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.

  • Indonesia rebuffs last-ditch bids to delay drug-convict executions
    Indonesia rebuffs last-ditch bids to delay drug-convict executions

    By Kanupriya Kapoor and Jane Wardell CILACAP, Indonesia/SYDNEY (Reuters) - Indonesia said the execution of nine drug traffickers would go ahead this week, rebuffing last-minute appeals from Australia and the Philippines to spare their nationals and ignoring a decision by the Constitutional Court to hear a final challenge. Australia began the day with a plea for a stay in the execution of Myuran Sukumaran and Andrew Chan, saying reports that their trial had been tainted by corruption needed to …

  • Halt Indonesia drug executions until graft claims probed: Australia
    Halt Indonesia drug executions until graft claims probed: Australia

    Australia urged Indonesia Monday to delay the execution of two men for drug offences until a corruption probe into their case is complete, after a report that judges sought tens of thousands of dollars in bribes. "Bali Nine" drug traffickers Myuran Sukumaran and Andrew Chan could face the firing squad within days, along with others from Brazil, Nigeria, the Philippines and an Indonesian prisoner. The Indonesian attorney-general's office said the executions would take place this week but did …

  • ISIS has not penetrated Phl – AFP
    ISIS has not penetrated Phl – AFP

    Security officials yesterday maintained that the Islamic State of Iraq and Syria (ISIS) has not penetrated the Philippines following an expert’s warning that the group poses a threat to the country. Abu Sayyaf, BIFF (Bangsamoro Islamic Freedom Fighters), private armed groups to our knowledge are the people making problems down south,” Armed Forces chief Gen. Gregorio Catapang Jr. said. The BIFF and the Abu Sayyaf have pledged allegiance to the ISIS but it remains uncertain whether they are …

  • Cerbo named national police intel chief
    Cerbo named national police intel chief

    Philippine National Police officer-in-charge Deputy Director General Leonardo Espina yesterday ordered the appointment of PNP spokesman Chief Superintendent Generoso Cerbo Jr. as chief of the Directorate for Intelligence. …

  • Pump prices up anew
    Pump prices up anew

    Oil companies announced yesterday another round of price hikes with independent oil firms among the first to issue their respective announcements. PTT Philippines, the local subsidiary of Thailand’s biggest oil firm, and Phoenix Petroleum Philippines, another independent oil company, were among the first to issue their respective advisories. Seaoil Philippines also issued its announcement. “PTT Philippines will increase pump prices of gasoline by P0.70 per liter and of diesel by P0.30 per …

  • PNP to ease rules on gun permit processing
    PNP to ease rules on gun permit processing

    The Philippine National Police will simplify requirements for getting a firearm’s permit under the new gun control law, PNP officer-in-charge Deputy Director General Leonardo Espina said yesterday. Espina said they are working to simplify the process to secure a license to own and possess firearms (LTOPF) amid complaints of excessive requirements from gun holders. Espina directed the Firearms and Explosives Office (FEO) to make it easier for legitimate gun owners to comply with the …

  • Mercy for Mary Jane: Pacman joins appeals
    Mercy for Mary Jane: Pacman joins appeals

    World boxing superstar Manny Pacquiao took time out yesterday from final preparations for his $400-million megafight with Floyd Mayweather Jr. to plead for the life of a Filipina on death row in Indonesia. Pacquiao, a national hero in the Philippines, added his voice to a chorus of global opposition led by United Nations Secretary General Ban Ki-moon to the executions of a group of foreign drug convicts, including compatriot Mary Jane Veloso. The eight-division world champion, who will face …

  • Phl condoles as Nepal death toll hits 3,700
    Phl condoles as Nepal death toll hits 3,700

    Foreign rescue teams equipped with heavy cutting gear and relief supplies were landing round the clock at Nepal’s only international airport on the outskirts of Kathmandu, which has been devastated by Saturday’s 7.8-magnitude quake. “We need more helicopters for our rescue operations in rural areas,” said Nepal Home Affairs spokesman Laxmi Prasad Dhakal. In a statement issued yesterday, Aquino said a team from the Philippine embassy in New Delhi, India would travel to Nepal to meet the needs …

POLL

Should Aquino be held accountable over the Mamasapano operations?

Loading...
Poll Choice Options