Ukraine 1-1 England: Saka, Bellingham quiet as Southgate’s men settle for uninspiring draw


England were held to a 1-1 draw by Ukraine in European Championship Qualifying (ECQ) at the Tarczyński Arena in Wrocław, taking the Blue and Yellow’s unbeaten run as the designated home side into its 14th match, reports.

Gareth Southgate’s side immediately took control of possession, but they were left frustrated by Ukraine’s resolute backline early on, despite an in-form Jude Bellingham trying to find a route through for his team.

But the Blue and Yellow soon started making their own forays forward, and found the breakthrough with the game’s first shot on target 26 minutes in.

Yukhym Konoplya collected Victor Tsyhankov’s pass, and played the ball across for Oleksandr Zinchenko to slide in the first goal England had conceded in 330 minutes.

Ukraine continued to make England’s task as difficult as possible, and the visitors struggled to create any meaningful chances, with Jordan Henderson sending a harmless effort over the crossbar.

However, there was finally something for the Three Lions to celebrate in the 40th minute, when prolific goalscorer Harry Kane turned provider with a brilliant ball over for Kyle Walker, who ran behind Vitali Mykolenko and coolly finished to finally register his maiden international goal at the 77th attempt.

After Bellingham and Harry Maguire proved unable to make the most of headed opportunities that fell their way shortly after half time, Bukayo Saka showed his quality by cutting inside Zinchenko and unleashing a venomous strike that Georgi Bushchan did superbly to tip onto the crossbar.

Sensing an opportunity to take three points home, Gareth Southgate turned to Marcus Rashford and Phil Foden after the hour mark, although there was little change to the flow of proceedings, with another Maguire header being comfortably caught as the Blue and Yellow continued to stand strong.

Rashford’s late free-kick at least tested Bushchan, but the goalkeeper palmed it away before bravely reaching a knockdown ahead of Maguire, as Ukraine went a fourth consecutive international unbeaten.

The result ensures they will end the day ahead of Italy, and occupy second place in ECQ Group C. England, meanwhile, are still yet to be beaten this campaign and remain top – that said, they have now lost their perfect record, after failing to win any of the last seven matches in which they have gone behind.


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