Ukraine, in their first World Cup, progressed to a quarter-final meeting with Italy on Friday after defeating Switzerland 3-0 on penalties last night. It meant that the Swiss exited the competition without having conceded a goal.
The Swiss did not score any of their four penalties last night either, with Oleg Gusev striking the decisive kick to send his country through.
The Ukraine celebrations were far wilder than the 120 minutes that had preceded it. Their hero was goalkeeper Oleksandr Shovkovskiy who saved three of the spot-kicks.
There had been an inevitability about this tie going into extra time, and then penalties. Given the records, and modest resources, of both countries, it always appeared they would have to go all the way to decide who earned the right to face Italy in the quarter-final in Hamburg.
After a bright, committed start it was also a contest that faded badly. The referee's whistle at 90 minutes and after 120 was greeted with an even shriller chorus from the stands.
Not losing too soon became a greater priority than trying to win even if both teams struck the woodwork in normal time while only a last-ditch tackle by Andriy Gusin prevented Marco Streller scoring a late, late winning goal.
Not that it was a numbing stalemate. Chances were created, both teams struck the crossbar and the Ukrainians, in their first World Cup, will count themselves unfortunate not to have settled matters in normal time.
In the first half, the Ukraine captain, Andriy Shevchenko, stole in front of Johann Djourou to reach a free-kick that the Arsenal teenager had himself conceded. But Shevchenko's stooping header rebounded off the crossbar.
The Swiss then, also, hit the woodwork. This time, from 25 yards, Alex Frei's right-footed free-kick comfortably beat Shovkovskiy but rebounded off the bar and back into play.
After the interval Gusev whipped in a right-wing cross which was met by Andriy Voronin. His header veered wide and another chance was spurned. Frustration grew for the Swiss, too, and Ricardo Cabanas escaped censure for a horrific two-footed tackle on Nesmachniy. He should have been dismissed but was not even booked.
Still it was the Ukrainians who threatened most. Shevchenko chested down and struck a fierce shot just past the post. Then a corner was swung in - it narrowly evaded Shevchenko but struck the back of Gusin's head and shaved the far upright before Voronin tried to wriggle free, was crowded out and vainly appealed for a penalty.
Ludovic Magnin, with a strong run down the left-wing, tried to stir Switzerland. But his team-mates around him seemed to have settled for more time. And it is what they got.
Switzerland (4-1-3-1-1): Zuberbühler (Basle); Degen (Borussia Dortmund), Mueller (Lyon), Djourou (Arsenal), Magnin (VfB Stuttgart); Vogel (Milan); Barnetta (Bayer Leverkusen), Cabanas (Cologne), Wicky (Hamburg); Yakin (Young Boys); Frei (Rennes).
Substitutes used: Grichting (Auxerre) for Djourou, 33; Streller (Cologne) for Yakin, 64; Lustrinelli (Sparta Prague) for Frei, 116.
Ukraine (4-4-2): Shovkovskiy (Dynamo Kiev); Gusev (Dynamo Kiev), Gusin (CSK VVS Samara), Vashchuk (Dynamo Kiev), Nesmachniy (Dynamo Kiev); Vorobey (Shakhtar Donetsk), Tymoshchuk (Shakhtar Donetsk), Shelayev (Dnipro Dniproetrovsk); Kalinichenko (Spartak Moscow); Voronin (Bayer Leverkusen), Shevchenko (Chelsea).
Substitutes used: Rotan (Dynamo Kiev) for Kalinichenko, 74; Rebrov (Dynamo Kiev) for Vorobey, 93; Milevskiy (Dynamo Kiev) for Voronin, 110.
Referee: B Archundia (Mexico).
Booked: Switzerland Barnetta.
Man of the match: Shovkovskiy.Reuse content