Ukraine vs. England: Final score 0-0, England stay top after dire match

Clive Rose

The Three Lions ensured that they'll end this international break at the top of Group H by playing out a dire 0-0 draw in Ukraine. The result mattered more than the play, of course, and Ukraine is not an easy place to travel, but if anyone was hoping for a performance to quicken the heart, they were -- apart from a mirage-like opening spell -- sadly disappointed.

The match began in explosive fashion, and indeed might have begun with a penalty for the hosts. Yevhen Konoplyanka worked his way into space on the Ukrainian left and put in a low cross for Roman Zozulya which took a slight deflection before the striker was downed by an onrushing Joe Hart. To the bemusement of the hosts, the referee pointed to the corner flag rather than the spot.

There were chances at both ends of the pitch. Theo Walcott showed off his speed, burning Viacheslav Shevchuk and forcing Andriy Pyatov into a brave and rather painful stop, and Gary Cahill threatened repeatedly on set pieces. Meanwhile, Artem Fedetskyy missed a free header after a sublime cross from Konoplyanka.

But the excitement of the early stages did not continue past the 20 minute mark. It took fifty minutes of nothing football for anything more of note to happen -- Kyle Walker brought down Zozulya just outside the box to set up a close-range free kick which Phil Jagielka (barely) turned wide of Hart's far post. Then, from a corner, Fedetskyy sent a free header bouncing tamely into the ground and then the goalkeeper's midriff.

Walcot did have a half-chance in the dying minutes when Walker seized upon a defensive mistake, but he never looked likely to score. Frank Lampard then nodded a free header wide, missing out on the chance to grab a sure winner on the day of his 100th cap. England scoring, however, would have been a footballing injustice. This was a very poor game, and it deserved to be 0-0.

Which is how it ended.

Ukraine starting lineup (4-2-3-1): Andriy Pyatov; Viacheslav Shevchuk, Olexandr Kucher, Yevhen Khacheridi, Artem Fedetskyy; Taras Stepaneko, Edmar Aparesida; Oleg Gusev (Roman Bezus, 68'), Yevhen Konoplyanka, Andriy Yarmolenko; Roman Zozulya (Yevhen Seleznyov, 90').

England starting lineup (4-2-3-1): Joe Hart; Ashley Cole, Phil Jagielka, Gary Cahill, Kyle Walker; Frank Lampard, Steven Gerrard; James Milner, Jack Wilshere (Ashley Young, 68'), Theo Walcott (Tom Cleverley, 88'); Rickie Lambert.

Follow @SBNationSoccer on TwitterLike SB Nation Soccer on Facebook

More in Soccer:

Saying so long to the woefully incompetent Chepo de la Torre

Full coverage of UEFA World Cup qualifying

Will Manchester United’s Nike deal be a game-changer?

Watch: Training staffer interferes with Brazilian lower-league match

How the USA can qualify for the World Cup on Tuesday

Latest News

Log In Sign Up

Log In Sign Up

Forgot password?

We'll email you a reset link.

If you signed up using a 3rd party account like Facebook or Twitter, please login with it instead.

Forgot password?

Try another email?

Almost done,

By becoming a registered user, you are also agreeing to our Terms and confirming that you have read our Privacy Policy.


You must be a member of to participate.

We have our own Community Guidelines at You should read them.


You must be a member of to participate.

We have our own Community Guidelines at You should read them.




Choose an available username to complete sign up.

In order to provide our users with a better overall experience, we ask for more information from Facebook when using it to login so that we can learn more about our audience and provide you with the best possible experience. We do not store specific user data and the sharing of it is not required to login with Facebook.