Frank Lampard salvaged a point for England with a late penalty to give his side a 1-1 draw with Ukraine in their World Cup qualifying clash at Wembley. The visitors had looked set for a memorable victory following Yevhen Konoplyanka's stunning first-half strike but after a handball in the area, Lampard struck the spot kick home for his third goal, and second penalty, in two matches.
Yevhen Konoplyanka is congratulated by his teammates after putting Ukraine ahead against England.
The match was marred late on by the sending off of England captain Steven Gerrard following a poor challenge on Denys Garmash to gain his second yellow card.
Ukraine will feel aggrieved not to get the three points against a less than impressive England, but Roy Hodgson's side also missed a slew of good chances.
Looking to avenge their defeat to England at Euro 2012, which included a now infamous goal that never was, Ukraine started the brighter. Yet it was England who came close to grabbing an early lead when Jermain Defoe unleashed a fine low effort into the net, but was penalized for an earlier foul on Andriy Yarmolenko.
While England may have felt aggrieved at the decision, they had only themselves to blame for not grabbing the advantage just after the half-hour mark.
Gerrard whipped a typically fine ball to the edge of the six-yard box and Defoe did well to dive and put a header across goal but Tom Cleverley somehow failed to hit the back of the net as his volley was struck straight into the legs of Andriy Pyatov.
England were made to pay for their profligacy just minutes later. Ukraine worked the ball across the field and Konoplyanka cut inside form the left and, with Gerrard unable to close him down, curled a stunning effort from 25 yards and into the far corner of the net.
A minute before the break England and Cleverley missed another golden opportunity. Frank Lampard drove a low ball back from the right and the Manchester United midfielder completely mishit his shot from eight yards out as it went aimlessly wide of the target.
Incredibly there was still time for another Cleverley near miss prior to half-time. This time his effort was hit cleaner but from a tight angle on the right struck the outside of the post.
While England tried in vain to make something happen in the early stages of the second half, Ukraine came close to adding a second.
Konoplyanka broke at pace down the left and, with the outside of his right foot, the goal scorer supplied a fine low ball in toward Roman Zozulya but Leighton Baines did well to cover and get there just in time to turn the ball over.
Despite needing goal to avoid a major early stumble in their qualifying campaign for Brazil, England showed very little going forward, even with the introductions of Danny Welbeck and Daniel Sturridge.
In a rare threatening moment, Glen Johnson cut inside from the right on the edge of the box and struck a low effort on his least favored left foot that forced a good save from Pyatov.
In the final 10 minutes of a disappointing performance, England finally created some pressure and looked certain to get back on level terms but somehow wasted another golden chance. Sturridge supplied a low ball from the left and his fellow substitute Welbeck somehow contrived to hit the post with the goal at his mercy.
Welbeck in part atoned for his miss with just three minutes left on the clock as he tried to loop the ball over Yevhen Khacheridi and clearly found the outstretched arm of the defender. Lampard gathered the ball and spared England from defeat with a powerfully struck penalty to Pyatov's right.
But, especially with Gerrard's late sending off, it was not a night to savor for England or Roy Hodgson.
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