England hold France, Ukraine win at Euro 2012

Experimental England held in-form France to a 1-1 draw on Monday as Roy Hodgson's patchwork side showed they have every intention of making an impact at Euro 2012, while co-hosts Ukraine thanked two goals from veteran Andriy Shevchenko as they edged Sweden 2-1.

Joleon Lescott's header drew first blood for England before his Manchester City teammate Samir Nasri thundered an equaliser past another club colleague, England keeper Joe Hart.

Group D now looks wide open after England kept pace with the stylish French, unbeaten in 22 games, in sultry conditions at the Donbass Arena in Donetsk.

Hodgson, brought in to replace Fabio Capello barely a month before the event, saw the result as a point won - even though they could only hold the lead for nine minutes after Lescott's opener.

"I think we played well as we played against a tough team," said Hodgson.

"We were very disciplined and to finish 1-1 and ask the questions of them we did we've got to be happy.

French coach Laurent Blanc said the result was a fair one.

"We're not entirely thrilled, but we're not entirely disappointed either," Blanc said.

"We could have lost this game had we not reacted (after England scored), so that's one of the positives. But I think if you look at the game, the side that played the most football was France."

A bright point for England was a strong showing by 18-year-old Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain, a surprise starter on the left side of midfield ahead of Stewart Downing.

With a useful point under their belts England next face Sweden in Kiev on Friday while France take on Ukraine in Donetsk.

The mood in those respective camps will be markedly different after Ukraine came from behind to score a 2-1 success over Sweden where a former and a current AC Milan star hogged the headlines.

Current San Siro favourite Zlatan Ibrahimovic put the Swedes ahead seven minutes after the break following a tense opening period after Andriy Yarmolenko failed to cut out Sebastian Larsson's cross. Kim Kallstrom squared for Ibrahimovic and the Milan forward scored from close range.

Then former Milan superstar Shevchenko, given a vote of confidence by coach and fellow former European Player of the Year Oleg Blokhin, turned the match on its head with two headers which belied the fact the 35-year-old Ukraine captain had missed more than half the season through injury.

He headed in the equaliser three minutes after Ibrahimovic's goal and then made it 48 goals in 108 international appearances with the winner on 62 minutes.

First, he beat marker Olof Mellberg to head powerfully home and then outjumped Ibrahimovic to head in at the near post following a Oleg Gusev corner.

Shevchenko immediately raced down the touchline to embrace Blokhin.

The Swedes should have levelled at the death as Ibrahimovic flicked on for Johan Elmander, but the former Bolton man just returning from injury flashed his shot off target.

Afterwards Shevchenko was ecstatic.

"I feel great - it was an historic game for us, it's a great victory.

"I feel like 20 years, not 35!"

Loading...

Editor’s note:Yahoo Philippines encourages responsible comments that add dimension to the discussion. No bashing or hate speech, please. You can express your opinion without slamming others or making derogatory remarks.

  • Phl, US defense chiefs to meet on sea dispute
    Phl, US defense chiefs to meet on sea dispute

    As US aircraft carrier USS Ronald Regan began its journey to Asian waters amid China’s power flexing in the region, Defense Secretary Voltaire Gazmin would try to hear directly from his US counterpart how far America is willing to go to aid its long-time ally against China’s threatening moves in disputed waters. Gazmin flew to Hawaii last Monday to attend ceremonies for the turnover of leadership of the United States Pacific Command (USPACOM) from Admiral Samuel Locklear to Admiral Harry …

  • Water in Angat Dam falls below critical level
    Water in Angat Dam falls below critical level

    The water level of Angat Dam in Bulacan yesterday fell below the 180-meter critical level for irrigation, the Philippine Atmospheric, Geophysical and Astronomical Services Administration (PAGASA) said. PAGASA said the dam’s water level further dropped to 179.98 meters as of 6 a.m. yesterday from 180.2 meters on Monday. The priority is the domestic consumption in Metro Manila, according to PAGASA. …

  • PCSO gets P3-B fund for medical aid
    PCSO gets P3-B fund for medical aid

    The Philippine Charity Sweepstakes Office (PCSO) reported yesterday that an estimated P3-billion charity fund has been allocated by Congress to the agency to provide medical assistance to indigent patients and also give funds to other government offices including the Philippine Drug Enforcement Agency (PDEA) and the Crop Insurance Program. …

  • Image of Asia: Tearing down squatters' homes near Manila
    Image of Asia: Tearing down squatters' homes near Manila

    In this photo by Bullit Marquez, a demolition crew begins to tear down a squatters' community at suburban Caloocan city, north of Manila, Philippines. Population growth and the lack of economic opportunities in rural areas have driven millions of Filipinos into the squatters' colonies that dot the sprawling metropolitan area in and around Manila. Most of the land they occupy is privately owned, and clearing the dwellings often results in violence. The landowner had offered about $1,344 in …

  • SE Asia Stocks - Mostly down; Thai shares near 2-week low

    BANGKOK, May 26 (Reuters) - Most sharemarkets in Southeast Asia fell on Tuesday with the Thai index ending at a near two-week low and the Philippines touching a near four-week low after trade data while ... …

  • China breaks ground on lighthouse project in South China Sea

    China hosted a groundbreaking ceremony for the building of two lighthouses in the disputed South China Sea, state media said on Tuesday, a move that is likely to escalate tensions in a region already jittery about Beijing's maritime ambitions. China's Ministry of Transport hosted the ceremony for the construction of two multi-functional lighthouses on Huayang Reef and Chigua Reef on the disputed Spratly islands, state news agency Xinhua said, defying calls from the United States and the …

  • SE Asia Stocks - Thai, Philippine indexes weak after trade data

    BANGKOK, May 26 (Reuters) - Most Southeast Asian stock markets rose in line with the rest of Asia on Tuesday but the Thai index pared early gains after weak trade data in April, while the Philippine benchmark ... …

  • Is your home on top of a faultline?
    Is your home on top of a faultline?

    The Philippine Institute of Volcanoly and Seismology (PHIVOLCS) recently issued an updated and high-resolution "atlas" of the East Valley Fault and West Valley Fault, two major faultlines that run through sections of Metro Manila. Metro Manila may be due for a 7.2-magnitude earthquake within this lifetime, say experts from the institute, among them PHIVOLCS director Dr. Renato Solidum, Jr. According to records, the last major earthquake caused by the West Valley Fault took place 357 years …

POLL

Should Aquino be held accountable over the Mamasapano operations?

Loading...
Poll Choice Options