In Roy Hodgson’s first game at Wembley as the England manager, he only just managed from suffering a rare home defeat, when a Frank Lampard penalty equalized the scores at 1-1 with just three minutes of normal time remaining, after Ukraine had gone ahead with a magnificent strike from Yevhen Konoplyanka after 38 minutes
It looked like Jermain Defoe had put England ahead in the first half when he beat a couple of men and rifled the ball into the back of the net, but he had pushed off one of the Ukraine defenders and the goal was disallowed. The English TV commentators said it was a harsh decision, but Jermain had pushed off a defender – an obvious foul by the rules of the game .
And then Phil Jagielka had a free header from Gerrard’s corner, but from only six yards out it lacked enough power, and Phil should really have scored, and then Tom Cleverley somehow missed a golden chance, when he failed to put the ball in the back of the net – but only managed to hit goalkeeper Andriy Pyatov from six yards out – Tom should have scored.
England could and should have been ahead by one or two goals at this point, but then after 38 minutes Yevhen Konoplyanka got the ball and moved inside and from five yards outside the penalty unleashed a tremendous shot into the top corner, that gave England goalkeeper no chance at all. It was a great goal and Steven Gerard had tried to block the shot but, he didn’t get close enough to the Ukranian striker.
At the half it was still 1-0 to Ukraine.
England pressed in the second half, but the Ukraine were holding out and right back Glen Johnson of Liverpool, who was having a good game storming up the right wing, almost scored a great equalizer, but the Ukrainian goalkeeper turned the ball around the post, from Glen’s excellent left foot shot, but a goal kick was given.
And then Welbeck should have scored when he had an excellent chance six yards out, but he managed to somehow hit the post, and the ball was cleared.
But then some good ball-work and skill from Danny Welbeck got England a penalty after 87 minutes, when a Ukrainian defender clearly handled the ball in the penalty box, and for the 9th time in 11 attempts, the reliable Frank Lampard blasted home the penalty to even the score.
England went all out for the winner after that, but Steven Gerrard managed to pick up a second yellow card and was sent off, and after four minutes of added time the final whistle was blown.
England had dropped two points at home, which was unexpected against a country ranked 39 in the FIFA rankings, with England currently ranked the third best in the world – somehow.
It was a disappointing result for England and only a so-so performance at Wembley from the England side.