England left it late, but maintained their perfect Qualifying record so far.
Peter Crouch 29, John Terry 85
Andriy Shevchenko 74
2010 FIFA World Cup Qualifying Match
8pm, Wednesday 1 April 2009
Live on ITV1
England continued their perfect record in World Cup Qualifying, when a late goal from John Terry sealed a hard-fought victory over a determined Ukraine side.
It looked as though Fabio Capello's men might have had to settle for just a point after substitute Andriy Shevchenko had cancelled out Peter Crouch's first half opener with just over 15 minutes remaining.
The Three Lions weren't to be denied though and showed their character to bounce back from that blow and make sure they collected all three points as opposed to one.
The first half belonged exclusively to England and Wayne Rooney got the crowd crackling with the first moment of brilliance. Steven Gerrard and Ashley Cole interchanged beautifully down the left flank, the Liverpool midfielder slipping the ball through Grygoriy Yarmash's legs before finding Rooney inside the area who leapt acrobatically but his overhead kick landed on the roof of the net.
Three minutes later and Rooney fed Aaron Lennon on the opposite side and his dangerous cross was headed clear by Taras Mykhalyk with England's latest member of the 50 cap club lurking.
Rooney then created another opening by bursting through the Ukraine defence and winning a free-kick on the edge of the penalty box. Mykhalyk was deceived, and cautioned as a result, but Gerrard's curving effort went narrowly wide of the post.
England were in the ascendancy and shortly before the half hour mark they took a deserved lead. Peter Crouch got the goal with a close range volley of real quality having reacted quickest to Terry's knock down from a Frank Lampard corner.
The Portsmouth forward maintained his tremendous scoring record with another crucial effort, and as he was famously asked by Smithy for Comic Relief, he celebrated by bringing on the rope.
Rooney looked on fire as he constantly demanded the ball and sought to bring other players into the game. Moments after England took the lead Rooney swept the ball cross field to Lennon, then met the low cross only to volley over the bar.
England did not have it all their own way though as Ukraine troubled David James from distance on two separate occasions before the interval but some quick thinking from the Portsmouth stopper denied the visitors an equaliser before the break.
Ukraine failed to make any advance on the Three Lions defence in the early period of the second-half and boss Alexei Mykhaylychenko promptly replaced Andriy Voronin with former Chelsea forward Shevchenko, and Nazarenko came on for Valyayev.
England were still doing most of the probing though and Rooney was fouled once more on the edge of the area, and with David Beckham having entered the fray in place of Lennon, it looked within his range. The most-capped outfield player in England's history looked poised but his effort was marginally high and threatened only the top of the net.
Wembley was shocked into silence with just 16 minutes remaining though, as Ukraine snatched an equaliser from the most obvious source in Shevchenko. The Milan poacher found a pocket of space from a wide free-kick from Oleksandr Aliiev and stabbed it high into the net to level the scores.
England were shellshocked having had the majority of the play in the second period, but soon sprung back into action with Beckham guiding a dangerous ball from deep that evaded the Ukraine defence for Rooney to pop up at the back post, but he fired his effort wide.
Shaun Wright-Phillips replaced Crouch as Gerrard moved into a more central role and England looked to find a goal to give them another three points in Group Six.
Step forward the captain and Terry was the man to deliver as he finished a Beckham cross from close range after a Gerrard knock-down at the far post.
The goal proved enough, as England comfortably played out the four minutes of added time to make it five wins out of five in Group Six.
1 David James, 2 Glen Johnson, 3 Ashley Cole, 4 Gareth Barry, 5 Rio Ferdinand (13 Phil Jagielka, 88) 6 John Terry (C), 7 Aaron Lennon (17 David Beckham, 58), 8 Frank Lampard, 9 Peter Crouch (15 Shaun Wright-Phillips, 79), 10 Wayne Rooney, 11 Steven Gerrard.
Substitutes not used 12 Ben Foster, 14 Joleon Lescott, 16 Michael Carrick, 18 Gabriel Agbonlahor.
Manager Fabio Capello
12 Andrii Piatov, 13 Vyacheslav Shevchuk, 17 Taras Mykhalyk, 5 Dmytro Chygrynsky, 16 Gryporiy Yarmash, 4 Anatoliy Tymoschuk (C), 14 Sergiy Valyayev (18 Sergiy Nazarenko, 61), 9 Valentyn Sliusar (2 Maksym Kalinichenko, 88) 8 Oleksandr Aliiev, 15 Artem Milevskyy, 10 Andriy Voronin (7 Andriy Shevchenko, 55).
Substitutes not used 1 Stanislav Bogush, 3 Oleksandr Kucher, 6 Andriy Rusol, 11 Yevgen Seleznov.
Manager Oleksiy Mykhaylychenko
Referee Claus Bo Larsen (Denmark)
Assistant Referees Anders Norrestrand and Torben Jensen (both Denmark)
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