DONETSK – Wayne Rooney made his return to Euro 2012 in style. Thanks to a goal from the Manchester United striker, England would defeat co-host Ukraine, 1-0, to advance to the knockout round.
With the win, England wins Group D and advances to the quarterfinals to for the first time since Euro ‘96, where they will face Group C runner-up Italy.
Group D runner-up France will face defending Euro champion, Spain.
Rooney, who would miss the first two games due to suspension, would take a cross from Steven Gerrard—which would deflect off of a Ukrainian player—towards Rooney, who would head the ball in from point-blank range to give England a 1-0 lead at the 48th minute.
Ukraine would appear to tie the game at the 61st minute on a shot from Ukrainian forward Marko Devic that appeared to fully cross the goal line, only to be cleared away by English defender John Terry.
The non-goal would prove to be both controversial and change the tide of the entire game as England would hold on to win.
Devic’s controversial non-goal would undoubtedly change the tone—and flow—of the match as Ukrainian midfielder Anatoily Tymoschuk would be booked a yellow card for unsporting behavior.
Despite the non-goal, Ukraine would not taken advantage of it’s 57 percent time of possession as opposed to England’s 43 percent. the co-hosts would also outshoot England 16-10, and have more corner kicks, 10-6.
For England, they now face a much-more experienced and dangerous opponent in Italy, while it is good to have Rooney back in time for the knockout round, they will need more than a missed call to beat the likes of the Azzurri.
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