England ride luck into quarter-finals

England scraped into the quarter-finals of Euro 2012 after a goal-line refereeing blunder helped them to a 1-0 win over Ukraine which sent the co-hosts crashing out.

A 48th-minute header from returning talisman Wayne Rooney was enough to see England finish top of Group D and send them into a quarter-final in Kiev on Sunday against Italy.

However Ukraine -- missing injured captain Andrei Shevchenko -- were desperately unlucky not to have earned at least a draw after Marko Devic had a clear goal wrongly disallowed on 62 minutes.

Devic, who appeared to have been offside in the build-up to the goal, had powered into the box and saw his shot fly over keeper Joe Hart towards goal.

However, John Terry launched himself into an acrobatic clearance to hook the ball away and despite furious Ukrainian appeals no goal was given.

Television replays showed the ball had crossed the line by several inches but had incredibly been missed by the additional assistant referee stationed behind the goal.

It was a goal-line controversy that echoed Frank Lampard's disallowed effort for England against Germany at the 2010 World Cup and is almost certain to hasten the introduction of goal-line technology.

FIFA is expected to approve the introduction of two systems which are currently being tested at a meeting after the European Championships.

Relieved England captain Steven Gerrard admitted his side had been lucky -- but said England had been due a break.

"To be successful in these tournaments, because of the standard of teams involved, you need that bit of luck going with you," Gerrard said.

"Two years ago we didn't get that luck with Frank Lampard's goal, a big turning point in that game against Germany, and we ended up packing our bags and going home. Today the luck turned.

"It just shows that, if you keep working hard and keep fighting, you earn that luck. We deserved it today."

England, however, will head to their quarter-final meeting with Italy chastened by the knowledge that on another night they could easily have been heading home after being outplayed for much of the match.

England coach Roy Hodgson was proud of the way his players had battled to preserve their advantage and make it five games unbeaten since he took over.

"It was a very good defensive and disciplined performance," he said.

"We could have shown some more composure on the ball but we are a fledgling team and we can work on that part."

But Ukraine coach Oleg Blokhin was scathing of the decision which had denied his team a goal which could have swung the contest back in his side's favour.

"There are five referees on the pitch and the ball is 50 centimetres behind the goal-line," Blokhin fumed. "You write what you want - you've seen it. I don't want to criticise the referee.

"We conceded a lucky goal. We were able to equalise, but they didn't give it to us. Then we also played a very good game. England just played on the counter-attack. In the second half, they had no opportunities.

"Their threat only came from a few set-pieces, but it was just not our day."

England had ridden their luck in a one-sided first-half which Ukraine dominated, carving out a string of promising openings only to be denied by either desperate defending or the goalkeeping of Hart.

Ukraine, needing a win to progress, had started brightly with Denys Garmash letting fly as early as the sixth minute.

Terry was pressed into action on 18 minutes when he blocked a shot from Yevgeny Konoplyanka with his shoulder as the Ukrainian onslaught continued.

A goal seemed to certain to come in the 30th minute when Artem Milevskiy released Yarmolenko into the area only for Hart to save well from close range.

Somehow England had managed to stay level at the break and then three minutes after the restart they got a goal that stunned the hosts.

Gerrard beat Yarmolenko down the right and sent a dangerous cross into the six-yard box. The ball took touches off two Ukrainian defenders before skidding through goalkeeper Andriy Pyatov to Rooney for the simplest of headers.

"It is nice to score in a major finals as its been a while," Rooney said.

"It's nice to do it for the team as well as the lads were fantastic and defended really well."

Ukraine fought back, with Milevskiy heading over on the hour mark before the flashpoint involving Devic and Terry that ensured the headlines would be dominated by the goal-line technology debate.

Shevchenko's arrival from the substitutes bench on 70 minutes threatened a revival but there was to be no fairytale ending for the veteran striker as England hung on desperately.

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.

  • North Korea fires missiles in anger at South-US military drills
    North Korea fires missiles in anger at South-US military drills

    North Korea fired two missiles into the sea on Monday and vowed "merciless" retaliation as the US and South Korea kicked off joint military drills denounced by Pyongyang as recklessly confrontational. The annual exercises always trigger a surge in military tensions and warlike rhetoric on the divided peninsula, and analysts saw the North's missile tests as a prelude to a concerted campaign of sabre rattling. "And if there is a particularly sharp escalation, we could see the North …

  • Couple married 67 years holds hands in final hours together
    Couple married 67 years holds hands in final hours together

    FRESNO, Calif. (AP) — After spending 67 years together as devoted husband and wife, there was no question how Floyd and Violet Hartwig would end their lives — together. …

  • Hijacked Indonesian vessel found in Davao
    Hijacked Indonesian vessel found in Davao

    An Indonesian cargo vessel that was hijacked a month ago in North Sulawesi, Indonesia has been found stuck in the waters off Mati, Davao Oriental, the Philippine Coast Guard (PCG) reported yesterday. PCG spokesperson Armand Balilo said the PCG- Southeastern Mindanao district was informed on Feb. 23 that the M/T Rehoboth was found aground off Barangay Cabuaya. Four personnel from the local PCG district office were sent to verify the report. The vessel was reportedly hijacked by …

  • Militants want US Marines pulled out of Negros
    Militants want US Marines pulled out of Negros

    The militant group Bagong Alyansang Makabayan (Bayan) is calling for the pullout of US Marines who arrived in Sagay City, Negros Occidental last Wednesday to train Special Action Force (SAF) commandos and members of the allied forces. The SAF commandos and the allied forces will secure the Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation (APEC) ministerial meeting in this city. Bayan-Negros secretary general Christian Tuayon said the US troops might violate the human rights of activists, especially those …

  • Military steps up offensive vs BIFF, Abu Sayyaf
    Military steps up offensive vs BIFF, Abu Sayyaf

    Armed Forces of the Philippines (AFP) chief Gen. Gregorio Pio Catapang Jr. has ordered the sustained campaign against the Abu Sayyaf and the Bangsamoro Islamic Freedom Fighters (BIFF) following the successive offensives against the armed groups last week. A total of 24 Abu Sayyaf bandits and two soldiers were killed in recent clashes in Sulu last week. The Joint Task Group Sulu has received information that Abu Sayyaf leader Radulan Sahiron was wounded during one of the encounters but this is …

  • China subs outnumber US fleet – admiral
    China subs outnumber US fleet – admiral

    China is building some “fairly amazing submarines” and now has more diesel- and nuclear-powered vessels than the United States, a top US Navy admiral told US lawmakers on Wednesday, although he said their quality was inferior. Vice Admiral Joseph Mulloy, deputy chief of naval operations for capabilities and resources, told the House Armed Services Committee’s seapower subcommittee that China was also expanding the geographic areas of operation for its submarines, and their length of …

  • Binay backs house arrest for JPE, GMA
    Binay backs house arrest for JPE, GMA

    Vice President Jejomar Binay yesterday supported proposals to put Sen. Juan Ponce Enrile and former President now Pampanga Rep. Gloria Macapagal- Arroyo under house arrest. “Government prosecutors are opposing house arrest for… Enrile. Binay issued the statement after the 91-year-old Enrile was rushed to the Makati Medical Center on Thursday due to pneumonia. House arrest for him would be the compassionate thing to do,” he added. …

  • Pacman mega fight tax exemption up to Congress, BIR
    Pacman mega fight tax exemption up to Congress, BIR

    Malacañang is leaving it up to Congress and the Bureau of Internal Revenue (BIR) to consider a proposed special tax exemption for boxing icon Manny Pacquiao in his much-awaited fight with Floyd Mayweather. Deputy presidential spokesperson Abigail Valte said yesterday it will have to be discussed by Congress because lawmakers are the ones who enact tax exemptions, special or general. Pacquiao has been dogged by unsettled tax obligations with the BIR. …

POLL

Should Aquino be held accountable over the Mamasapano operations?

Loading...
Poll Choice Options