Match Analysis: Ukraine 0-0 England

Match Analysis: Ukraine 0-0 England
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Sports Mole dissects the action as England secure a point in a goalless draw against Ukraine in Kiev.

England will go into their final two World Cup 2014 qualification matches top of Group H following a 0-0 draw against Ukraine on Tuesday.

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.

Here, Sports Mole dissects the 90 minutes of action between the two European rivals.

Match statistics:

Ukraine:
Shots: 4
On target: 1
Possession: 53%
Corners: 9
Fouls: 16

England:
Shots: 5
On target: 2
Possession: 47%
Corners: 7
Fouls: 14

Was the result fair?

On the balance of play, it is difficult to argue that a goalless draw was not a fair result this evening. Ukraine started the brighter, but England also had their moments in a high-tempo first period. Both sides had a couple of opportunities apiece in the second 45 minutes, but neither did anywhere near enough to deserve to take all the points from the World Cup qualifier in Kiev.

Ukraine's performance

In Andriy Yarmolenko and Yevhen Konoplyanka, Ukraine had two genuine threats in the final third. However, for all their wide play and impressive deliveries into the box, they did not have a player to finish off the chances. They shaded the possession throughout the 90 minutes, however, while they were also arguably the more dangerous in the final third. They can also be pleased with another clean sheet - their fifth in their last five matches.

England's performance

For all the criticism of England over the last few years, nothing much has changed. Granted, they were without a number of key personnel this evening, but with a midfield trio of Frank Lampard, Steven Gerrard and Jack Wilshere, they should have been able to control the tempo in this type of contest. That was not the case in a poor attacking performance, but the likes of Gary Cahill and Ashley Cole must be praised for their contributions in defence.

Sports Mole's man of the match

Gary Cahill: This accolade was between Cahill and Ukraine midfielder Konoplyanka, but the England centre-back just shades it following an impressive display. The Chelsea defender was a rock in the heart of the away side's defence, making a number of key challenges and interceptions throughout the 90 minutes.

Biggest gaffe of the match

The passing from both sides, especially in the first period, was of a very poor standard this evening. Both of these teams could yet qualify for the World Cup next summer, but based on this performance, not too many international managers will be worried about facing either of the pair.

Referee performance

Pedro Proenca can be pleased with his 90 minutes of action this evening. The Portuguese was hardly seen in the first period as he allowed the play to flow, but he was called upon in the second period to issue a couple of yellow cards. Neither manager will have had too many complaints about his performance.

What next?

Ukraine: Ukraine host Poland on October 10 knowing that they will need three points to keep their hopes of top spot in Group H alive.

England: Qualification for next summer's World Cup is now in England's hands as they welcome Montenegro to Wembley on October 10.

Ukraine's Edmar and Taras Stepanenko battle for the ball with England's Steven Gerrard during their World Cup qualifying match on September 10, 2013
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