England Poor But Beat Ukraine 1-0 And Win The Group


England played a defensive game against the Ukraine tonight, and were a little lucky to win, with a Wayne Rooney goal after 48 minutes, but in truth it was a poor performance from the England side.

Wayne Rooney after heading in England’s winner

And with France surprisingly losing to Sweden 2-0,  with good goals from  Ibrahimovic and Larsson,   England rather easily won Group D with 7 points, and will now play Italy in the quarter finals.

But England did an excellent job of lowering expectations with their performance tonight, and if they are to advance against Italy, England will need to attack and try to win the ball,  now and again.

The England results have been just fine, but the performances haven’t been all that good and tonight it as a sub-standard performance from the English side.

England started this game as they started the second half against Sweden,  and ceded possession to Ukraine from the first whistle, and that’s always a very dangerous game to play, because as the opposition gets more and more possession, their confidence rises and of course the home crowd gets pumped up.

That’s what happened in the first half,  as Ukraine attacked England  and had a number of decent chances, that a fit Andriy Shevchenko would have dispatched, but the Ukrainian captain didn’t come on until mid-way through the second half, and didn’t look too fit either.

Even though England were on the defensive for much of the first half, it looked like England had decided to play a defensive game from the off, and the first half has to be the worst half England have played at Euro 2012.

But even though England defended for much of the first 45 minutes, Wayne Rooney had the best chance, when he should have scored with a header after 28 minutes, after a great cross from captain Steven Gerrard.

It was as if England couldn’t play any worse than they did in that first half and true enough, after only 3 minutes of the second half, the Ukraine goalkeeper let a Steven Gerrard  cross through his hands, and Rooney was there to head the ball home to give England the lead.

That was the first goal Rooney had scored in a major tournament since 2004, when he was 18 years old – so it was good for Wayne to break that streak and it should give him confidence.

And just after Rooney scored we heard that a terrific goal from Zlatan Ibrahimovic had put Sweden 1-0 up against France, and so things were looking pretty good for England.

Ukraine came at England continuously in the second half, and only a fantastic goal line clearance from John Terry saved England after 62 minutes, when he hooked the ball off the line.

Buit TV replays showed the ball was actually over the line, and another embarrassment for football in a major tournament – when are they going to use some goal line technology?

Indeed if fortune favors the brave then Ukraine should have won this game, because at least they went for the win, which of course they needed – to advance.

That “goal” that Terry saved  would have made it 1-1,  and surely Ukraine would have come after England.

England brought on Theo Walcott to replace James Milner, and Andy Carroll replaced Welbeck late in the game,  and England had a number of quick breakaways, and should have taken some of the chances they created.

But it was another defensive display by England, against a much weaker side than France – and hopefully against Italy, England may will attack the opposition.

England can play a lot better than they showed tonight – we certainly hope so – and at least goalkeeper Joe Hart was good for England, and the back four didn’t make any silly mistakes, and it’s hard to do better than  win your group and take 7 points from the three games.

Now if only England can start playing well. 😀

Comments welcome.



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77 comments so far

  • Spuggy

    Jun 19, 2012 at 10:12 PM

    Comment #1

    The Euro’s start for real in the knockout stages, much more exciting and better quality!

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  • GeordieToon89

    Jun 19, 2012 at 10:13 PM

    Comment #2

    Davybtoon – you there?

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  • Spuggy

    Jun 19, 2012 at 10:14 PM

    Comment #3

    So….. this 8m bid for De Jong and 4m for debuchy.

    Curious, three top quality strikers, surely not, this must mean Ba likely to go? I expect us to bring in a young cheap striker with potential.

    Hopefully 5m will get us Debuchy.

    Then there’s the CB – no strong links on this front but probs the most needed position.

    Curiouser and Curiouser.

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  • No Plain Saylor

    Jun 19, 2012 at 10:16 PM

    Comment #4

    Congrats to ye english lads, england never got out of second gear but still looked splid and comfortable. Extra days rest for comin first and avoid spain. Roy hodgson fantastic!

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  • Munster Mag

    Jun 19, 2012 at 10:16 PM

    Comment #5

    If this overpaid shower of boring english bolloxes win the tournament I’m taking up embroidery or something

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  • rich_toonfan

    Jun 19, 2012 at 10:17 PM

    Comment #6

    With cup/tournament football you can win playing effective, defensive football.

    Chelsea did it this year, Greece won the euros 8 years ago.

    I am happy for England to play like this but not Newcastle.

    I think over a 38 game season you cannot get near the top grinding out results, you need to dominate games, not every game but a lot of them. But in knock out competitions you just have to grind out a few results, this cannot be achieved over a full season but can in a cup.

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  • G

    Jun 19, 2012 at 10:18 PM

    Comment #7

    I suspect any new signings will be typical in the sense that half of us won’t have heard of them, or we have heard of them but expect little from them, and they turn out to be brill. Lets face it, this season even G. Carr’s seemingly big failure turned into a gem (Perch).

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  • blissna

    Jun 19, 2012 at 10:19 PM

    Comment #8

    It’s obviously cool to hate England. I thought we did well enough. Carroll looked decent when he came on. All 4 defenders had real game changing moments and the only possible weak link was Welbeck who was anonymous for ages.

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  • G

    Jun 19, 2012 at 10:20 PM

    Comment #9

    @ rich toonfan. Woy did exactly that with both Finland and Switzerland, and didn’t do too bad with them. Even getting to a tournament is a big deal for those countries. Theologically it should go so much better for a team like England. I still don’t expect us to win though.

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  • pardew no 1

    Jun 19, 2012 at 10:20 PM

    Comment #10

    btw you guys saying we should bid that much for de jong but he is under 24 so we would still have to pay a certain amount of money

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  • G

    Jun 19, 2012 at 10:22 PM

    Comment #11

    blissna, I certainly don’t hate England, so if my seeming negativity portrays that, then its not intentional. I simply do not expect us to succeed in this tournament. I will gladly eat my words though if they can prove me wrong.

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  • pardew no 1

    Jun 19, 2012 at 10:23 PM

    Comment #12

    it should say shouldn’t

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  • rich_toonfan

    Jun 19, 2012 at 10:24 PM

    Comment #13

    @g

    Roy or one of them, can’t remember which, to a top 3 ranking.

    The only criticism of England I have is that when we get the ball we have little memento and can’t keep it, then struggle to get on the break as we lose it too soon.

    But if we look to base our game on defence as that Area is the strongest then that makes sense.

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  • G

    Jun 19, 2012 at 10:25 PM

    Comment #14

    @ post 10, yes, he is under 24, but he wasn’t developed by Twente, he was at de-graftchap or whatever they are called, where he was developed, ergo, no fee.

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  • rich_toonfan

    Jun 19, 2012 at 10:25 PM

    Comment #15

    Got not or

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  • G

    Jun 19, 2012 at 10:26 PM

    Comment #16

    @ rich. Switzerland, got beaten in the semi’s.

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  • rich_toonfan

    Jun 19, 2012 at 10:28 PM

    Comment #17

    De Jong is not worth 15 million, he is 8 million max. He has 1 year to run and has had one good season in an average league.

    I think he has potential and could be a big hit for us but no way is he with 15 when huntelaar is available at 17 million

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  • Grafton83

    Jun 19, 2012 at 10:28 PM

    Comment #18

    Scott Parker played well, he did attempt a tackle along the floor with his head at one point, just brilliant!

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  • No Plain Saylor

    Jun 19, 2012 at 10:29 PM

    Comment #19

    I’m very impressed with england, any other time in the past 2-1 down to sweden they would have cracked and lost, they’ve been effective and composed in their three games and roonet will grow into the tournament imo. Lads if twente are demanding £10m plus, id go for gameiro available for around 6 mill.. or rossi, villareal relegated, linked with 8 mill move away. Still would like de jong but having money for debuchy and a cb is priority

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  • nico

    Jun 19, 2012 at 10:32 PM

    Comment #20

    An effective performance from England. It’s always hard playing the host nation in these things. How good is Hart. Gives so much confidence to the team and us watching. Knockout football now and we are good enough to play better and beat Italy. Its good to see us having a good tournament. Haven’t seen that for a while.

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  • G

    Jun 19, 2012 at 10:34 PM

    Comment #21

    @ nico. Hart is deffo one of the 3 top, if not the top keepers in the world. Best for England since Seaman. Seems to have enough in the tank to go on longer than Shilton too.

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  • nico

    Jun 19, 2012 at 10:36 PM

    Comment #22

    G – Yes he is class, another 10 years of him around should see him bocome Englands most capped player. hopefully starting with another 3 games in this tournament.

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  • G

    Jun 19, 2012 at 10:37 PM

    Comment #23

    I’ll drink to that.

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  • G

    Jun 19, 2012 at 10:38 PM

    Comment #24

    Only needs just over another hundred caps to equal Shilton.

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  • Oldgit1

    Jun 19, 2012 at 10:44 PM

    Comment #25

    For those reporting tha de jong has one year of his contract left,are wrong! it is reported that he has infact 3 years left.

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  • yorkshireToon

    Jun 19, 2012 at 10:46 PM

    Comment #26

    Nico – are you English? Im just assuming you aren’t talking about our performances that’s all, 3 dire games against below par teams, I mean we were outplayed by Sweden and Ukraine?!

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  • gazza85

    Jun 19, 2012 at 10:53 PM

    Comment #27

    I can see us beating Italy as they’ve not been playing too well tbh…. Ireland matched them a lot of the way the other night but we have that hard work plus a bit more quality. However with Germany likely in the semis I’d say that that will be goodnight….. still would be a lot better than most of us hoped for.

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  • rich_toonfan

    Jun 19, 2012 at 10:55 PM

    Comment #28

    @yorkshire

    It’s all about results in knock out football. Over a league season you need to play well hit in a tournament you need to just get wins anyway you can.

    We were outplayed the same way Newcastle were against Swansea. Let them have the ball but don’t give away many good chances then hit on counter or from set piece.

    Yes we need to improve with the ball but can’t argue we are effective, we beat sweden who stuffed France tonight

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  • rich_toonfan

    Jun 19, 2012 at 10:58 PM

    Comment #29

    For me the only stand out team have been Germany.

    The other top sides haven’t shown anything to put fear into us. France, Spain, Italy and Portugal haven’t been amazing.

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  • GeordieToon89

    Jun 19, 2012 at 10:58 PM

    Comment #30

    I’ve got a feeling were going to win the tournment.. av had it since just before we kicked off against the French.. Just similar to Greece.. crap boring defensive football, dont concede many and score the odd one to win a game then close it out and then go win it.. and host the olympics in the same year

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  • G

    Jun 19, 2012 at 10:59 PM

    Comment #31

    Mind, Germany looked pretty average in their first game. I don’t expect them to leave before the final though.

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  • Dannyo

    Jun 19, 2012 at 11:00 PM

    Comment #32

    Daily Mail saying we’ve agreed a £9,5 mill fee for De Jong.
    Dear God, please be true…

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  • yorkshireToon

    Jun 19, 2012 at 11:00 PM

    Comment #33

    Roy’s tactics are getting me down, did you see at the start of the game we were just passing it about at the back so they’d come out an get it, we should be taking the game to these sort of teams! Gerrard is clearly on his last legs he has no movement whatsoever watch him after ever pass it isn’t pass and move its pass and stand still and wave your arms about if it doesn’t go where you want! I was looking forward to the euros but playing like we have in all 3 of these games we’d do good to draw against Italy and lose on pens. Pessimistic rant over, goodnight.

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  • G

    Jun 19, 2012 at 11:01 PM

    Comment #34

    Daily Fail? Not often the sharpest at reporting the sports news. I still say £8M was a fair offer for a player unproven outside of his homeland.

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  • rich_toonfan

    Jun 19, 2012 at 11:04 PM

    Comment #35

    People are too negative and complain. It’s not often the best side win a tournament. It’s the team who adapt well and are the lost effective

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  • rich_toonfan

    Jun 19, 2012 at 11:05 PM

    Comment #36

    Most not lost

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  • G

    Jun 19, 2012 at 11:07 PM

    Comment #37

    I think it’s quite nice that we as a nation seem to expect little of England in the Euro’s. Usually there is so much pressure to perform that we have loads of individuals trying to make a name for themselves, and little team spirit. There seems very little of that going on in this tournament as most of the pressure is off.

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  • GeordieToon89

    Jun 19, 2012 at 11:11 PM

    Comment #38

    Dannyo – Me mates just text me saying that now a know where he’s got it from ha

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  • davybtoon

    Jun 19, 2012 at 11:12 PM

    Comment #39

    Gt89 whats up

    Oh de Jong for 9.5 mill I’ll have some of that, 20mill supposed to b available sell simpson, best, ba, xisco and buy de Jong, alderweild, debuchy, Anita n Brahimi I will b buzzing n I tell u this ain’t has far fetched as it sounds

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  • davybtoon

    Jun 19, 2012 at 11:14 PM

    Comment #40

    Twente will sell for 9.5 bcoz we pay cash in one go upfront n they are cash strapped this will happen I reckon

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