Join Now  | 
Home About Contact Us Privacy & Security Advertise
Soccer America Daily Soccer World Daily Special Edition Around The Net Soccer Business Insider College Soccer Reporter Youth Soccer Reporter Soccer on TV Soccer America Classifieds Game Report
Paul Gardner: SoccerTalk Soccer America Confidential Youth Soccer Insider World Cup Watch
RSS Feeds Archives Manage Subscriptions Subscribe
Order Current Issue Subscribe Manage My Subscription Renew My Subscription Gift Subscription
My Account Join Now
Tournament Calendar Camps & Academies Soccer Glossary Classifieds
Lucky England, French lucky loss could have been worse
by Paul Kennedy, June 20th, 2012 1:59AM
Subscribe to Soccer America Daily

MOST READ
TAGS:  england, european championship, france, sweden

MOST COMMENTED

[EURO 2012 WRAP] It took the easiest of goals -- a header from inside the six-yard box into an empty net after a cross deflected off two Ukrainian defenders and past goalie Andriy Pyatov -- for Wayne Rooney to celebrate his return to the England national team with the goal that gave it a 1-0 win over Ukraine and a spot in the Euro 2012 quarterfinals against Italy. The Ukrainians could have felt aggrieved by the fact that a certain goal by Marko Devic was not awarded, but they would have needed to have beaten England to advance. The England-Ukraine result meant that France's horrible evening against Sweden was irrelevant. The Bleus, 2-0 losers to Sweden, advanced and will face Spain in Sunday's quarterfinal.

Pyatov was the Ukrainian goat, letting Steven Gerrard's cross slip through his hands to the far post, where Rooney was waiting for the easiest of goals.

Referee Viktor Kassai and his Hungarian assistant monitoring the goal line were the Ukrainians' villains after they failed to spot that Devic's shot had crossed the line before being hooked clear by John Terry.

''I was sad because the ball was in the goal by one meter,'' Ukraine coach Oleg Blokhin said.

Blokhin, who almost came to blows with a Ukrainian journalist after the game, said England was lucky.

"We played a very good game and even the England coach said they were lucky," the former Ballon d'Or winner said.  "I don't feel ashamed for this team. We conceded a lucky goal. We were able to equalize, but they didn't give it to us. Then we also played a very good game. England just played on the counterattack. In the second half, they had no opportunities. Their threat only came from a few set pieces, but it was just not our day. We didn't have any luck."

The UEFA tiebreakers meant that Ukraine needed to beat to overtake France, regardless of the Bleus' result against Sweden.

And the Bleus' loss would have a lot worse but for captain Hugo Lloris in goal, where he saved at least four sure goals after Zlatan Ibrahimovic's volley put Sweden ahead n the 54th minute.

French coach Laurent Blanc blamed the loss on his team being unable to match the Swedes in midfield and on defense, the Bleus' weak point that had heretofore been untested.

Things won't get any easier against Spain.

"We'll need an exploit to continue on," admitted Blanc.



No comments yet.

Sign in to leave a comment. Don't have an account? Join Now




AUTHORS

ARCHIVES
FOLLOW SOCCERAMERICA

Recent Soccer America Daily
What They're Saying: Banc of California chief executive Steven Sugarman    
"We have a lot of relationships with the ownership group. We're probably zero or one degree ...
CCL: Vancouver takes charge in MLS battle    
The Vancouver Whitecaps, losers of their last four MLS games, took command of Group C in ...
MLS Countdown: Sounders activate Torres    
Nearly a year after suffering a torn ACL in just his fourth MLS appearance, Panamanian defender ...
U.S. Abroad: Yedlin arrives back in northeast England    
DeAndre Yedlin arrived in Newcastle Tuesday night as Newcastle United looked to conclude a deal for ...
What They're Saying: Sigi Schmid    
"Once a team gets confidence, medium-sized things become little things and little things disappear. When you're ...
Chicago Magic's Sabbi signs with Spain's Las Palmas    
Emmanuel Sabbi, an 18-year-old Chicago Magic PSG forward who has been a regular with the U.S. ...
U.S. Abroad: U-20s flee college for pros    
The exodus of college or college-bound players to Europe continues as two U.S. under-20 national team ...
Video Pick: Christian Pulisic scores in friendly    
In Borussia Dortmund's final friendly before the 2016-17 Bundesliga season kickoff this weekend, 17-year-old American Christian ...
Video Pick: Top 10 long-distance Messi goals    
After Lionel Messi opened his 2016-17 La Liga account with two long-range goals in Barcelona's 6-2 ...
CCL: Three MLS clubs in action this week    
The slumping Vancouver Whitecaps have a chance to put themselves in a position to take command ...
>> Soccer America Daily Archives