Ukraine 0 England 1
The Ukrainians came into this group stage fixture on the back of an embarrassing 2-0 defeat against France at the Donbass Arena where Jeremy Menez and Yohan Cabaye found the net for Les Bleus, whereas England were on a high after edging out Erik Hamren´s Sweden by a 3-2 margin at the Olympic Stadium thanks to a goal each from Andy Carroll, Theo Walcott, and Danny Welbeck, while the Swedes had their goals through Olof Mellberg and Glen Johnson who scored an own goal. But even though Roy Hodgson´s team started the match against Ukraine on the front foot, the white shirts failed to capitalise on their scoring chances during the opening skirmishes of the encounter. Manchester United goal plunderer Wayne Rooney, who appeared in his first match of the 2012 European Championship in Poland and Ukraine following a two-game ban, should have put his country ahead in the 28th minute of the clash when the prodigal son met a brilliantly delivered cross from fellow Old Trafford teammate Ashley Young, but the striker could only head wide of the upright. The Yellow Blue gradually made their presence felt and the hosts dominated the possession of the ball for the remainder of the first half, but The Three Lions came back a lot stronger after the resumption of play.
A few minutes into the second half, England finally took the lead when a cross from Steven Gerrard found Rooney who headed the ball into the back of the net from just a yard out. Whatever his failures in the 2010 South Africa World Cup, here was adequate proof of his ability to be at the exact right place at the exact right time. There was drama to follow on 62 minutes, though, as Oleh Volodymyrovych Blokhin´s boys looked to have the ball in the net, but Slovenian match official Damir Skomina failed to spot it and play was allowed to carry on. The controversy that accompanied the decision, however, did not overshadow an England performance which was both convincing and effective. The flow of the energy consuming clash continued to bounce back and forth with the two teams having plenty of opportunities to score, but at the end of the day the home players were simply running out of gas. After defeating co-hosts Ukraine in front of over 50,000 people at the Donbass Arena in Donetsk, England would now face Italy at the Olympic Stadium in Kiev in the European Championship Quarter Finals. Ukraine Team: Andrey Pyatov, Yaroslav Rakytskyy, Yevhen Khacheridi, Evgen Selin, Denys Garmash, Oleg Husyev, Yevhen Konoplyanka, Andriy Yarmolenko, Marko Devic, Anatoliy Tymoshchuk, Artem Milevskyi. Substitutes: Vyacheslas Shevchuk, Oleksandr Kucher, Bohdan Butko, Olexandr Aliyev, Taras Mykhalyk, Serhiy Nazarenko, Ruslan Rotan, Yevgen Seleznyov, Oleksandr Horyainov, Andrej Voronin, Andriy Shevchenko, Maksym Koval. England Team: Joe Hart, Glen Johnson, Joleon Lescott, John Terry, Ashley Cole, Steven Gerrard, Ashley Young, James Milner, Scott Parker, Danny Welbeck, Wayne Rooney. Substitutes: Martin Kelly, Phil Jones, Stewart Downing, Phil Jagielka, Alexander Oxlade-Chamberlain, Jordan Henderson, Jermain Defoe, Leighton Baines, Theo Walcott, Andy Carroll, Jack Butland, Robert Green.