Yevhen Konoplianka at 22 years of age is a marked man. Marked by bigger clubs who sat up and took note of the winger who had his way with Glen Johnson at will and scored Ukraine’s goal with a beautifully curling shot from 20 yards out. A little bit of yevhen.
He was a notch above his better known team mate Andriy Yarmalenko whose biggest contribution was two bits of play acting that resulted in Jermain Defoe’s goal being annulled as well inadvertently creating the break away that resulted in Konoplianka’s strike. Ukraine looked good going forward and they were very composed when defending with Anatoli Tymoschuk playing a major part in keeping that shape.
England on the other hand looked disorganized and disjointed having problems getting the ball out of the backfield. Despite that they had a number of chances with Tom Cleverley cutting a particularly villainous figure for not finishing three very good chances. Richard Williams’s anointed no 10 looked like he had two left feet in front of goal.
With time running out Roy Hodgson introduced Danny Welbeck and Daniel Sturridge and their speed made a lot of difference to an increasingly desperate English side. Welbeck indulged in share of histrionics when he went down like a pole axed steer after trying to get by Denys Garmash. Luckily for him he wasn’t booked for diving. He also had the best chance in the second half after the ball pinged between Gerard and Sturridge to fall at his feet but his shot hit the upright. Minutes later Welbeck’s dink into the box caught Yevhen Kacheridi on the arm and England had their spot kick and Frank Lampard to take it.
Stevie Gerrard was sent off after collecting two cards and he will miss the next match against San Marino at home which shouldn’t be all that dire.