Thanks to a solid England rearguard action tonight in the Ukraine, England did well to get a 0-0 draw in this vital World Cup qualifier, but the game itself was anything but exciting after the first 20 minutes.
Gary Cahill heads the ball in a rare England attack
It was fairly even in the first half, but then Ukriane got on top in the second half, but some good defensive work by England , with Gary Cahill and Phil Jagielka having solid games and Joe Hart was confident in goal.
England’s big failing in the game, that put more pressure on the defence, was their inability to keep the ball when they had possession, and then in stoppage time Frank Lampard had a decent chance in his 100th England appearance, but his header from a right wing throw-in was wide of the goal.
Ukraine had their opportunities, but they weren’t good enough to take the chances they carved out, but it was an excellent result for England.
I watched the game on ITV and the analysts had nothing but criticism for England at the end of a game, in which the team got an excellent result – what would they have said if England had lost?
The two remaining games for England are at Wembley against Montenegro on 11th October and Poland on 15th October, and Wayne Rooney should be available, and qualification for England is now in our own hands.
England remain top of group H with 16 points from the eight games played, and are the only unbeaten side, and at 25, we have by far the best goal difference in the group.
In other games tonight France scored their first goal in six games when they won 4-2 at Belarus, with two goals from Franck Ribery, and Samir Nasri and Paul Pogba also scored.
Moussa Sissoko got on after 80 minutes, but Mathieu Debuchy was again an unused sub, with Arsenal’s Bacaray Sagna again playing the whole game at right back for the French.
Northern Ireland lost 3-2 in Luxembourg, with Shane Ferguson playing the first 61 minutes of the game, and Paul Dummett was again an unused sub in Wales 3-0 defeat at home to Serbia.
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