England deserved at least a draw, claims Hodgson

The 65-year-old manager claimed the Three Lions created enough chances to beat Ukraine at Wembley, and questioned referee Cuneyt Cakir after captain Steven Gerrard was sent off

England manager Roy Hodgson has insisted that his side deserved at least a draw against Ukraine as a late Frank Lampard penalty spared the home side's blushes in a 1-1 stalemate at Wembley.

A wonder strike by Yevgeni Konoplianka in the first half looked to have secured all three points for Oleg Blohkin's men as the Three Lions laboured to find an opening, a stark contrast to their 5-0 demolition of Moldova last Friday.

However, Chelsea midfielder Lampard converted from the spot after substitute Danny Welbeck won an 86th-minute penalty - and it was no less than England deserved for the style in which they played, according to Hodgson.

"Had we lost it would have been very harsh, we certainly deserved at least a draw," Hodgson told ITV.

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"In general terms we went a goal down to a wonder goal but I was really pleased by the way we kept probing, we kept playing, we kept trying. We didn't resort to any hopeful long balls into the penalty area, we kept trying to play our way through."

When asked if referee Cuneyt Cakir cost England the chance of the win, Hodgson refused to lay the blame solely at the official's door yet questioned the number of cards he handed out in light of captain Steven Gerrard’s late dismissal for a second bookable offence.

"Obviously I'm disappointed, “he added. "I don't know too many people [who will disagree] that some of the yellow cards were a bit hard to take.

"If he [Gerrard] committed two fouls in the game I'd be surprised.

"We kept creating chances all the way throughout the game and luckily we got out our reward by getting an equaliser. Who knows, if Stephen had stayed on the field for the last ten minutes we might even have got the winner."

Hodgson did find time to salute the Ukrainians though, who battled well for a point at Wembley, concluding: "All credit to the Ukraine, they played well enough in the game. It was a good game of football - at least I'm happy we came out of it with something."