Lampard secures draw for England

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IOL pic sep12 soccer england lampard

Reuters

England's Frank Lampard prepares for a corner during their 2014 World Cup qualifying soccer match against Ukraine at Wembley Stadium in London.

London - Frank Lampard rescued a point for England when he scored an 87th minute penalty to force a 1-1 draw with Ukraine in their Group H World Cup qualifier at Wembley on Tuesday.

England finished with 10 men when captain Steven Gerrard was sent off a minute after the equaliser for a second yellow card as they struggled following Friday's opening 5-0 win in Moldova.

Ukraine looked like inflicting a rare home World Cup defeat on England after Evhen Konoplianka's stunning 39th minute goal until Lampard struck after Evhen Khacheridi handled in the area.

England substitute Danny Welbeck hit the post just before the equaliser and Jermain Defoe had a goal ruled out for an infringement in the first half but Ukraine also had chances and in the end were disappointed to leave with just one point.

The home side had the best chances in the first half although Ukraine started brighter and played better football, keeping possession and pressing the hosts back into defence.

England were unlucky not to score in the 11th minute when Defoe found the net with a fierce shot from 20m only for Turkish referee Cuneyt Cakir to disallow the effort, ruling the striker illegally challenged Andriy Yarmolenko in the build-up.

England began to get on top as the half wore on and Defoe set up Tom Cleverley with a golden opportunity after 34 minutes but the midfielder shot straight at keeper Andriy Pyatov's feet.

Cleverley later missed two other scoring chances, scuffing one and hitting the outside of the post with the other.

Ukraine's 39th minute goal, which Konoplianka curled home delightfully from 20m, was not a total shock for the home fans because Ukraine looked dangerous in attack from the start.

Oleh Gusyev hit the post with a deflection off Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain after four minutes while Ruslan Rotan's effort was cleared by Gerrard after it beat goalkeeper Joe Hart 10 minutes later before Denys Garmash put a difficult chance over the bar.

The second half saw Ukraine dominate again in their opening qualifier but in the end England battled back for a face-saving point which leaves them on four along with Montenegro and Poland who beat San Marino and Moldova respectively on Tuesday. - Reuters


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