England clearly dominated Ukraine (4-0), Saturday evening July 3, at the Stadio Olimpico in Rome. She qualified for the Euro semi-finals against Denmark, which she will face next Wednesday at Wembley Stadium in London.
Quickly ahead thanks to a goal from their captain, Harry Kane, on his first opportunity (4e), the “Three Lions” knocked out in the second half a Ukrainian team far too limited technically and defensively out of the game.
After this clear victory, and still without taking a goal in the Euro, England can dream big and have the feeling that the planets have never been so well aligned, after having beaten in the previous round Germany, its bête noire for the first time in a playoff match in 55 years and the World Cup-1966 already won at home.
This is the third time in its history that England, never titled at the Euro, will play a semi-final of the European Championship (after 1968 and 1996).
Ukraine’s lack of argument
In Rome, for the only Euro match they had to play away from London, England quickly felt at home, thanks to Harry Kane’s early goal.
A real confidence when you can rely on a defense in full confidence: five games in a row in a great tournament without giving in, it’s a first for the English selection and Jordan Pickford erases Gordon Banks, who had scored four « clean sheets » during the Mondial-66.
Faced with this solid and hungry England, Ukraine had no real arguments. Coach Andriy Shevchenko is not fortunate enough to have scorers of Shevchenko’s caliber, Ballon d’Or in 2004.
Apart from a closed angle attempt by Roman Yaremchuk, deflected by Jordan Pickford (17e), it was not until the end of the first period to see the “Zbirna” find more rhythm and finally unbalance the English rearguard a little. Shaparenko could have taken advantage of it but his shot missed (43e).
Three new goals in the second half
The last Ukrainian hopes were swept away by a catastrophic start to the second half, where the English quickly took off. Thanks to a header from Harry Maguire, first, to the reception of a free kick from his Manchester United teammate Luke Shaw after less than a minute in the second half (46e). Then another header from Kane, on a cross from the same Shaw (50e).
The complicated evening then turned into an ordeal for Shevchenko’s team, especially as Jordan Henderson took advantage of these ” open doors “ to score his first goal in the selection, still of the head (63e), for its 62e selection.
After preserving their strength in this well-controlled quarter and boosting their morale even more, England will return to their home at Wembley on Wednesday for a semi-final against Denmark. With this huge prospect: a first Euro final, still at Wembley a few days later.