DUBLIN (Reuters) - Ukraine overcame the disappointment of not qualifying for the World Cup by kick-starting their UEFA Nations League group campaign with a nervy 1-0 victory over Ireland on Wednesday.
Ukraine, beaten by Wales in the World Cup qualifying playoff final on Sunday, were the better side in Dublin and a set-piece goal from midfielder Viktor Tsygankov sealed the three points for the war-torn nation.
Ukraine nearly took the lead from a counter-attack late in the first half when Taras Kacharaba found the back of the net with a stunning half-volley from outside the box but the effort was ruled out for offside in the build-up.
Tsygankov came on as a halftime substitute and made an instant impact when his curling free kick missed everyone, bounced in front of the keeper and ended up in the corner of the net.
The result left Ireland bottom of the group after losing to Armenia in their first game.
(Reporting by Rohith Nair in Bengaluru, editing by Ed Osmond)