Live Commentary: Ukraine 0-0 England - as it happened

Live Commentary: Ukraine 0-0 England - as it happened
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Sports Mole brings you live commentary of the World Cup qualifier in Kiev as England draw 0-0 with Ukraine.

Ukraine welcomed England to Kiev in Tuesday's World Cup qualifier knowing that three points would have moved them top of Group H.

Both sides had opportunities in the first period, but neither could make the breakthrough as the pair entered the interval on terms.

It was a similar story in the second half, with both managers settling for a share of the spoils in the latter stages.

Read how it all unfolded in Sports Mole's minute-by-minute live commentary of the action below.


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6.46pmEvening all! Qualification for the 2014 World Cup continues this evening as Ukraine welcome England to Kiev for this key Group H clash. Three points for the home side would move them top of the group on 17 points, but victory for England would open up a three-point gap on second-place Montenegro, with a game in hand.

6.49pmTEAMS:

UKRAINE: To follow

ENGLAND: Hart; Walker, Cahill, Jagielka, Cole; Lampard, Gerrard, Wilshere; Walcott, Lambert, Milner


6.52pmSo there we have it. Just the one change for England from Friday’s win over Moldova with James Milner coming into the team to replace the suspended Danny Welbeck. As expected, Frank Lampard lines up in midfield as he wins his 100th cap for his country, while Rickie Lambert will start as the lone forward. Kyle Walker also keeps his place despite off-the-field problems over the last week. We are still awaiting confirmation of the Ukraine XI.

6.55pmAs mentioned, the two sides have already met in the group last September at Wembley. A first-half strike from Yevhen Konoplyanka appeared to have secured all the points for Ukraine, but a late Frank Lampard penalty secured a share of the spoils. That said, Ukraine were 1-0 winners the last time they welcomed England to this stadium in October 2009.

6.58pmUkraine have previous with England after finishing as runners-up to their opponents this evening in qualification for the 2010 World Cup. That set up a playoff meeting with Greece, but they were beaten 1-0 on aggregate. They had impressed in the 2006 World Cup, however, reaching the quarter-finals of the competition.

7.01pmUkraine are also currently in the middle of an excellent run of form. They have scored 15 goals and kept four clean sheets in their last four matches. Granted, nine of those goals came last time out against San Marino, but there is no question that the nation is on the up. Victory this evening would indeed move them top of the group with just two matches remaining.

7.04pmTaking a look at Ukraine's group campaign thus far, they opened with a 1-1 draw against England, before claiming a point away to Moldova. Their slow start continued as they were beaten 1-0 by Montenegro in Kiev last October, but they did manage to put their first three points on the board with a 3-1 success over Poland in March.

7.07pmThey made it two wins on the trot by overcoming Moldova 2-1 on their home patch, before a 4-0 win in Montenegro aided suggestions that Ukraine could make a late push for first position. They were, of course, expected to overcome San Marino last week, but they put nine past the European minnows to do their goal difference no harm in the latter stages of the campaign.

7.10pmLooking ahead for a moment, following this match, Ukraine are not in action again until October, when they will face Poland at home. Their last Group H fixture sees them travel to San Marino. Without jumping the gun, three points this evening against England would make them huge favourites to secure first position and an automatic spot at next summer’s World Cup.

7.13pmTEAMS:

UKRAINE: Pyatov; Kucher, Shevchuk, Fedetskiy, Khacheridi; Gusiev, Edmar, Stepanenko, Konoplyanka; Zozulya, Yarmolenko

ENGLAND: Hart; Walker, Cahill, Jagielka, Cole; Lampard, Gerrard, Wilshere; Walcott, Lambert, Milner


7.16pmSo there we have it. The team news has finally reached us for the home side. They make three changes to the team that thrashed San Marino on Friday. Oleksandr Kucher, Taras Stepanenko and Roman Zozulya all come in, but Konoplyanka and Andriy Yarmolenko both keep their places in the starting XI.

7.19pmEngland, meanwhile, were also in action on Friday as they thumped Moldova 4-0 at Wembley. That result moved them into top position in the group as Montenegro could only draw with Poland. However, they sit just one point above Ukraine and level on points with Montenegro, who have played one game more.

7.22pmEngland opened their campaign back in September 2012 with a 5-0 win over Moldova, before claiming that 1-1 draw in Ukraine. Three points followed as they thumped San Marino 5-0 last October, but they were made to settle for a point in a 1-1 draw with Poland on October 17. Roy Hodgson’s side returned to form, however, with an 8-0 win over San Marino.

7.25pmIn truth, they were lucky to gain a point away to Montenegro in March having struggled for large periods, but it was enough to keep their fate in their own hands. Looking ahead, following this match, England will host Montenegro in October, before welcoming Poland to Wembley. Two winnable matches there is no question about that.

7.28pmHowever, it has not been an ideal week for Three Lions boss Hodgson, who is without strikers Wayne Rooney, Daniel Sturridge and Danny Welbeck with various bumps and bruises. The latter is unavailable after picking up a booking against Moldova, leaving Rickie Lambert and Jermain Defoe as England’s only two recognised strikers in the squad.

7.31pmInterestingly, England have followed up each win with a draw in this particular qualifying campaign. While a point would not be a bad result this evening, there is no question that Hodgson will want to take all three points. His side are the top scorers in the group, having found the back of the net on 25 occasions in their seven matches thus far.

7.34pmFormer England striker Gary Lineker has been tweeting about this particular match. The now Match of the Day presenter has called on the players to ‘relish’ what will be an explosive occasion. He tweeted: “These games are to be relished not feared.” What England would do to have a Lineker in their side this evening.

7.37pmAnother former England international, Danny Mills, meanwhile, has also taken to Twitter to praise Lampard, who wins his 100th international cap this evening. The former Leeds Unite defender tweeted: "To get a 100 caps is unbelievable. People do not realise the effort it takes, it is phenomenal. Frank Lampard has been a fantastic servant. You cannot pull out of meaningless friendlies to hit that mark. With Jack Wilshere and Steven Gerrard next to him, he can get forward tonight."

7.37pmAnother former England international, Danny Mills, meanwhile, has also taken to Twitter to praise Lampard, who wins his 100th international cap this evening. The former Leeds Unite defender tweeted: "To get a 100 caps is unbelievable. People do not realise the effort it takes, it is phenomenal. Frank Lampard has been a fantastic servant. You cannot pull out of meaningless friendlies to hit that mark. With Jack Wilshere and Steven Gerrard next to him, he can get forward tonight."

7.40pmHere we go then. Both sets of players join us on the pitch ahead of kickoff. It must be said that the atmosphere is just tremendous inside this vast stadium. It is time for the national anthems. England are first, followed by the hosts. Incredible noise generated by those in yellow with little under five minutes until the action gets underway.

7.43pmRight, the pre-match handshakes have been undertaken and the flags have been exchanged. Just about time for my pre-match prediction. In truth, I cannot see any possible way how England win this match, not with the team that they have selected. That said, I cannot see them being beaten. I am going to therefore sit on the fence and back a 1-1 draw in Kiev. It seems to be a popular prediction.

0 minHere we go then. England get the action underway with Gerrard and Lampard in the centre circle. Match number eight for England, they are still undefeated, but they have drawn three times in the group thus far. You just get the feeling that the first goal – if we indeed have one – could be vital in this type of match.

2 minEarly penalty shout for the home side as Zozulya bursts into the box before falling under pressure from Hart, but the referee points for a corner. I have certainly seen them given. Desperate defending allows England to clear before Gerrard has a strike from outside the box down the other hand, but Pyatov is on hand to make a comfortable save.

4 minHalf-chance for England this time as Walcott's pace moves the Arsenal winger into the box, but the home side's goalkeeper is out at the vital moment to make the save, picking up a knock for his troubles. It has been an end-to-end start with both sides demonstrating their attacking intent in the opening four minutes.

6 minFinally the action does resume with Pyatov returning to his feet. From the resulting corner England come close to taking the lead, but Cahill is just beaten to the ball by Kucher. Another corner causes problems in the box as Cahill rises highest, but his header is cleared off the line. Good pressure from England, but Ukraine do manage to survive and break with Gusiev.

8 minIt's bright work from Walcott once more as the England winger collects a pass from Milner before attempting to find Lambert inside the box, but his cross is into the arms of the goalkeeper. Konoplyanka causes problems down the other end as the number 10 drives past Walker before whipping a cross into the box, but Cahill makes the clearance. Both defences look very wobbly at the moment as Gusiev again comes close with a late run into the box.

10 minSlightly scrappy last couple of moments with both sides guilty of giving away fouls in and around the centre circle. Neither team has really settled in the opening 10 minutes, meanwhile, with the play very stretched and frantic. Walcott continues to cause problems down the right, but he has been unable to find the isolated Lambert thus far. Ukraine break down the other end moments later, but again Cahill is across to clear.

13 minFirst real involvement for Lambert as the Southampton striker drives into the penalty area, but Kucher is across to make the clearance. Gerrard's corner is again met by the head of Cahill, but he can only head into the air. Fedetskiy has a half-chance down the other end following a deep cross from Gusiev, but the right-back cannot make contact under pressure from Gerrard.

15 minAnother half-chance for the home side as a late run from Fedetskiy causes problems in the England box. The right-back manages to find a cross towards Gusiev, but once more Cahill is first to the ball. The resulting corner is delivered straight under the crossbar, but England manage to hold on. What a 15 minutes of football we have had in Kiev.

17 minIt's good work from Lambert as the Southampton striker manages to win a free kick inside the Ukraine half. Gerrard whips his delivery into the penalty area, but Pyatov comes a long way to punch clear under pressure from Cahill. Another long ball from Walker causes concern in the home side's box, but eventually the danger is scrambled clear. Good spell for England.

19 minAnother free kick from Gerrard finds its way into the box, but Jagielka cannot make proper contact at the far post. The corner count continues to rise for the away side as Gerrard delivers once more, but Pyatov comes to claim before releasing Gusiev down the other end. End-to-end football with 19 minutes on the clock in Kiev. Still goalless.

22 minAgain it's good work from Konoplyanka as the winger collects possession outside the box before whipping an effort towards the bottom corner, but it deflects behind. The number 10 takes the resulting set piece, but Lambert is on hand to perform his defensive duties. A lot of pressure on each penalty box, but neither side has had a clear opportunity thus far.

24 minGood possession for England in the last couple of moments with the likes of Wilshere, Gerrard and Lampard seeing plenty of the ball in the middle of the park. However, Milner and Walcott have struggled to find room in the final third thus far. Ukraine, meanwhile, remain a real threat with the various talents of Konoplyanka and Yarmolenko.

26 minThe tempo has just dropped in the last couple of moments with both sides attempting to pass their way through midfield rather than look for the long ball. Neither side has really done enough to be leading at this point, however, with a draw a fair reflection of what we have seen. In truth, a goalless draw would not be the worst result for either of these teams this evening.

28 minHalf-chance for England to fashion an opportunity as Lambert collects possession outside the box before looking for the run of Milner, but it always had too much power for the Manchester City midfielder. Not too much from Ukraine in the last couple of moments, meanwhile, with Khachiridi twice guilty of handing possession back to England with wayward passes.

31 minIt's really sloppy from Wilshere as the England midfielder hands possession back to the home side following a good spell for the away side. Gusiev is involved down the other end moments later as the striker drives past Walker, before being felled by the Spurs defender. Little under 15 minutes of football remaining in the first period in Kiev.

33 minYarmolenko remains a threat for the home side as he collects possession on the right before cutting inside, but his pass towards Gusiev is cleared by Walker. England attempt to break down the other end with Wilshere, but again it is poor from the Arsenal midfielder, who has not had the best time this evening.

35 minHalf-chance for Gerrard as the Liverpool midfielder collects possession outside the box before attempting to curl an effort towards the top corner, but it just drops onto the top of the net. Good build-up from the away side, but it has been few and far between. Not too much from Ukraine in the last few moments with England enjoying their best spell of the game.

37 minSlightly untidy period of the match in the last few moments with neither side able to get their foot on the ball in advanced areas. Both defences are comfortable, however, which was not the case in the opening 10 minutes. Still goalless in Kiev as we approach the final five minutes of the first period in this World Cup qualifier.

40 minNo real tempo at the moment with the referee forced into action to award a number of free kicks in each half. England have just shaded the last 10 minutes or so with some possession in the final third, but they have not looked like testing Pyatov from close range. Ukraine's threat has dwindled, however, with Konoplyanka and Yarmolenko finding it difficult to influence proceedings down each wing.

42 minIt's wonderful work from Konoplyanka as the midfielder drives past Gerrard before delivering a cross towards Zozulya, but the Ukraine striker cannot collect under pressure from Cahill. There is no question that Konoplyanka has been the star of the show thus far. I suspect a certain Shevchenko would have finished that one off.

45 minThe long ball into Zozulya is just not working for the home side at the moment with Cahill and Jagielka comfortable in dealing with the danger. It is a surprise that Ukraine have not looked to get players in and around their striker. A free kick arrives for England down the other end moments later, but Lampard's effort deflects off the wall and behind for a corner.

45 min+1HALF-TIME: Ukraine 0-0 England

8.32pmSo there we have it. The referee brings the first period to an end with the two sides level at 0-0. Both teams have had their moments, but a draw is a fair reflection of what we have seen thus far. If you had offered England this result at full-time, then there is no doubt that they would take it.

8.37pmBENCH WATCH: The home side have a number of attacking personnel on the bench in the shape of Marko Devic, Dmytro Khomchenovskiy and Roman Bezus. Meanwhile, they also have the experience of Anatoliy Tymoshchuk in reserve. As mentioned, England have a distinct lack of attacking options, but Jermain Defoe and Ashley Young could be introduced in the second period.

8.42pmSTATISTICS: Ukraine have just shaded the possession with 54%, but they have managed just one shot off target compared to England's two on target. It has not been a particularly difficult match to referee, meanwhile, with no yellow cards produced. As it stands, England would remain top of the group on 16 points.

46 minHere we go then. Both sets of players join us on the pitch for the second period. You just get the feeling that one goal could be enough to claim all the points this evening. There have been no changes at the interval, which is not much of a surprise. Right, the home side get the second period underway in Kiev.

48 minUkraine have taken control of the possession in the opening couple of moments with Shevchuk and Stepanenko enjoying the ball in the middle of the park. The latter attempts to find Gusiev down the right, but Cole is across to usher is behind for a goal kick. Not too much from England in the second period thus far.

50 minNervy moment for Jagielka as the Everton defender is forced to concede a corner following a sweeping pass from Gusiev. The set piece is delivered into the box by Yarmolenko, but Edmar cannot make contact under pressure from Lampard. Good pressure from the home side in the opening five minutes of the second period.

52 minHalf-chance for Fedetskiy following another corner, but the Ukraine right-back cannot make contact under pressure from Cole. England attempt to break down the other end with Walcott, but the Arsenal winger is left isolated. The Three Lions just have not started in this half with the home side enjoying all of the play. However, the scores remain goalless.

54 minHandbags between Lambert and Fedetskiy as the Ukraine defender takes exception to a challenge from the Southampton striker, but the referee is on hand to calm proceedings. Walcott opens his legs down the other end moments later before delivering a dangerous cross into the box, but once more Lambert is the only red shirt available. Better from England with 54 minutes on the clock.

56 minEngland have just started to take control of the possession in the Ukraine half with the likes of Walcott and Gerrard seeing plenty of the ball. However, it cannot be said that they are really worrying the home side's defence. We are getting to that stage in the half where both managers could start to think about changes. It will be interesting to see who arrives for England.

58 minLittle over 30 minutes of football remaining in Kiev with the two sides still level at 0-0. As mentioned, a point would keep England top of the group. However, you just get the feeling that there is a goal in this somewhere. Yarmolenko attempts to feed Zozulya down the other end moments later, but the striker cannot react and Gerrard is across to clear the danger.

61 minSloppy from both sides in the last couple of moments with neither able to string too much together in the final third. England have been the better in possession in the last few minutes, but Ukraine look more of a threat in the final third with the trickery and pace of their midfield duo Konoplyanka and Yarmolenko.

63 minBoth coaches have sent a number of substitutes to warm up on the sidelines as we approach the final 25 minutes of normal time. The referee issues the first yellow card of the match moments later as the Ukraine skipper Kucher fells Walcott down the right. The resulting free kick is taken by Gerrard, but again it comes to nothing.

65 minWalcott does not look too comfortable at the moment as he receives treatment on the sideline. England could indeed be forced into a change here. Gusiev threatens down the other end moments later, but the number nine is ruled offside. End-to-end football, but neither team has created too much of note.

68 minBoth sides look to their bench with little over 20 minutes of football remaining in Kiev. The change for the away sides sees Ashley Young enter the field in place of Wilshere. Meanwhile, Ukraine introduce the lively Roman Bezus in place of Gusiev, who has just struggled to influence proceedings this evening.

70 minIt is a really untidy match at the moment with both sides giving away a number of free kicks with sloppy fouls. The latest set piece allows Young the opportunity to whip a cross into the box, but his delivery is really poor. Ukraine attempt to break with Yarmolenko moments later, but Cole is on hand to usher it out of play.

73 minCHANCE! Really clumsy challenge from Walker as the Spurs right-back fells Zozulya on the edge of the box. He is lucky not to concede a penalty, it was that close. The resulting set piece is taken by Konoplyanka, but his effort just deflects wide of the post. Good grief that was close to dropping into the bottom corner.

75 minCHANCE! Wonderful chance for the home side to take the lead as Fedetskiy rises highest in the box, but his header is straight at Hart. That is the closest that either side have come to opening the scoring this evening. Ukraine continue to threaten with a series of corners, but England manage to survive.

78 minEnd-to-end football in the last few moments with both sides committing to players to each attack. However, wasteful passing means that neither is able to threaten the opposing goalkeeper. The longer this match goes on, the more it looks like a 0-0 draw. Both managers have made just one change apiece thus far.

80 minRight, little over 10 minutes of football remaining and still the two sides cannot be separated. It must be said that the atmosphere is just electric inside the stadium with the home supporters willing their team on. A half-chance arrives for Walcott moments later following a deep cross from Walker, but the Arsenal winger cannot turn it into the bottom corner.

83 minGood spell for the home side in the last couple of moments with the likes of Bezus and Yarmolenko both causing problems on the edge of the box. The former turns under pressure from Cole before attempting to bend one into the bottom corner, but Cahill is across to make the challenge. Little over five minutes of football remaining. A draw would leave qualification in the hands of England. However, this one is far from over.

85 minYarmolenko takes matters into his own hands as he collects possession in a wide area before turning Cole and striking an effort towards the top corner, but it was always moving high and wide of the post. Hodgson remains in deep conversation with first-team coach Gary Neville, seemingly discussing whether another change should be made.

87 minGood possession for England in the last couple of moments with Gerrard and Lampard enjoying plenty of the ball in the final third. A low cross from Yarmolenko causes problems moments later, but Cahill is across to clear. England make their second change of the match as Tom Cleverley enters proceedings in place of Walcott, who hobbles off the field.

90 minLast throw of the dice for the home side as Yevhen Seleznyov replaces Zozulya, who has struggled in the second period. England have possession in the Ukraine half as we enter the final minute of normal time. A point is certainly a better result for England than it is for Ukraine.

90 min+2The fourth official indicates that we will play an additional three minutes of football and we are indeed into the second of those. A half-chance arrives for Lampard moments later, but the Chelsea midfielder can only turn his header wide of the post. What a moment that would have been on his 100th appearance. Ukraine make their third and final change as Khomchenovskiy replaces Yarmolenko.

90 min+3FULL-TIME: Ukraine 0-0 England

9.38pmSo there we have it. England will go into the final two group matches with their fate in their own hands following a 0-0 draw in Ukraine. It was far from a classic, but it is the point that England wanted. Thanks for joining Sports Mole for the action and be sure to look out for our match report. Good evening!

City midfielder James Milner in action against Hull on August 31, 2013
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