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September 12, 2012
• Wembley Stadium, London
Referee: C. Çakιr
• Attendance: 68102
F. Lampard 87'
Y. Konoplyanka 39'
For Roy Hodgson and his players the inquest starts here, but that's it from me. I've been Liam Twomey. You've been a wonderful audience. Goodnight!
No there isn't. Following the late dismissal of Steven Gerrard, England might be left with the impression that a draw is a decent result, but a host of missed chances suggests otherwise. Ukraine looked dangerous and scored an incredible opener through Andriy Konoplyanka, but also vulnerable, and Roy Hodgson will still consider this two points dropped.
90' + 3'
Yellow Card Glen Johnson
90' + 3'
England's ambition looks understandably stifled by the loss of their captain, and Ukraine are pushing for a winner. Glen Johnson concedes a needless free-kick on the left flank, but the hosts' manage to clear the danger. Surely there won't be another twist?
90' + 2'
RED CARD! The drama keeps coming. No sooner than England draw level, Steven Gerrard commits a silly foul on Denys Garmash and picks up his second booking of the evening. England will have to see this out without their captain.
Yellow/Red Steven Gerrard
Penalty Goal Frank Lampard
Yellow Card Yevhen Khacheridi
GOAL! England finally have their equaliser! After Yevhen Khacheridi handballs in his area, the referee points to the spot. Frank Lampard steps up and smashes home his ninth penalty in England colours - the most of any player. England are level, but both sides will see more goals in this for them.
Is it just one of those nights? Daniel Sturridge crosses low from the left and Danny Welbeck pokes on the volley against the post with Andriy Pyatov well beaten. Roy Hodgson pillages his hair on the touchline and another golden chance goes begging.
Yellow Card Denys Garmash
England look no nearer to an equaliser, but Danny Welbeck and Daniel Sturridge are at least making a nuisance of themselves in the final third with their energy and close control. Ukraine have never looked comfortable at the back tonight, but are drawing closer to the unlikeliest of clean sheets.
For his last substitution Roy Hodgson elects to bring on Ryan Bertrand for Leighton Baines. It's a slightly strange one, but perhaps the Chelsea man's pace and fresh legs will prove more useful at both ends in the closing stages. Moments later, Jermain Defoe fires well over from range, and the clock continues to tick down.
Yellow Card James Milner
Glen Johnson holds the world record for journeying from the sublime to the ridiculous and back again, and after an indifferent performance he almost pulls England back into the match with a jinking run and low left-footed shot which Andriy Pyatov just tips around the post. Roy Hodgson responds by replacing the ineffective Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain with Daniel Sturridge. He doesn't have too many cards left to play.
Yellow Card Joleon Lescott
England are beginning to look a little desperate here, trying passes which never really stand a chance of breaking through Ukraine's massed ranks. The visitors, for their part, seem more than happy to sit back and try and steal a second on the counter-attack. At present, it looks a fairly wise strategy.
With just over an hour gone, Roy Hodgson decides to substitute creativity for cutting edge. Tom Cleverley's frustrating evening comes to an end and Danny Welbeck, who many argued should have started this game, enters the fray. England need him - or someone - to deliver.
But England's backline looks no more convincing. Phil Jagielka's lack of pace is ruthlessly exposed by the increasingly impressive Andriy Konoplyanka, and only a last-ditch clearance from Leighton Baines denies Roman Zozulya a tap-in. The Three Lions' hopes of getting back into this are hanging in the balance.
Yellow Card Yevhen Selin
Ukraine's defence looks panicked every time England venture forward, but the hosts' final ball is letting them down. James Milner gains a dangerous free-kick after being felled just outside the penalty area on the right-hand side, but Steven Gerrard's tame centre is cleared easily.
Yellow Card Steven Gerrard
It's early days, but the second half looks set to be just as open as the first. Moments after Glen Johnson pokes an inviting low cross the length of the Ukraine penalty area which somehow evades all of his team-mates, Andriy Yarmolenko skins Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain and flashes a dangerous delivery of his own across the Three Lions box.
No doubt Roy Hodgson told his England players to impose themselves more at half-time, but it appears Jermain Defoe has taken these instructions a little too literally. The Tottenham man is once again a little to carefree with his flailing arms and earns a place in the referee's book.
Yellow Card Jermain Defoe
And we're back underway at Wembley. For those of you watching in black and white, Ukraine are the team in blue.
It's half-time at Wembley, and Andriy Konoplyanka's astonishing 38th-minute strike separates the sides. Ukraine have arguably edged the first half, but England - and in particular Tom Cleverley - will be wondering how they haven't troubled the scoresheet so far. There looks to be goals in this for England, but they cannot afford to suffer any more mistakes or another piece of brilliance.
England look understandably rattled but almost hit back on the stroke of half-time. Frank Lampard pulls a superb ball back from the right into Tom Cleverley unmarked in the box, but the Manchester United man misses his second guilt-edged chance of the evening as he skews wide. Moments later he almost redeems himself with a shot from the angle which crashes against the post. It's a strong response, and more of the same will be needed after the interval.
Assist Ruslan Rotan
Goal Yevhen Konoplyanka
GOAL! Just after England enjoy their first spell of prolonged possession of the match, Ukraine take the lead through an absolute peach from Andriy Konoplyanka. The Dnipro winger cuts inside from the left flank and unleashes a glorious effort which sails into the top corner with Joe Hart not even in the same postcode. One for the highlight reel, certainly.
Oh dear. Steven Gerrard curls a delightful ball into the Ukraine box and, after Jermain Defoe mysteriously heads back across the six-yard box rather than at goal, the onrushing Tom Cleverley even more mysteriously directs his volleyed effort straight into Andriy Pyatov's legs with the whole of the net to aim at. A moment to forget for the Manchester United youngster.
Right on cue, Ukraine serve a timely reminder of the threat they pose going forward. Yevhen Selin whips a lovely ball in from the left flank, and a stretching Denys Garmash directs his effort just over Joe Hart's goal.
England are starting to build some real momentum here. After James Milner forces a good sliding block from Yevhen Selin, Steven Gerrard plants the resulting corner right onto the head of Phil Jagielka at the back post, but the Everton man is unable to generate sufficient power in the header to open the scoring.
It's taken over 20 minutes, but England finally produce a bit of coherent, passing football. An incisive pass from Steven Gerrard finds Jermain Defoe with his back to goal on the edge of the box, and the Tottenham man improvises a superb back-flick which causes panic in the Ukraine defence before eventually running through to the grateful arms of Andriy Pyatov. Encouraging.
Tom Cleverley and Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain are buzzing around eagerly in the England midfield, but some sloppy passing and poor decision-making from those around them has ensured their influence has been minimal, and Jermain Defoe looks an isolated figure up front.
It appears both sides have silently agreed to take a little breather after a frantic few minutes. But Roy Hodgson will be less than pleased that it's still Ukraine who look more comfortable on the ball, controlling the pace and probing for openings.
Ukraine come roaring back, and after Yevhen Konoplyanka is tackled on the edge of the box, Ruslan Rotan's goal-bound shot is blocked by a flying Steven Gerrard. This is far from comfortable viewing, but it's utterly compelling so far.
Drama! Jermain Defoe bursts into life, brushing off the attentions of Andriy Yarmolenko before smashing the ball past Andriy Pyatov. Wembley erupts, but the joy is short-lived as the referee judges Defoe fouled Yarmolenko in the build-up. In truth, it would have been a goal England have done nothing to deserve.
Ukraine have lost four of their previous five meetings with England, but you wouldn't know it tonight. One determined Glen Johnson run aside, they've made all the early play, and might already be in front were it not for a couple of lucky bounces inside the England penalty area.
Ukraine have started brightly here, stroking the ball around confidently and pinning England inside their own half. They were almost rewarded with an extremely fortunate opener when Oleg Gusev's in-swinging cross almost deceived Joe Hart, curling just beyond the far post. Nervy times.
And we're underway at Wembley. For those of you watching in black and white, England are the team in white.
Wembley is full - well, as full as it looks like it's going to get - the players are on the pitch, the anthems have been sung, and kickoff is just moments away. Excited?
One man particularly looking to impress tonight is Steven Gerrard. Against a backdrop of public appetite for an overhaul of the England old guard, the Liverpool skipper will be hoping to prove he still merits his place as he gains his 98th cap for his country.
The Three Lions impressed on Friday against what was, in international terms, the equivalent of a village team, but Ukraine are a considerably more formidable prospect. They still feel aggrieved that Marko Devic's 'ghost goal' was not allowed to stand during this summer's Euro 2012 clash, and were the last team to beat England in a qualifying match back in 2009. Whether they cause as many problems tonight remains to be seen, but we should at least be treated to a genuine contest.
So it seems Roy Hodgson has stuck largely with the same side which destroyed Moldova on Friday. Everton's Phil Jagielka has been picked over Gary Cahill as the man to partner Joleon Lescott in the absence of the injured John Terry, while youngsters Tom Cleverley and Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain are again tasked with providing the service for Jermain Defoe.
Ukraine: Pyatov; Rotan, Khacheridi, Rakitskiy, Selin; Tymoschuk, Garmash; Yarmolenko, Gusev, Konoplyanka; Zozulya. Subs: Koval, Shevchuk, Bezus, Mandzyuk, Nazarenko, Stepanenko, Butko, Devic, Dykan
England: Hart; Johnson, Lescott, Jagielka, Baines; Lampard, Gerrard; Milner, Cleverley, Oxlade-Chamberlain; Defoe. Subs: Walker, Ruddy, Bertrand, Cahill, Carrick, Livermore, Lallana, Sturridge, Welbeck, Sterling, Butland.
Good evening and welcome to Goal.com's live commentary of England against Ukraine. My name is Liam Twomey, and I'll be taking you through all the action as Roy Hodgson's men look to continue their winning start to their 2014 World Cup qualifying campaign.
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