England vs Ukraine, Euro 2012: Open Thread

England vs Ukraine: 2:45pm ET
Sweden vs France: 2:45pm ET
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This is it. The match that almost all of us have been waiting to watch — England against Ukraine. The atmosphere will feel like a Premier League ground with vocal Ukrainian support. Hopefully Roy Hodgson’s men have what it takes to qualify for the next round. Anything other than a defeat will see England play either Spain or Italy in the next round.

As expected, Wayne Rooney goes directly into the England squad, with Andy Carroll moved to the substitute’s bench. Andriy Shevchenko, meanwhile, is 50/50 to start, but I’d be very surprised if we don’t see the former Chelsea striker playing for Ukraine today, in one of the biggest matches of their history.

England team: Hart, Johnson, Terry, Lescott, Cole, Milner, Gerrard, Parker, Young, Rooney, Welbeck.

Of course, France will be playing Sweden in the other match kicking off at the same time. If England win and France draw, England will finish top of the group and will play Italy on Sunday. If England wins and France wins, England will play Spain on Saturday. No pressure, right?

Before, during and after today’s match, post your rants, raves, questions and observations in the comments section below.

In the meantime, how confident are you that England can win this match? How nervous are you? Let us know in the comments section below.

78 thoughts on “England vs Ukraine, Euro 2012: Open Thread”

    1. There are three people that belong and one that doesnot.

      It was only a matter of time before Rooney made his mark. Ukraine has to fight back, and fight hard to get a victory to advance. Really hoping they can salvage the tournament for the co-host nations.

  1. I am confident in saying that England should win this match. I just hope they are not looking past it in any way. I certainly don’t expect any kind of walkover, but will disappointed if they are not in command before the waning minutes of the match. I do not want to be praying for another Welbeck moment.

  2. UPDATE: Andriy Shevchenko is not fit to start for Ukraine for their match against England. Big boost for The Three Lions.

    The Gaffer

  3. Walcott will play the super sub role, bring him on 60 mins into the game to run at a tired defence.
    Rooney for Carroll was expected.
    England should go for a big win, goals will be important to avoid Spain, well at least until the final (I can dream can’t I?)

  4. Just noticed the name of the Ukraine nation anthem, “Ukraine has not yet perished” glass is half empty or full?

    1. I would actually translate it “Ukraine is still alive (against all odds)”

      Shche ne vmerla Ukrayiny, ni slava, ni volya,
      Shche nam, brattia ukrayint’si, usmikhnet’sia dolia.
      Z-hynut’ nashi vorozhen’ky, yak rosa na sontsi,
      Zapanuyem i my, brattia, u svoyiy storontsi.

      Ukraine has not yet perished, nor her glory, nor her freedom,
      Upon us, fellow Ukrainians, fate shall smile once more.
      Our enemies will vanish like dew in the sun,
      And we too shall rule, brothers, in a free land of our own.

      1. Btw Poland nation anthem has the same theme but in more forceful way:

        Jeszcze Polska nie zginęła,
        Kiedy my żyjemy.
        Co nam obca przemoc wzięła,
        Szablą odbierzemy.

        Poland has not yet perished,
        So long as we still live.
        What the alien force has taken from us,
        We shall retrieve with a sabre.

          1. Then you will probably appreciate a curious historical reference in the Polish anthem:

            Przejdziem Wisłę, przejdziem Wartę,
            Będziem Polakami.
            Dał nam przykład Bonaparte,
            Jak zwyciężać mamy.

            We’ll cross the Vistula and the Warta,
            We shall be Polish.
            Bonaparte has given us the example
            Of how we should prevail.

            This refers to Polish participation in Napoleon’s invasion of Russia in order to re-recapture Russian and Ukrainian territories they used to control as part of Polish-Lithuanian Commonwealth.

  5. Let’s go fellas! Need just a point but do please get ahead in this match so I can be a little less nervous.

  6. Oh Milner! Could it be that we sang “we’re not really here” too much last year and you’re now taking it to heart?

  7. Christ,as Watching this defense i feel like at a pantomime when iwas 10. Errr…Johnson….. He’s behind you….. By like 15 yards! No he isn’t oh yes he is!

  8. POOR performance by England in the first half. They’re playing scared right now. A few flashes of brilliance now and again, but they’re playing far too tentative.

    I think it’s Hodgson’s system rather than players like Milner playing poorly. England is too focused on defending the nil-nil draw right now than playing for a win. I think that’ll only change if/when Hodgson makes a substitution. Maybe he’ll try to hang on for a nil-nil up ’til the 75th minute, and then bring on Walcott, and then The Ox a little later?

    The Gaffer

    1. I agree it is the system making them look worse than they are, I was going to post about how dangerous we would be down the right if walker was fit and if ox or Walcott was on but realized, Hodgepodge tactics would negate any attacking prowess of those players. Sure walker would be solid and not troubled by Ukraine on the right but his offensive explosiveness wouldn’t be capitalized on.

  9. Not much of the ball, no ideas, vigour of the defense somewhat reminiscent of the Rolling Stones on stage. In 2012.

  10. James Milner, the black hole where English attacks go to die.

    He’s been awful ever since he moved to City. I think Hodgson has done everything right except for putting this clown on the field. Why not start Ox? I agree that Walcott is the perfect super sub, and Ox would give you more control, activity and threat going forward.

    Maybe he’s just waiting until the knockout stage to spring it on Spain or Italy. Better hope that something changes because Ukraine looks likely to score…

  11. Poor first half, it looked like we were going for the draw from minute 1. We’re making this team look great and the fact is, they’re not. We need more movement, there are too many English players stood doing nothing, no one’s moving and making space.
    I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again, Milner is too slow and too lazy to be a winger

  12. A gift from Ukraine! Three awful mistakes leading up to the goal. England will gladly take it. Rooney’s easiest goal ever.

    The Gaffer

      1. He was offside, linesman missed the call so not really, ukraine do deserve something for playing better football tho.

  13. This linesman is terrible for not flagging for offside, and the 5th official is also blind for not seeing it go over.

    If he had allowed it that would have been brutal.

  14. wow. I guess the poor officiating is working both ways. Missed the offside call on that point blank header, and then missing that goal line decision.


  15. Parker and Gerrard running their asses off, terry getting exposed is exactly why they play so deep all the time. Such a shame, Gerrard could be a lightning rod through the middle if terry didn’t suck.

  16. Time for goal line technology already. No reason not to use it with 21st century HD. Most major sports are using it now. Again NO reason not to use it.

    1. At the end of the day I don’t think it would have mattered. Funny enough commentary on the official UEFA sifte doesn’t even mention the incident.

  17. What’s this kid doing? looks like he’s 35 and has played 85 minutes the way he’s moving about, better pull his finger out and start moving

  18. A valiant effort from Ukraine but ultimately they were undone by a defensive mistake early in the second half. Had the score stayed 0-0 things could have gotten interesting given the goal line incident and Terry handball no-call late in the game. England didn’t play particularly well but they got the result.

    1. Though I do think Ukraine were hard done by the result, the Terry incident was ball to hand. He is moving across the mouth with the play and his arm is at his side. That wouldn’t even get called on Pepe in the Camp Nou.

      1. Yes I agree it was correct no-call but I have seen penalty given in situations like this. As I said it could have made things quite interesting.

  19. That was one of the toughest goal line decisions I’ve seen in a while. I honestly can’t really blame the ref for getting it wrong. White ball, white net, white posts, white goal line. Terry wearing white everything. It was very difficult to see in real time.

    Which is why no official should have to make such a difficult decision. There is NO REASON WHATSOEVER not to have goal-line technology in these major tournaments.

  20. I shut off the game once the goal was disallowed, didn’t care anymore. I know there was an offsides before the goal but still, three days in a row; Denmark, Croatia, Ukraine…don’t get the rub of the green against “bigger” nations

  21. I’m loving this England team. To be fair, Ukraine dominated the game and it was daylight robbery with the disallowed goal despite the shocking display by the officials who also missed the offside in the build up. But it’s job done yet again and on we go. England can out-Italy Italy on Sunday and grind out another 1-0. The pace and movement of Di Natale and Cassano might give Terry and Lescott problems. If Hodgson starts with Walcott for Milner, then he might want to go with Jagielka as a more defensive right back than Johnson, but whose pace might be required to help out Terry and Lescott. Carroll might be a better option than Welbeck who I suspect the Italians will be able to keep quiet more easily than the big Geordie. Hodgson has been 10/10 so far. A few more good calls and we are in the semis.

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