Group D
England 1-0 Ukraine


England captain Steven Gerrard is first to congratulate after his cross was allowed to reach Wayne Rooney who headed in the game's only goal

 

 

By Alex Byrom
Deputy Football Editor from Donbass Arena, Donetsk


England are into the quarter-finals and will play Italy as group winners after a nervy 1-0 win over co-hosts Ukraine who miss out on the next round.  

England top the group thanks to Sweden defeating France 2-0, coupled with their win meaning they top the group with seven points and everything is going as forseen.

England made one change from the side that beat came back to beat Sweden 3-2. Unfortunately Theo Walcott wasn't fit enough to start so James Milner came his place. Wayne Rooney was fit enough after serving his two match ban, and replaced Andy Carroll. 

As Ukraine they made three changes from the side that lost 2-0 to France. Shevchenko and Voronin were doubtful before the game so weren't risked; they were on the bench. That meant first starts for Milievsky and Devic. Also, Rakitsky came into the defence for the injured Mykhalyk.  

 

? DID YOU KNOW ?

Kim Kallstrom began Euro 2012 with an assist, after making the joint number of assists in qualifying.

 

Ukraine started the match knowing that if they beat England they were guaruanteed a spot in the Quarter-Finals; England had to better France's result against Sweden to have a chance of topping the group, and both sides started very nervously - with passes going astray and a few fouls being committed. 

After a few opening wild efforts on goal, the co-hosts had the first real attempt on goal in the 17th minute. Left winger Konoplianka had a shot from the edge of the area that hit Terry, falling to Tymoschuk who hit a vicious shot that wasn't far over the bar. 

England had created virtually nothing in the opening 25 minutes, with the only danger coming from set pieces. But on 27 minutes, the best chance of the half came to England, and the returning Wayne Rooney. Manchester United duo Young found Rooney with a beauty of a cross but the striker headed it wide. 

On the half hour Joe Hart made his first save of the evening from Yarmolenko. At the other end, Young curled a shot towards goal which was deflected behind. Terry then headed Gerrard's corner over with a free header. 

When the whistle blew, it was a relief to many. They had been disappointed with the quality on show by both sides. Luckily, France was still goalless too. 

But the Three Lions struck 2 minutes into the second half. Captain Gerrard skipped past Selin, and whipped in a dangerous delivery that took a slight nick on its path towards Welbeck. The young striker - the hero of the last game - flicked it on, and it should have been a routine stop for Pyatov but inexplicably let it slip through his fingers and Rooney was left with the easiest goal he will ever in football. 

Ukraine responded well. Gusev had a cross that bent in towards the goal but Hart reached and tipped it over. Then they forced a few corners too. But they were caught on the break on one occasion and England should have doubled their lead. Gerrard's clearence sent Rooney scampering away but he hesitated allowing the defender to get back, so set up Milner whose shot was blocked. 

England were struggling again with ball retention which meant they couldn't grab the match with both hands. So, the Ukrainians kept coming forward. Milievskiy headed an excellent cross from Yarmaloenko - who had taken a short corner - and should have equalised. However, he was in an offside position but the flag stayed down. 

 

? DID YOU KNOW ?

Kim Kallstrom began Euro 2012 with an assist, after making the joint number of assists in qualifying.

 

To win any major tournaments, you need a little luck. And a couple of minutes later, England got that: A long ball forward went over Terry's head, and the Chelsea captain was now out of position. A ball was slipped into Devic, who held off Lescott. His shot was fumbled by Hart (it went backwards towards the goal) and Terry did a miraculous job in getting back to clear off the line. Yet, as replays concluded, the ball was a yard over the line, and should have been given as a goal. With the extra Assistant Referee behind the goal, stood 5 yards away, and standing directly in line, the fact it wasn't given is disgusting, inexpliquable, and unacceptable. For England, memories of the World Cup game against Germany came flooding back, but this time it had gone their way. 

England now senses that feeling it was going to be their night. It was being handed to them by some desperate goalkeeping by Pyatov. Milner's cross on his left foot was a routine catch for the keeper who plays for Dnipro. He dropped it and it fell to the unmarked Ashley Cole, but corrected his error by making a fantastic save to push it round the post, preventing Cole from ending his England hoodoo; he has never scored for England, and it was his 97th cap. 

Ukraine through their final card by bringing on Shevchenko. Walcott came on for Milner in response. No difference. Kiaplianka, probably the co-hosts' best player on the night, had a shot from a long way out, causing Joe Hart all sorts of bother. The City keeper's starting position was a real concern, and he was all over the place, but kept it out, with club teammate Lescott clearing the danger. 

England were now heavily reliant on corners, and one nearly brought them another goal. Gerrard's delivery found Rooney completely free but the keeper denied him a second. 

And the Tree Lions held on and top the group, with an unexpected 7 points and will now face Italy here in Donetsk on Sunday - it should be a cracker. England will have to play better, but a win is a win, no matter how ugly.

 

 

ANALYSIS:  England 1-0 Ukraine
Alex Byrom- Deputy Football Editor from Donetsk


"England, England, England. We're into the quarter-finals - as group winners as well. Congratulations to Roy Hodgson on a fantastic achievement. We have done exactly what we said: Draw with France, beat the other two. Credit to Ukraine for a real spirited performance without Shevchenko and Voronin, but still carried a threat and tested England; had it the "goal" been awarded it might have been different. But the Three Lions are through and play Italy, and it's these games that win you tournaments: not playing well but getting the win - and a clean sheet which is a nice bonus."
 

 

 

Tuesday 19th June                    UEFA Euro 2012: Poland & Ukraine                   Group D                 Donbass Arena, Donetsk


England 1-0 Ukraine                                            KO 7:45pm                    Live on ITV1/HD                   (HT 0-0)

Rooney 48

 

 

England:

(4-4-2)


1 Joe Hart-  6/10 Looked terribly unconvicing with crosses and had one save when he was all over the place. Not quite the keeper he thinks he is. 

2 Glen Johnson-  6/10 Probably England's worst defender at tthis tournament, had a quiet night. Not a lot of defending to do, and when he was called upon was more or less up to the job. Needs to work on going forward.

6 John Terry-  6.5/10 Is very now and needs 2 yard starts on players. Defended well with some good blocks but is not aware of what's behind him. Crucial block on the line although it was already in. 

15 Joleon Lescott-  7/10  Wasn't amazing but got some crucial blocks in. Tackled well and made sure nothing got past him. Covered Terry well. 

3 Ashley Cole-  7/10  On his 97th cap, he made several forward runs while defending stoutly. Blocked crosses into the box and linked well with Young down the wing. Nearly ended his England goal drought. 

16 James Milner-  6/10 Got a lot of good crosses into the box for strikers Welbeck and Rooney. Again, worked hard for the team, but that is not going to be enough in the latter stages. 

4 Steven Gerrard (C)-  6.5/10  Not his greatest match. Looked knackered by the 80th minute. Usual neat passing, and crunching tackles. Still a driving force in midfield. His cross set up goal. 

17 Scott Parker-  7/10  Chased every ball towards the end working hard for the team - had a couple of runs and shots but held postition well. He's a real lion, putting his body on the line. Stil gets too deep at times.

11 Ashley Young-  7/10  Better performance. More energy, guile and threat. Some fantastic crosses into the box that just evaded men in white. Some nice runs also. Has a great understanding with Ashley Cole. Defended doggidly when necessary too. 

10 Wayne Rooney-  8/10  Returned with a bang - a goal -  to kick-start his account for the tournament. Picked the ball up, spreading the play and linking up with Welbeck. Complete performance. 

22 Danny Welbeck-  7.5/10  Worked incredibly hard as he didn't have a lot to feed on. Can beat players, hold the ball up, is good in the air as well. Will be a key player for England certainly. 

 

Substitutes bench:- 
13 Green (GK), 23 Butland (GK), 5 Kelly, 12 Baines, 14 Jones, 18 Jagielka, 7 Walcott, 8 Henderson, 19 Downing, 20 Oxlade-Chamberlain, 21 Defoe.

 

Subs used: 

Walcott (for Milner- 70 mins)-  3/10  Surprisingly disappointing when he came on. Had one late run that caused problems, but Roy woul have expected a better impact. 

Carroll (for Welbeck- 82 mins)-  1/10 Came on and headed the ball a couple of times, but didn't find an England man. Not really an impact sub.

Oxlade-Chamberlain (for Rooney- 87 mins)-  1/10 Came on to sure up the midfield and not really involved. One for the future. 

 

Booked:       Gerrard (73), Cole (78)

 

Sent-off:       None 

Ukraine:

(4-2-3-1)


12. Pyatov-  5,5/10  Came and dealt with crosses well, especially first half. Still looks vulnerable highlighted when he allowed Welbeck to deflect Gerrard's cross through his legs for Rooney to score.  

9. Gusev  6.5/10  Dedicated and committed. Did well up against Young, who beat him on occasions however. Got forwaard well again.

20 Rakitsky-  5/10  How Ukraine must hav been kicking themselves when he was named on the teamsheet. All over the place. Didn't know who he was marking. Couldn't handle Welbeck and Rooney. May not play again. Very poor. 

3. Khacheridi-  5.5/10  Kept the line well but struggled alongside his  partner. Did well physically against Welbeck but dragged all over the show.  

2. Selin-  6/10  Attacked well and defended well enough. Not really anything spectacular or anything to report. Slipped as Gerrard got past him for goal his only lapse. 

11. Yarmolenko-  7/10  Enjoyed watching him again. A huge threat the ball at his feet and ghosts past players. Finds the strikers well. Got a good end product too. Tested Hart with a shot. 

4. Tymoschuck (C)-  5/10  Was slow and sloppy in the centre of the park. Never looked like getting close to influencing the game. Booked for rash tackle on Parker. 

19. Konoplianka-  7/10  Always a threat too. Likes to take on - and beat players, having beaten Johnson on many occasions. Had a long range, fizzing drive that had Hart all over the place. 

6 Garmash-  5/10 Never seen him before and was one of thise players that bypass the radar. Did all the nitty-gritty stuff without being too influential. Not really the type of player they needed.   

15 Milievsky- 7.5/10  Worked had without finding a goal. Held the ball up well, and linked up well with his strike partner. Could have had a couple of goals but defence did well. Kept finding space between the defence and midfield.

22 Devic- 7.5/10  Didn't look tired; in fact he looked inspired. Did well in his first start of the tournament.  Helped to create chances for his team: ran into the corners, held the ball up and tested Lescott and Terry's resolve to the limit. Scored but the extra Assistant Referee ruled otherwise.

 

Substitutes bench:-  
1. Koval (GK), 5. Kucker, 6. Garmash, 8. Aliev, 13. Schevchuk, 20. Rakitskiy, 21. Butko, 23. Goryainov. 

 

Subs used:     

Shevchenko (for Devic- 70 mins)-  2.5/10  Energetic but no time really to have a chance to score. Got him himself booked though. 

Butko (for Milevskiy- 77 mins)-  1/10  Anonymous really. Didn't touch the ball. 

Nazarenko (for Garmash- 78 mins)-  2.5/10  Ran with the ball, and created some potential chances. Left it too late for his substitution.  

  

Booked:         Tymoschuk (63), Rakitskiy (74), Shevchenko (86)


Sent-off:         
None

My Man of the Match:    Wayne Rooney (England)- Rating 8.5/10

My Poorest Performer of the Match:   Yaroslav Rakitskiy (Ukraine)- Rating /10


Referee: Viktor Kassai (Hungary)- 8.5/10
Attendance: 51,504

 

 

Match Facts:


Possession:  England- 43%                       Ukraine- 57%

Shots at goal: England- 9                        Ukraine- 16

Shots on target: England- 4                       Ukraine- 5

Shots off target: England- 5                       Ukraine- 11

Corners: England- 6                       Ukraine- 10

Fouls: England- 12                       Ukraine- 11

Offsides: England- 2                       Ukraine- 2

Assists: England- Welbeck                     Ukraine- None

 

 

MANAGERS COMMENTS & REACTION:


England head coach Roy Hodgson:  "Getting out of the group was beyond my expectation. For us to get 2 victories and a draw probably exceeds everyone's expectations. We're very pleased to have won the group, it wasn't the easiest group to win. Ukraine have very goo players, France went undefeated for 23 games, and Sweden scored 2 past us, plus ending France's run. But we deserve it. [regarding the game] it was a very difficult game."

Wayne Rooney's view - click here

Steven Gerrard's thoughts - click here

 

Ukraine head coach Oleh Blokin:  "There are 5 referees on the pitch, one of whom was stood 5 yards away. The ball is 50 centimetres over the line. Write what you want [he said to Ukrainian reporters] you've seen it. Why do we need 5 referees if [Andy] Carroll plays with elbows or John Terry fouls from behind? I do not want to talk about referees; but I would not want to blame the referees."

 

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