Join Now | 
HomeAboutContact UsPrivacy & SecurityAdvertise
Soccer America DailySpecial EditionAround The NetSoccer Business InsiderCollege Soccer ReporterYouth Soccer ReporterSoccer on TVSoccer America Classifieds
Paul Gardner: SoccerTalkSoccer America ConfidentialYouth Soccer InsiderWorld Cup Watch
RSS FeedsArchivesManage SubscriptionsSubscribe
Order Current IssueSubscribeManage My SubscriptionRenew My SubscriptionGift Subscription
My AccountJoin Now
Tournament CalendarCamps & AcademiesSoccer GlossaryClassifieds
Lucky England, French lucky loss could have been worse
by Paul Kennedy, June 20th, 2012 1:59AM

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: Felix Magath    
"I merely suggested it could be worth trying the old wives' tale of applying quark cheese ...
Soccer America Power Rankings    
[MLS Week 28] There's a new team atop the Power Rankings as the streaking LA Galaxy ...
NYCFC and Orlando City will draw for player slots    
[MLS EXPANSION] Representatives from New York City FC and Orlando City, the two 2015 MLS expansion ...
What They're Saying: Nasser Al Khater    
"The only question now is when, not if. Summer or winter, we will be ready." -- ...
D.C. United is on verge of clinching    
[CONCACAF CHAMPIONS LEAGUE: Preview] MLS's four U.S. entrants are all in action in the Concacaf Champions ...
Olsen is still MLS's youngest head coach    
[MAKING A LIST] Almost four years after being named D.C. United head coach, Ben Olsen is ...
D.C. United rewards Olsen with multi-year extension    
[MLS SPOTLIGHT] Head coach Ben Olsen, who survived D.C. United's horrific 2013 campaign, the worst in ...
Valeri volleys a golazo on the run     
[VIDEO PICK: MLS Goals of the Week] Portland's Diego Valeri looks set to garner his third ...
Soccer America Men's Top 25 Scoreboard    
[ROUNDUP: Sunday] No. 6 Washington rebounded from allowing an early goal to beat USF, 2-1, in ...
Howard gaffes cost Everton dearly at home    
[AMERICANS ABROAD] Everton's defensive troubles in the English Premier League continued as it dropped a 3-2 ...
>> Soccer America Daily Archives