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.

  • ToyotaPH continues it’s strong sales in February
    ToyotaPH continues it’s strong sales in February

    Toyota Motor Philippines (TMP) sustains its strong sales in its February performance. Toyota’s strong performance last month was due to the  high demand of the Vios, with sales of 2,012 units and of course the rest of Toyota’s line up such as the Fortuner, Innova, Wigo, Hilux, Avanza and Corolla Altis. Toyota’s luxury brand, Lexus, recorded 60 units last month. …

  • No apology, but Noy seeks understanding
    No apology, but Noy seeks understanding

    There was no apology, but President Aquino yesterday expressed regret, took “full responsibility” and appealed to the nation for “deepest understanding” for the Jan. 25 Mamasapano raid in which dozens died, including 44 police Special Action Force (SAF) commandos. “To every Filipino who has felt failure or has been hurt because of the events related to this operation, it is with abiding humility that I ask for your deepest understanding,” Aquino said in a speech before the 246 new graduates of …

  • MVP on endorsement: Thanks, I’m no politician
    MVP on endorsement: Thanks, I’m no politician

    Businessman Manuel V. Pangilinan is grateful for Sen. Miriam Defensor-Santiago’s praise and presidential endorsement, but says he is not a politician. In an interview on the sidelines of the launch of the search for The Outstanding Young Men (TOYM) of the Philippines 2015 Wednesday night, Pangilinan dismissed the idea of running for president in the 2016 elections. “I’m not a politician, I’m just an ordinary business person,” he added. Santiago endorsed Pangilinan as a presidential candidate …

  • No Lenten break in operations vs lawless groups – AFP
    No Lenten break in operations vs lawless groups – AFP

    The Armed Forces of the Philippines (AFP) is not suspending its offensive against the Abu Sayyaf, New People’s Army (NPA) and other lawless groups during the Holy Week, an official said yesterday. Lt. Col. Harold Cabunoc, AFP public affairs office chief, said the AFP leadership is leaving it up to area and division commanders whether to raise the alert status in preparation for the Holy Week. Those deployed in areas where there are ongoing law enforcement operations against terrorist groups …

  • Probe harassment vs human rights lawyer, CA orders AFP
    Probe harassment vs human rights lawyer, CA orders AFP

    The Court of Appeals (CA) has ordered the Armed Forces of the Philippines (AFP) to investigate a human rights lawyer’s claim of harassment, including surveillance, by several military officers. In a 22-page decision, the former Special Sixth Division of the appellate court granted the petition for writ of amparo and habeas data of Maria Catherine Dannug-Salucon. The CA ordered the AFP to identify the officers behind the surveillance and file charges against them. The CA ruling said …

  • Noy vows to dismantle bata-bata system in PNP
    Noy vows to dismantle bata-bata system in PNP

    President Aquino vowed yesterday to dismantle the culture of factionalism or the bata-bata system within the Philippine National Police as he continued the search for the next PNP chief. Speaking at the Philippine National Police Academy (PNPA) commencement exercises here, the President said the country needed solidarity among leaders and members of the police force so that the policemen would be effective protectors of Filipinos. “Our challenge to the next chief of our national police force: …

  • Envoy to expats: Retire, invest in Phl
    Envoy to expats: Retire, invest in Phl

    Retire and invest in real estate in the Philippines, especially now that the country has made it to the top 10 retirement destinations in the world. This is the message being spread by the Philippine embassy in Washington, with Ambassador Jose Cuisia Jr. leading the refrain in meetings with various Filipino-American communities in the US. In his talks, Cuisia said that an affordable cost of living as well as warm climate and people are just some of the things that make the Philippines a top …

  • PNPA spotlight falls on Ampatuan grandson
    PNPA spotlight falls on Ampatuan grandson

    The stigma of being a namesake of the principal suspect in the 2009 Maguindanao massacre did not prevent Cadet First Class Andal Ampatuan III from entering and graduating from the Philippine National Police Academy (PNPA). Ampatuan III, now with a rank of police inspector, is a grandson of former Maguindanao governor Andal Ampatuan Sr. The younger Ampatuan was among the 246 graduates of the PNPA “Lakandula” Class of 2015. Ampatuan III’s mother is Bai Rebecca Ampatuan, a daughter of the …

POLL

Should Aquino be held accountable over the Mamasapano operations?

Loading...
Poll Choice Options