Rangers star finally given big chance but ultimately suffers cruel int'l heartbreak
Photo by Jan Kruger - UEFA/UEFA via Getty Images

Rangers star finally given big chance but suffers cruel Euro 2020 heartbreak

Rangers star Filip Helander was finally given his big opportunity at Euro 2020 on Tuesday but his night ended in heartbreak as Sweden were dumped out by Ukraine.

Ahead of their last 16 tie, the Swedes would have fancied their chances of making it to the quarters.

Sweden were impressive during the group stages. (Photo by Gonzalo Arroyo – UEFA/UEFA via Getty Images)

After all, they had topped a tricky-looking Group E ahead of Spain and are several places above Ukraine in the FIFA World Rankings.

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Helander was back on familiar territory for the fixture, too, given that it took place at Hampden Park.

There was disappointment for the Rangers star before kick-off as he was left out of the starting XI for the fourth consecutive time in the tournament and his teammates didn’t get off to the best of starts, with Oleksandr Zinchenko opening the scoring for Ukraine in the 27th minute.

The Swedes rallied, though, and Emil Forsberg equalised just prior to the interval, before a goalless second half took the game to extra time.

Then, ten minutes into the first period, Helander’s big opportunity arrived. Fellow centre-back Marcus Danielson was sent off and the Ibrox star got the nod off the bench.

Rangers star Filip Helander made his first appearance of Euro 2020 but ultimately suffered heartbreak. (Photo by Fran Santiago – UEFA/UEFA via Getty Images)

A difficult period was always likely to follow, considering his side were down to ten men.

Yet, he must have realised that if he could help his teammates close out extra time before winning on penalties, he’d be set for a starting berth in a European Championships quarter-final, with Danielson suspended.

However, in the 121st minute, Artem Dovbyk drifted in between Helander and Victor Lindelof before heading home a dramatic winner from six yards.

A heartbreaking end for big Fil and Sweden, then, and there are now no Rangers players remaining in the competition.

For supporters, attention now turns to pre-season, and here are five young starlets who could receive chances to impress over the coming weeks.


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