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European Championship

  • June 19, 2012
  • • 19:45
  • • Donbass Arena, Donets'k
  • Referee: V. Kassai
  • • Attendance: 48700

Live Commentary

  • I'm going to wrap this LIVE up now. Commiserations Ukraine, congratulations England. I hope you've had a top notch evening and thanks for keeping me company throughout this Euro 2012 game!
  • What say you lot? Angry at Ukraine's disallowed goal? Excited for England's clash with Mario Balotelli and chums? Relieved after the Three Lions managed not to screw up too much for a change? Let me know in the chat box on the right!
  • Full-time! England 1-0 Ukraine! Wayne Rooney scored the only goal in a controversial win that looks set to let them win Group D and set-up a quarter-final fixture against Italy. The eastern Europeans actually equalised midway through the second half but the effort was wrongly ruled to have been kept in play by a brilliant John Terry leap. Ukraine may have exited the tournament in the group stages but they have gone out with dignity and deserved more based on that resilient performance.
  • 90' + 3'
    Three Lions fans in the Donbass Arena hear the news and duly celebrate. Fans of the Euro 2012 co-hosts, contrastingly, look fed up and disheartened.
  • 90' + 2'
    By the way, Sweden are beating France 2-0 now. England look guaranteed to win Group D!
  • 90' + 1'
    A clever left-footed effort from Yarmolenko after a great run from Konoplyanka just dips over the crossbar for an England goal-kick. Ukraine continue to be unlucky tonight.
  • 90'
    And we have...3 minutes of stoppage time at the Donbass Arena.
  • 89'
    Oxlade-Chamberlain got a bit greedy - he should've passed sideways on the break for an open and unmarked Walcott.
  • 88'
    A goal is unlikely to make a difference for Ukraine at this rate, as a point wouldn't let them leapfrog France in the table. They're playing for pride in Donetsk now.
  • 87'
    SubstitutionWayne Rooney Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain
  • 87'
    And from the pause in play, Rooney comes off for Oxlade-Chamberlain. A free-kick on the left 50 yards from goal for the Three Lions.
  • 86'
    Yellow Card Andriy Shevchenko
  • 86'
    Shevchenko gets a deserved yellow card for a scything tackle on Ashley Young.
  • 85'
    Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain is about to become England's third substitution I'm hearing. In the meantime, England are on the back foot and praying Ukraine cannot permeate their back four/eight.
  • 84'
    Gerrard is crowded out in the middle of the park and Ukraine attack. The struggle to find an opening in England's tight defence though and Blokhin's men are skipping around the peripherals of Hodgson's camped men.
  • 83'
    Looks like England will stick to the long ball for the remainder of this tie if the first few seconds after Carrol's inclusion is anything to go on...
  • 82'
    SubstitutionDanny Welbeck Andy Carroll
  • 82'
    Danny Welbeck is coming off for England striking team-mate Andy Carroll.
  • 81'
    Serhiy Nazarenko, who came on moments ago, fires over from 30 yards as the eastern Europeans continue their pursuit of a goal.
  • 80'
    This could be Andriy Shevchenko's last 10 minutes in a Ukraine jersey. Can he change that fate and contribute to an equaliser and even a winner in the Donbass Arena? Or do England have this one wrapped up?
  • 78'
    Yellow Card Ashley Cole
  • 78'
    SubstitutionDenys Garmash Serhiy Nazarenko
  • 78'
    Sweden still lead France 1-0 in the other game, by the way. England, at this rate, will top the group on seven points; ahead of France on four points; ahead of Ukraine on three points; and ahead of Sweden also on three points.
  • 77'
    SubstitutionArtem Milevsky Bohdan Butko
  • 77'
    Bohdan Butko on for Artyom Milevskiy for Ukraine. A right-back on for a striker in effect, but you can imagine it will free up the right wing for Gusev to roam. He's been looking dangerous all game.
  • 76'
    Have you seen the Ukraine "goal" yet? Do you believe it should have been given? Let me know in the chat box on the right folks!
  • 75'
    Rooney at the far post from Gerrard's corner..!! But it's saved by Pyatov and saved confidently too.
  • 74'
    Yellow Card Yaroslav Rakytskyy
  • 73'
    Yellow Card Steven Gerrard
  • 73'
    Joleon Lescott is the England defender to save their bacon this time! The Man City centre-back has to react quickly to prevent any nibbling Ukrainian's from scoring from Konoplyanka's semi-saved shot.
  • 72'
    Yokhin writes: "Here he is! Shevchenko enters the game for the last 20 minutes. Unless Ukraine score twice, you are watching the last 20 games of Sheva in the national shirt."
  • 71'
    As Ukraine continue to pour forward in search of an equaliser in the Donbass Arena, I'm hearing reports that there was a Ukraine offside leading up to their "goal". Still, the decision not to give that strike as a goal considering it was over the line is ridiculous. Another thing to throw into the goalline technology argument.
  • 70'
    SubstitutionMarko Devic Andriy Shevchenko
  • 70'
    SubstitutionJames Milner Theo Walcott
  • 70'
    Walcott on for Milner by England boss Hodgson, and Shevchenko on for Devic by Ukraine boss Blokhin.
  • 69'
    Michael Yokhin, our Ukraine expert, writes: "Frank Lampard is undoubtedly smiling now at home in front of TV. This time England are on the "right" side of a goal not allowed. What are the additional referees for on the line?!"
  • 68'
    Ashley Cole almost scores his first goal for England on his 97th cap! The left-back side vollies it wide via a deflection from 10 yards after Rooney pressured Pyatov into flapping at the ball instead of catching it.
  • 67'
    Welbeck has struggled tonight. Hodgson ought to haul him off for Carroll, who would have more physical presence.
  • 66'
    Ukraine fans have every right to be as fuming as England fans were two years ago when Frank Lampard's "equaliser" against Germany was ruled not to have gone over the line despite everyone in the ground except the officials seeing it go over the line.
  • 64'
    After Terry's clearance, by the way, England countered and almost broke into the Ukraine box, but Parker was brought tumbling to the ground by Tymoshchuk.
  • 63'
    Yellow Card Anatoliy Tymoshchuk
  • 63'
    ...yep, you guessed it, it was actually over the line. Ukraine should be level. So much for that extra official being of use this tournament. What a poor decision from him. But what brilliant defending from Terry nonetheless. I feel for Ukraine though, I really do.
  • 62'
    What an unbelievable passage of play, and an unbelievable off-the-line clearance from Terry. Devic makes his way into the box and fires towards Hart, who can't deflect it away from target. In charges Terry, who flips his body to boot it away off the line, but...
  • 61'
    A golden chance for Ukraine! Artyom Milevskiy, who has had little to do all game, has a header, unmarked (albeit slightly offside which goes unnoticed), but he nods over the bar.
  • 60'
    Goldman, our man in Donetsk, says: "A worrying trend by Ukraine, as they conceded a goal at the start of the second half in each of their three games in the tournament."
  • 59'
    England have found a new spring in their step - this game is really pinging between dominant sides. Ukraine have the ball back after a careless Rooney foul in the opposition 18-yard box though.
  • 58'
    Gerrard's sloppy pass to Johnson has him cursing under his breath after he amends for his error and tackles for a Ukraine throw-in.
  • 57'
    Yokhin notes: "A worrying trend by Ukraine, as they conceded a goal at the start of the second half in each of their three games in the tournament." Very Republic of Ireland-esque.
  • 56'
    A teasing delivery from Young on the left but it's a couple of feet too high for the leaping Rooney and a few feet too far ahead of the sprinting Milner.
  • 55'
    BIG NEWS. Sweden have taken the lead against France! The French would still go through, however, if the scores in both games remain the same.
  • 54'
    A sublime counter attack by England. Gerrard notices Ukraine have no-one back after a corner, and slices forwards for Rooney, but he's caught by Yarmolenko. He passes back for Milner but the Manchester City man semi-slices his effort into an opposition body. Unlucky from England. Ukraine, on the other hand, need to be more careful with how many players they send up for corners.
  • 53'
    The first signs of weeping Ukrainians in the crowd are emerging. Hold those tears back for now folks, all this pressure you're piling on could easily result in a goal back in Donetsk...
  • 52'
    Our Ukraine expert Michael Yokhin writes: "What a tragedy for Pyatov! The best performer by a distance in the first two games, the keeper is the one to blame for Rooney's goal, making a complete mess of Gerrard's cross. Could Shovkovskiy or Dykan stop it if they were fit?"
  • 51'
    Replays show Gerrard's goal-assisting cross took three deflections on its way to Rooney's head!
  • 50'
    Now England are being instantly pinned back by Ukraine. A couple of harmless corners are followed by hassle along the right flank.
  • 48'
    Assist Steven Gerrard
  • 48'
    Goal Wayne Rooney
    GOAL!! WAYNE ROONEY!! Steven Gerrard swings a wicked cross in after a semi-cleared corner from the England right, Andriy Pyatov fumbles his save and the England striker is waiting at the back post to nod in from one yard. The simplest goal he'll ever score but he, and every England fan, won't care! England 1-0 Ukraine!
  • 48'
    Keep up your score, goalscorer and sub suggestions in the chat box on the right by the way. Urge whichever team you're supporting on for the win too!
  • 47'
    No substitutes from either side at half-time, I might add. Expect some alterations in 15 minutes or so.
  • 46'
    ...and England get the game under way.
  • This will most likely be the final 45 minutes for one of these sides. Who will qualify for the quarter-finals from this match. At least one of England and Ukraine will do. Here we go...
  • Our Ukraine expert Michael Yokhin gives his half-time summary: "Most certainly the best 45 minutes by Ukraine in the tournament, and they will feel desperately unlucky not to be ahead. Shevchenko is obviously missed as a fear factor, but Devych is more mobile than him, and he poses many difficulties to the England defence. The gamble on Garmash is working out brilliantly so far, and Rakitskiy is obviously a better defender than Mykhalik - there is no surprise here. Milevskiy is working hard, but his contribution should be more significant after the break if Ukraine are to find a breakthrough. Overall, great performance by the midfield, Konoplyanka and Selin are interacting really well on the left, while Yarmolenko and Gusev are trying to do likewise on the right, but the pair of Ashleys are having a good game there."
  • Many of you shouting for Andy Carroll to be brought on. The Liverpool striker scored a scorching header against Sweden - could he pull off something similar in tonight's match?
  • Alex Daniale writes in our chat box: "This game needs young Gunners." Well, funny you say that, because Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain or Theo Walcott could provide a much-needed boost to England's right wing. Who do you want to see brought on or off in the second half by Hodgson? Let me know using the chat box on the right!
  • On the other hand, England are also one goal away from topping the group. Hodgson will need to inspire his troops at half-time though as they didn't look brilliant in the first 45 minutes.
  • Ukraine, to their absolute benefit, were the better side for the majority of the half. One goal is without a doubt within reach and they could top the group with a 1-0 win at this rate because France and Sweden is also currently 0-0 in Kiev.
  • One of my colleagues has just noted "Well that was more like it, a proper england performance" and he's so very, very spot-on. They just cannot do things the easy way can the inventors of this beautiful game.
  • England and Ukraine head in level on half-time in what has been a defensively-minded performance from the Three Lions. Blokhin's men have looked more likely to score but Rooney had the pick of the chances - he should have scored when unmarked at the back post from Young's cross on the left. All square we remain, however, and with everything to play for!
  • 45'
    As I just noted in the chat box on the right (JOIN IN!!!), Theo Walcott would be a good sub to bring on at half-time. England's right wing has been scarcely employed and Milner is looking anonymous for the third match in a row.
  • 44'
    Ha, replays show Parker tried to tackle Yarmolenko with his head after crumbling into a heap from being twisted around. A bit dangerous!
  • 43'
    Yarmolenko practically ties Parker in a knot with his dribbling! The England man fell to the floor as the Ukraine winger teases, twists and turns his way into Three Lions' box before winning a corner for his efforts.
  • 41'
    The Euro 2012 broadcaster shows a montage of players licking their lips, such is the lack of action in this one. It's coming though ladies and gents, I'm sure it's coming, in this half or the next...
  • 40'
    I've just realised how Ukraine and England look very similar defensively. Two flat lines of four that aren't pressing heavily when off the ball but are holding their position religiously. Yes, this is quite a defensive game at the moment, as the Mexican wave rippling around the stadium shows.
  • 38'
    Gerrard swings a deft ball down the middle for the rushing Young but Khacheridi deals with the through-ball and passes it back to his goalkeeper who hoofs it away.
  • 37'
    England are trying to press Ukraine back at the moment. Who do you believe will break the deadlock tonight?
  • 36'
    Contrary to comments in the chat box, England aren't playing "nasty or "ugly", but they are being forced to defend by energetic opponents. A goal is definitely lurking in this tie somewhere down the line...
  • 35'
    Our Ukraine expert Michael Yokhin writes: "This is undoubtedly the best start by Ukraine in the tournament. They have been much less active against Sweden in the first half, not to mention the poor game throughout against France. On the other hand, a sucker punch by England, which almost happened with Rooney header, could be psychologically devastating."
  • 34'
    Devic is looking devious in the England box. Passed in by Gusev intelligently, his dummy then chipped cross from the byline inside the right half of the box is nodded away by Joleon Lescott nods, and England clear their lines once more.
  • 32'
    Terry's header flies acres over the bar from Gerrard's swerving corner. Ukraine have another goal-kick
  • 31'
    Young curls a shot from 30 yards, after cutting in from the left wing, but his shot deflects off the head of Yevhen Khacheridi for an England corner.
  • 30'
    And just as I write that, Yarmolenko is denied a goal in the bottom left-hand corner from just inside the box by the hands of Hart. Great attacking passing from Ukraine, and they very nearly earned a goal.
  • 29'
    Ukraine's attacking threat has been nullified in these last 10 minutes. That's not to say they've been forced out the game, but England have definitely upped the ante to prevent any bombardment of their goal.
  • 28'
    Rooney!! No!! Ashley Young swings in a delightful ball from the left with his right foot but the Manchester United man - unmarked in the box - skims his header wide of the right post. He'll be gutted with that one. It remains 0-0 in Donetsk.
  • 27'
    Great pressing from Gerrard on Yarmolenko to force a passing error. England are gifted the ball as a result.
  • 26'
    Another long free-kick is launched into the box, but the danger in this one is significantly lessened and Ukraine easily win a goal-kick.
  • 25'
    Plenty of England negativity in the chat tonight! Why do you believe the Three Lions will be eliminated tonight? A poor performance, or a great Ukraine one perhaps? Let me know in the chat box on your right-hand side!
  • 24'
    Yowzers! Rooney is a few hairs away from nodding that past the tentative Pyatov, but the Ukrainian keeper fumbles it behind instead for an England corner. A superbly low free-kick from Gerrard there.
  • 23'
    Glen Johnson wins a free-kick 40 yards from Ukraine's goal when Konoplyanka sends him tumbling to the ground.
  • 22'
    Oleh Gusev!! The full-back almost smashes a 25-yard strike into the back of the net!! The Ukrainian's screamer skims the top of Hart's bar. A few inches lower and the Euro 2012 co-hosts would have led.
  • 21'
    Our England expert tonight, Rob Stewart, writes: "They say that attack is the best form of defence and for England's sakes it is to be hoped that is true because Roy Hodgson's back four looks decidedly shaky and they are already sitting way too deep and the game has barely started. They are playing a dangerous game then they invite pressure in such a manner but that is what happens when you have a defender like John Terry as your defensive lynchpin because his lack of pace means he has to sit deep or otherwise he could be beaten for speed every time an attacker ran at him."
  • 20'
    Plenty of boos from the crowd whenever England have possession. The band that follows the Three Lions all over the world can still be faintly heard in between Ukraine attacks, on the other hand.
  • 19'
    Our Ukraine expert Michael Yokhin believes: "Hodgson's gamble on Milner instead of Walcott is more cautious on paper, but in reality it gives Selin much more opportunities to move forward, not being afraid to leave spaces behind him, and Ukraine look dangerous down the left."
  • 18'
    Terry's left shoulder bone blocks what could have been a goal for Konoplyanka, who struck from 25 yards out, and whose rebound is also shot and blocked towards Joe Hart's general direction.
  • 17'
    An ultra-ambitious ball from Garmash is miles too heavy for Yarmolenko. The Ukraine centre midfielder gets an earful from his team-mates for the poor pass.
  • 16'
    Will Ukraine's current attacking resilience last all match? Let me know in the chat box on the right. I want to hear your thoughts on how this match will pan out!
  • 15'
    Pyatov flaps away Gerrard's decent corner and Ukraine try to counter, to no avail as Yarmolenko sees a long ball dribble past him on the right flank.
  • 14'
    Our Ukraine expert Michael Yokhin says: "A very promising start by Garmash, whose main job seems to be to mark Rooney when he is dropping deep. Up to now the young midfielder is up to the task, and he even has time to join attacking efforts as well. Good gamble by Blokhin."
  • 13'
    Milevskiy and Marko Devic almost benefit from Yevhen Selin's work down the Ukraine left, but both their shots are blocked by Three Lions' bodies.
  • 12'
    Some cute passing from England on the left around the box. Rooney, Cole and Welbeck almost combined to swing to ball in for Milner, but Cole was slipping when he crossed and Ukraine's goalkeeper, Andriy Pyatov, collects the loose ball.
  • 11'
    Wayne Rooney made a poor touch on the halfway line seconds ago, gifting the ball back to Ukraine after fine aerial work from Welbeck. It's unsurprising he's rusty, he's barely played in the last month.
  • 10'
    James Goldman, our man inside the Donbass Arena, writes: "England have not exactly raced out of the traps here. They’ve hardly been able to put three passes together and their opponents, by contrast, look lively and inventive."
  • 9'
    Yarmolenko is put through on goal...but his first touch on the edge of the box lets him down and Terry swoops in to tackle and clear.
  • 8'
    England have rarely ventured more than a few steps inside the Ukraine half with ball, but they look disciplined at least in defence.
  • 7'
    Denis Garmash sends a shot narrowly over the top-right of the England target. A warning shot of the danger Ukraine can pose from long distance...
  • 6'
    John Terry is forced into a first-time clearance from Yevhen Konoplyanka on the Ukraine left.
  • 5'
    Remember, our chat box on the right-hand side allows you to have your say on this match! Danny Welbeck is penalised for fouling Ukraine defender Yaroslav Rakitskiy 50 yards from the England goal.
  • 4'
    What score do you see this game finishing as guys and girls? Ukraine have seen most of the ball but we're only four minutes in!
  • 3'
    Steven Gerrard leaps high to win a header on the halfway line but Ukraine retain possession. Nothing major in the opening salvos, as is normally the case. Plenty of nerves out there too I expect.
  • 2'
    Andriy Yarmolenko slips the ball forward to Artyom Milevskiy but Ashley Cole gets there first and clears it for a throw-in to the blues.
  • 1'
    Ukraine kick-off in their dark blue kit against England dressed all in white.
  • Our man at the stadium, James Goldman, adds: "The noise is absolutely deafening inside the Donbass Arena, with England’s fans very much playing their part. I’d say there are about 3,500 of them housed away to my right, but they are going to have their work cut out to be heard this evening. Silencing the home crowd will be the first job of these England players."
  • Only seconds until this one starts. One talismanic forward returns (Rooney) while another sits out with a knee injury (Shevchenko). Will either of those team changes prove to have a significant say on this game?
  • Ukraine's national anthem next. Not as many players belting this one out, but the chorus from the crowd is certainly louder. I'm getting a little giddy about this one. Are you? Scoreline predictions folks?! Goalscorers?! Let me know on the right in the chat box!!
  • Say what you want about John Terry, he's a mammoth of a man in an England shirt and always gives his all. He certainly belts out a national anthem like a boss too - outsinging everyone else during 'God Save The Queen'.
  • And they're out! No pouring rain tonight in Donetsk. The first national anthem to blare out is...England's!
  • All 22 starting players are lined up in the tunnel. The game is just seven minutes from starting. Grab those munchies, prepare your nerves and get ready for an absolute feast of Group D football!
  • Both sets of fans are looking jubilant in the Donbass Arena at the moment. I can pretty much guarantee this will not be the case in two hours time.
  • Right, so: if France and England both win by the same margin of goals tonight, the French will finish top of the group. If they don't, well, I'll explain that when we come to it! If England and Ukraine draw and France lose, the French will still go through because of their their superior head-to-head record against Ukraine. Oleg Blokhin's bunch basically need to win tonight to progress, unless I've suddenly become appalling at mathematics! England can lose and still go through as long as France lose by more against Sweden. Are your brains itching yet? Mine is...
  • Omens also favour England, I might add. The Three Lions have won three out of four matches against Ukraine and, unlike their opponents tonight, Hodgson’s men will be through to the quarter-finals with a draw. I’ll explain who might meet who in my next post. It’s not as mind-bogglingly complicated as Group C, but it’s still a bit of a head-scratcher.
  • I’ve spoken to many a merry Englishman today and all have been mentally preparing for a quarter-final against the Italians or the Spaniards. But Ukraine have recent history with the English - in their 2010 World Cup qualifying group they beat the Three Lions on home turf. Considering they are Euro 2012 co-hosts I think we can safely consider they will have a similar home advantage tonight. (My previous fun fact ignored for a moment!) Should we be expecting a hiccup from Hodgson’s men? Let me know what you think in the chat on the right!
  • Fun fact (unless you're Ukrainian...): the eastern Europeans have played six game in Donetsk before but haven't won once.
  • James Goldman,'s correspondent in Donetsk this evening, writes: "I can’t be sure of numbers yet, but I can conclusively receal there’ll be more England fans here than there were French ones the other night. One section of the middle tier has now been adorned with flags proudly displaying the names of such English glamour spots as Stocksfield, Fleet and Monks Brook."
  • Rooney has Manchester United team-mate Danny Welbeck alongside him on the front. Welbeck scored a beautiful winner in the Three Lions’ 3-2 win over Sweden last Friday. It’d be good to see more moments of magic from players of either European nation tonight.
  • Rooney has Manchester United team-mate Danny Welbeck alongside him on the front. Welbeck scored a beautiful winner in the Three Lions’ 3-2 win over Sweden last Friday. It’d be good to see more moments of magic from players of either European nation tonight.
  • Up front, Wayne Rooney makes his long-awaited return to the Euros. Eight years ago he burst onto the global scene by taking Euro 2004 by storm, but an injury picked up against Portugal culminated in the Three Lions getting knocked out in the quarter-finals to the hosts. Since then he has gone two World Cups without scoring however, and didn’t feature at Euro 2008 because England didn’t qualify. Will we see a return to goalscoring form on the top international stage once more?
  • A slight surprise in midfield: Theo Walcott - the catalyst for the country’s revival against Sweden on Friday evening - has not been picked ahead of James Milner or Ashley Young, who were largely indifferent against the Swedes. Steven Gerrard and Scott Parker predictably maraud about the centre of midfield - no surprises there. Would you have started with Walcott or Milner/Young? Or would you even have thrown Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain back into the mix?
  • In defence? No changes from the past two games. Joleon Lescott partners former England captain John Terry in the centre, while Glen Johnson legs it up and down the right full-back channel and Ashley Cole does the same on the left. Simple stuff!
  • This time two years ago England boss Fabio Capello was picking Robert Green or David James to play in goal for their country - the former plying his trade at the swampy end of the Premier League, the other just relegated. Two years later and Hodgson is able to call on Manchester City’s title winning shot-stopper Joe Hart at least.
  • Another quick look at the line-up from Michael Yokhin before I waddle onto the England bunch: "Left-back Yevhen Selin, who was criticized for his performance against Jeremy Menez, keeps his place in the starting lineup, and he will undoubtedly be delighted to see James Milner starting ahead of Theo Walcott, meaning his life at the start of the game at least will be a bit less hectic."
  • Players that survived Ukraine's changes that haven't yet been mentioned are full-backs Yevhen Selin and Oleh Gusev, centre-back Yevhen Khacheridi, Bayern Munich man Anatoliy Tymoshchuk, and midfielders Yevhen Konoplyanka and Andriy Yarmolenko. Phwoar. My spelling ability was tested to the maximum in this post!
  • Another look at the Ukraine changes from Michael Yokhin: "Denis Garmash replacing Serhiy Nazarenko is a defensive-minded move. Garmash is a typical destroyer, who is less prominent in building attacking play and shooting from distance, like Nazarenko did. Finally, it is Artyom Milevskiy who starts ahead of Andriy Voronin, who seemingly disappointed Blokhin in the game against France and was substituted at half-time. Milevskiy is very talented, but frustratingly inconsistent, and you never know what you are gonna get from him."
  • Interesting. The Donbass Arena was severely lacking in Shakhtar Donetsk players in their 2-0 loss against France. A reason for their poor performance perhaps? Do you think the Euros co-hosts can pull something out the bag tonight? Let me me know in the chat box on the right!
  • More knowledgeable yapping from Yokhin: "The most interesting and surprising move, though, is Blokhin's decision to break the theory that only pair of team-mates can be used in central defence. While Yevhen Khacheridi keeps his place, his Dinamo Kiev partner Taras Mykhalyk is replaced by Shakhtar Donetsk's rising star Yaroslav Rakitskiy. Rakitskiy is undoubtedly the best young stopper Ukraine produced in the last years, and Blokhin reluctance to use him was severely criticised. There is no doubt Donetsk crowd will be delighted to see their second player on the field, in addition to keeper Andriy Pyatov."
  • First, let’s look at Ukraine’s line-up shall we? I’ll let's expert on the side, Michael Yokhin, talk you through the changes: "Blokhin makes four changes from the previous games. The most significant and eye-catching is, of course, the absence of Andriy Shevchenko who decided that he is unfit to start. Marko Devych, the versatile Serbian-born striker, replaces him."
  • Ukraine: Pyatov; Gusev, Rakitskiy, Khacheridi, Selin; Garmash, Tymoshchuk, Konoplyanka, Yarmolenko; Milevskiy, Devic.
  • England: Hart; Johnson, Lescott, Terry, Cole; Milner, Gerrard, Parker, Young; Welbeck, Rooney.
  • Line-up time!!!
  • I’m Miles Chambers and I’ll be your not-very-Himalayan Sherpa for this play-by-play. I actually covered Ukraine’s last match against France when the weather in Donetsk decided it wanted to troll all over Uefa’s competition with a torrential thunderstorm for an hour. I’m hearing reports of perfect footballing conditions tonight at the Donbass Arena at least - fingers crossed!
  • What a game have got in store for you tonight! England aim to knock out Euro 2012 co-hosts Ukraine in their final group match, and it is make or break for both teams. A win for either side would result in qualification for the quarter-finals; a defeat and they’ll likely be miserably making their way towards the nearest flight home (or, for Oleg Blokhin’s bunch, hitching a ride home from whoever will drive them).