After a 4-0 win over Moldova, England couldn’t follow that up with another win against much more competitive opposition in Ukraine, and were held to a 0-0 draw.
UKRAINE 0-0 ENGLAND
It was a lively start to the game and Ukraine came out in full force from the off, with Joe Hart appearing to bring down Zozulya, although nothing was giving from the official. Shortly after, Theo Walcott found himself in behind the Ukraine back four, but Pyatov came out well to turn his effort behind for a corner. Then Gary Cahill had a header cleared off the line by Fedetskiy in what was an action-packed opening in Kiev. Ukraine were the more threatening and dangerous in the opening stages and gave England a few scares at the back, but they were unable to create that all-important opening that would lead to them going ahead. For a short while there was something of a quiet period in the game, with most of the action being in the middle of the park as both sides attempted to get a good string of passes together.
In the 33rd minute, England produced their best move of the match, Jack Wilshere fed James Milner on the left, who cut inside to tee-up Gerrard for a curling shot, which landed on the roof of the net. Unfortunately, England couldn’t build on that and never really threatened the Ukraine back-line after that, the final pass and cross was often poor.
The second half started in similar fashion to the first, at a relatively low tempo and neither side managing to carve open the opposition. England made their first change of the match midway through the second half, with Ashley Young replacing Jack Wilshere. This meant that James Milner moved into a central role alongside Lampard and Gerrard, installing a bit more energy and stability into that midfield. Konoplyanka lined up a free-kick just outside the box in the 71st minute and his strike wasn’t too far away; Jagielka’s touch was crucial.
The best chance of the night so far fell to full-back Fedetskiy he rose above everyone to head Konoplyanka’s corner towards goal, but it was straight at Joe Hart. Theo Walcott very nearly put England infront in the 82nd minute, he got the slightest of touches on Kyle Walker’s cross but fortunately for Ukraine, it went narrowly wide. In stoppage time, a glorious chance fell to Frank Lampard on his 100th cap, it was destined to go in, but it didn’t happen and he flashed his header wide of the mark.
So it finished 0-0 in Ukraine, a deserved point for both sides with not much in it. England remain top and should they manage to win their remaining games against Montenegro and Poland, then they will be on a plane to Brazil next summer.
UKRAINE: Pyatov, Fedetskiy, Khacheridi, Kucher (C), Shevchuk, Stepanenko, Edmar, Gusiev (Bezus), Yarmolenko (Khomchenovsky), Konoplyanka, Zozulya (Seleznyov).
ENGLAND: Hart, Walker, Cahill, Jagielka, Cole; Gerrard (C); Walcott (Cleverley), Wilshere (Young), Lampard, Milner; Lambert.
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