Expert analysis of the events in Poland and Ukraine
Back of the Net
The Back of the Net boys on England 1-0 Ukraine
England triumphed over Ukraine to book a quarter-final with Italy thanks to Wayne Rooney but were thankful to see an equaliser ruled out for reasons of karmic realignment.
Fresh from their effortless demolition of Sweden, the Three Lions were expecting to beat Ukraine and finish top of Group D to avoid the inconvenience of having to beat world champions Spain in the quarter-finals.
But strangely the Ukrainians had other ideas and it seemed that several of their players hadn’t read the script, possibly on account of its being written solely in English rather than their native language of Ukrainian or Russian, which is widely used for administrative or bureaucratic purposes.
Fortunately, Ukraine goalkeeper Andriy Pyatov had read the all-important scene at the start of the second act labelled ‘Pyatov’s clanger’ and gave a powerful performance as the bumbling goalkeeper who comprehensively spills a twice deflected cross to gift Wayne Rooney (played by Wayne Rooney) the simplest of goals.
All the world's a stage...
However, a moment of controversy was to shape the game and indeed the delicate balance of the cosmos.
Ukraine’s Marko Devic broke through the English defence and shot but John Terry heroically cleared the ball from the back of the net and no goal was given. A replay showed that the whole of the ball, all of John Terry and most of Joe Hart’s hand towel had crossed the line.
While the Ukrainian players protested, referee Viktor Kassai quite correctly pointed out that the goal had been disallowed as compensation for Frank Lampard’s wrongly disallowed strike at World Cup 2010, which cost England a 4-2 defeat against Germany.
The referee’s report has confirmed that England are now even but Ukraine are owed one disallowed goal, which they can redeem during their World Cup 2014 qualifier against Montenegro or trade in for any regular Subway sub with the exception of Italian BMT.
More match reports from Back of the Net:SWE 2-0 FRA: Sweden march on, outITA 2-0 IRL: Italy live to use another clichéCRO 0-1 SPA: Spain no longer any good, pundits revealPOR 2-1 HOL: Things starting to look bad for Dutch, admits Van Marwijk
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