Rooney proves useful in Euro return

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IOL pic june20 soccer euro england rooney Reuters Wayne Rooney (right) celebrates with his England team mates Steven Gerrard (left) and Ashley Young after scoring a goal against Ukraine during their Group D Euro 2012 soccer match at Donbass Arena in Donetsk.

Donetsk - Wayne Rooney made a decisive impact on his belated entry to Euro 2012 when his header gave England a 1-0 win over Ukraine on Tuesday that sent them into the quarterfinals as Group D winners and eliminated the co-hosts.

Rooney, suspended for the first two matches, wasted a good chance in the first half but could not miss three minutes into the second after Steven Gerrard's deflected right-wing cross deceived goalkeeper Andriy Pyatov and left the striker an easy header.

Ukraine, needing a win to go through, came desperately close to equalising after 62 minutes when Marco Devic's shot was half-saved by Joe Hart then hacked off the line by John Terry. Ukraine's players and most of the crowd screamed that the ball had crossed the line but the fifth official decided otherwise.

France's defeat by Sweden means England top the group with seven points and will play Group C runners-up Italy in Kiev on Sunday. France finished second on four points and will face holders Spain. - Reuters

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