England held by Ukraine 0-0Publish piece of news
England held by Ukraine 0-0
England must beat the Czech Republic in their final Group B match to reach the semi-finals of the Euro U21 Championship after a 0-0 draw with Ukraine in Herning.
Stuart Pearce's side were markedly better in the second half, but could not find a way beyond Ukraine keeper Anton Kanibolotsky, who made fine saves from Sturridge and Welbeck in the closing 10 minutes.
England - buoyed by Danny Welbeck's late equaliser in a 1-1 draw with tournament favourites Spain on Sunday - did little or nothing in the first half until Daniel Sturridgeuncorked a volley from 30 yards that cracked off the bar before flying to safety in the Danish town.
Welbeck also blew a golden chance when he walloped the ball wide early in the second period after being sent racing clear by Sturridge.
Ukraine were also unfortunate when substitute Roman Zozulya forced England keeper Frank Fielding to save with his feet after Manchester United new boy Phil Jones had misjudged the spin on a loose ball on 78 minutes.
Ukraine face the daunting task of needing to beat Spain in their closing match with the winner of England against the Czechs guaranteed a spot in the last four.
Having been subjected to a tough shift against Spain on Sunday, England were again forced to watch and admire as Ukraine showed off their technical skills, especially in the first half.
Ukraine were a lot more sprightly than in losing their opening match of the tournament 2-1 to the Czech Republic on Sunday.
Fielding was forced to look lively to repel a dipping effort from Yevhen Konoplyanka on 10 minutes as the yellow shirts buzzed around the pitch with purpose.
England - with Jack Rodwell introduced for Tom Cleverley in a 4-3-3 formation - began to find their feet in the second half as Kanibolotsky showed some superb handling skills to save a venomous long-range free-kick from the impressive Sturridge on 49 minutes.
Denys Garmash showed his prowess from distance on 69 minutes as he drilled a shot at goal from 25 yards, but Fielding punched to safety.
There were eight bookings in a match that was never dirty which reflected more on the poor quality of officiating by the Macedonian referee rather than the antics of the players, who were fully committed to a match that finished just about right at 0-0 with neither team doing enough to claim the three points.
The Czechs only need a draw against England having downed Ukraine in their opener, but at least England know what is needed as they approach what threatens to be their final game of the tournament in Viborg.
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