000). Florida Sen. Marco Rubio has been in politics for decades and is in his third term in the Senate.

Before the shooting, Trump had made clear that he wanted to dramatically reveal his pick at the convention, which he said would make it more “interesting” and “exciting.”

“It’s like a highly sophisticated version of ‘The Apprentice,’” he quipped in a radio interview last week, referring to the show he once hosted that featured him firing contestants on camera.

Trump and convention organizers have said the RNC's schedule will go on as planned despite the shooting, with Trump writing on his social media site that he could not “allow a ‘shooter,’ or potential assassin, to force change to scheduling, or anything else.”

“In this moment, it is more important than ever that we stand United, and show our True Character as Americans, remaining Strong and Determined, and not allowing Evil to Win,” he wrote.

He held meetings in the days before the shooting with the top contenders. All have submitted material, including bios and photographs, to convention organizers that can be used to prepare content if they're picked, according to multiple people familiar with the conversations who spoke on the condition of anonymity to discuss the secretive process.

The private meetings with Vance, Rubio and Burgum were first reported by ABC News.

Nothing was offered during the meetings, one of the people said.

Trump waiting until the convention to choose a running mate is later than usual for recent cycles but is hardly unprecedented.

In 1980, Ronald Reagan negotiated with former President Gerald Ford for hours during the Republican convention in Detroit but settled on his former primary rival George H.W. Bush when those discussions collapsed. Reagan cut it so close that his decision came less than 24 hours before he formally accepted the GOP nomination.

Bush himself waited until the 1988 Republican convention in New Orleans before shocking many attendees — as well as some of the then-vice president’s own top advisers — by picking little-known Indiana Sen. Dan Quayle to be his No. 2, rather than a more established running mate.

Since then, though, the tradition has been to pick a running mate shortly before the candidate’s party’s convention opens.

In 2008, Arizona Sen. John McCain, looking for a way to reset his race against Democrat Barack Obama, picked little-known Alaska Gov. Sarah Palin shortly before the Republican convention opened in Minnesota. He got a bump in the polls that didn't last.

Biden, a Democrat, tapped then-California Sen. Kamala Harris as his running mate six days before his party opened its convention, which was held mostly virtually due to the coronavirus pandemic. And Trump chose Indiana Gov. Mike Pence in the days before the 2016 Republican convention opened in Cleveland.

Associated Press writers Zeke Miller and Will Weissert contributed to this report from Washington.

Follow the AP's coverage of the 2024 election at https://apnews.com/hub/election-2024.

Security vehicles are parked outside the home of Ohio Sen. JD Vance, who is on Donald Trump's vice presidential short list, Monday, July 15, 2024, in Cincinnati. (AP Photo/Jeff Dean)

Security vehicles are parked outside the home of Ohio Sen. JD Vance, who is on Donald Trump's vice presidential short list, Monday, July 15, 2024, in Cincinnati. (AP Photo/Jeff Dean)

Security vehicles are parked outside the home of Ohio Sen. JD Vance, who is on Donald Trump's vice presidential short list, Monday, July 15, 2024, in Cincinnati. (AP Photo/Jeff Dean)

Security vehicles are parked outside the home of Ohio Sen. JD Vance, who is on Donald Trump's vice presidential short list, Monday, July 15, 2024, in Cincinnati. (AP Photo/Jeff Dean)

Security vehicles are parked outside the home of Ohio Sen. JD Vance, who is on Donald Trump's vice presidential short list, Monday, July 15, 2024, in Cincinnati. (AP Photo/Jeff Dean)

Security vehicles are parked outside the home of Ohio Sen. JD Vance, who is on Donald Trump's vice presidential short list, Monday, July 15, 2024, in Cincinnati. (AP Photo/Jeff Dean)

Former President Trump waves to supporters after arriving to the Milwaukee Mitchell International Airport ahead of the 2024 Republican National Convention, Sunday, July 14, 2024, in Milwaukee. (AP Photo/Alex Brandon)

Former President Trump waves to supporters after arriving to the Milwaukee Mitchell International Airport ahead of the 2024 Republican National Convention, Sunday, July 14, 2024, in Milwaukee. (AP Photo/Alex Brandon)

FILE - Sen. Marco Rubio, R-Fla., speaks, June 14, 2024, in West Palm Beach, Fla. Rubio is a top contender to be selected as Republican presidential candidate former President Donald Trump's running mate. (AP Photo/Gerald Herbert, File)

FILE - Sen. Marco Rubio, R-Fla., speaks, June 14, 2024, in West Palm Beach, Fla. Rubio is a top contender to be selected as Republican presidential candidate former President Donald Trump's running mate. (AP Photo/Gerald Herbert, File)

FILE - Republican presidential candidate former President Donald Trump, right, and North Dakota Gov. Doug Burgum attend a caucus night rally, Feb. 8, 2024, in Las Vegas. Burgum, who has grown close with the former president since he dropped his own bid for the nomination before voting began, is the third top contender for Trump's running mate. (AP Photo/Alex Brandon, File)

FILE - Republican presidential candidate former President Donald Trump, right, and North Dakota Gov. Doug Burgum attend a caucus night rally, Feb. 8, 2024, in Las Vegas. Burgum, who has grown close with the former president since he dropped his own bid for the nomination before voting began, is the third top contender for Trump's running mate. (AP Photo/Alex Brandon, File)

FILE - Sen. J.D. Vance, R-Ohio, right, points toward Republican presidential candidate former President Donald Trump at a campaign rally, March 16, 2024, in Vandalia, Ohio. Vance is a top contender to be selected as Trump's running mate. (AP Photo/Jeff Dean, File)

FILE - Sen. J.D. Vance, R-Ohio, right, points toward Republican presidential candidate former President Donald Trump at a campaign rally, March 16, 2024, in Vandalia, Ohio. Vance is a top contender to be selected as Trump's running mate. (AP Photo/Jeff Dean, File)

FILE - Republican presidential candidate former President Donald Trump speaks at a campaign rally, July 9, 2024, in Doral, Fla. Trump waiting until the actual convention to choose a running mate is later than usual for recent cycles, but hardly unprecedented. (AP Photo/Rebecca Blackwell, File)

FILE - Republican presidential candidate former President Donald Trump speaks at a campaign rally, July 9, 2024, in Doral, Fla. Trump waiting until the actual convention to choose a running mate is later than usual for recent cycles, but hardly unprecedented. (AP Photo/Rebecca Blackwell, File)

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