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World Cup qualifying: England 1 Ukraine 1

12 September 2012 00:10

England needed a late Frank Lampard penalty to salvage a 1-1 draw against Ukraine in World Cup qualifying at Wembley.

Lampard spared the hosts' blushes with an 87th-minute spot kick following some late pressure from Roy Hodgson's team.

But it failed to dispel the impression that they had been taught a lesson in technique and passing by the Euro 2012 co-hosts.

The difference between the teams was Yevhen Konoplyanka, the Ukraine midfielder, who not only scored a stunning goal in the 38th minute from 30 yards but caused panic in the hosts' jittery defence every time he sprang forward.

Oleg Blokhin's team were good value for their lead for 49 minutes but England's late pressure eventually told, with Danny Welbeck producing an impressive cameo as a second-half substitute

England skipper Steven Gerrard was sent off shortly before the final whistle for a second bookable offence.

Ukraine began the brighter of the two teams in a marked shift from the almost total dominance England enjoyed four days previously against group H minnows Moldova.

Ruslan Rotan had a goal-bound side-footer well blocked by Gerrard as the visitors made confident use of their early territorial dominance.

England were comfortable with the ball but far too generous to their visitors without it. In the 38th minute Ukraine took full advantage.

Glen Johnson was caught up field after a typically adventurous raid forward, leaving Konoplyanka space in which to run at Joe Hart's goal.

Konoplyanka cut in field from the left flank and was able to arrow a brilliant 30-yard strike into the far corner of Joe Hart's goal as Gerrard, noticeably the deeper of England's midfielders, stretched in vain to intercept his shot.

Either side of the wonder goal, Tom Cleverley missed two opportunities that could have given England a stranglehold on the game.

The Manchester United midfielder made it a hat-trick of missed opportunities when his miss-hit from a tight angle on the cusp of half-time thudded against the post.

Ukraine continued to keep the ball well and offer enough going forward for England to venture forward somewhat gingerly.

Cleverley's disappointing match ended in the 62nd minute when he was replaced by Welbeck, who immediately took up a station on the left flank, something he has also had to get used to at club level this season.

The United forward was soon joined by Daniel Sturridge and, more surprisingly, Ryan Bertrand, as Hodgson made early use of his full quota of replacements.

England upped their intensity and Johnson shot wide after slaloming in from the right before Welbeck saw a shot with the outside of his boot rebound off the post.

Shortly after Roman Zozulia came within inches of doubling Ukraine's lead, sustained pressure from England led to a penalty-box melee culminating in Welbeck's shot hitting the hand of Yevgen Khacheridi.

Up stepped Lampard, the Chelsea man thumping home his second spot-kick in four days to earn a share of the points.

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