Euro 2012: Rooney header sinks Ukraine

England 1 – 0 Ukraine

Wayne Rooney’s second half header was enough for England to overcome Ukraine in Donetsk and knock out the co-hosts.

But there was controversy when the officials failed to give a Ukraine goal despite Marko Devic’s shot crossing the line.

England will now face Italy in the quarter finals on Sunday.

Andriy Shevchenko was only fit enough to make the bench, but despite this Ukraine started strongly and probably edged the first half.

Andriy Yarmolenko and Devic both had shots blocked early on as Ukraine controlled possession and Matvey Gusev sent a long range strike just over Joe Hart’s crossbar.

Despite the host’s pressure the best chance of the half fell to England. Ashley Young’s cross from the left found Rooney unmarked but his header went tamely wide from close range.

But three minutes after the restart he made no mistake with his next chance. Steven Gerrard’s cross managed to evade everyone in the penalty area including an unconvincing Andriy Pyatov who could only loft the ball into the air and it was headed in by Rooney at the back post.

Ukraine had chances of their own though, and should have equalised on the hour mark when Artem Milevskiy was allowed a free header inside the six yard box but he failed to find the back of the net.

Moments later Ukraine were left reeling after Devic’s shot, which beat Hart, appeared to have crossed the line before John Terry cleared it. But none of the officials, including the one on the line, managed to spot it.

The game opened up in the later stages with Ukraine pushing forward and there were further chances for both teams.

Pyatov pulled off a good save from Ashley Cole after he had failed to deal with another ball into the box.

And at the other end Yevhen Konoplienka’s swerving long range strike forced a good save from Joe Hart. But Ukraine could not make the breakthrough and England held on to win.

This was a match report written for Sportsbyte, it can be seen published here.

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