England and France Move On to Euro 2012 Quarterfinals
Wayne Rooney played hero for England, scoring the game-winning goal to defeat co-host Ukraine, 1-0, in Group D of the European Championship 2012 at Donbass Arena.
Rooney booted in a low cross from Steven Gerrard past goalkeeper Andriy Pyatov in the 48th minute to help England avoid a quarterfinal clash against defending champion Spain.
That daunting task now belongs to France after losing to Sweden, 2-0, in another Group D match. England will face Italy in the knockout stage on Sunday while the French square off with the Spaniards on Saturday.
England topped Group D with seven points while France finished the qualifying with four points, just one ahead of Sweden and Ukraine.
Rooney, who returned from a two-game suspension due to a red card he received against Montenegro last November, scored his first goal in a major tournament and his 29th international goal overall.
The Ukrainians were aggressive for most parts of the game, taking possession of the ball for 57 percent and having more attempts than the English, 16-10.
Controversy erupted in the 62nd minute after the referee and his assistant missed a goal by Ukraine's Marko Devic. Video replays showed that Devic's looping shot crossed the line before it was hooked clear by John Terry.
"I was sad because the ball was in the goal by one meter," Ukraine coach Oleg Blokhin told goal.com. The Ukrainians tried to appeal but no goal was given.
A goal would have been scored if the proposed goal-line technology was in place. UEFA President Michel Platini has been opposing the use of such technology in games.
Meanwhile, captain Zlatan Ibrahimovic scored on a brilliant bicycle kick in the 54th minute to give Sweden the lead and Sebastian Larsson added a second in the final minute of normal time.
The victory handed the Swedes their first points of the group stage and their first win over France in almost 43 years dating back to October 1969.
"We came upon a team that was far stronger than us. It is up to us to show another side to our game and to prove that we can go far in this competition," midfielder Yann M'Vila said, referring to France's upcoming game against Spain.
With Euro 2012's group stage well and truly over, all eyes now turn to the all-important quarter-final knock-out matches. The eight teams to qualify for the next round: Spain who play France, Italy who meet England, Germany who'll play against Greece and finally Czech Republic who'll meet Portugal
Kick-off of Euro 2012 quarter-finals
Slideshow of Euro 2012 on June 19, with England vs Ukraine in Donetsk, France vs Sweden in Kiev and training, in Poland, of Portugal and the Czech Republic
Euro 2012 in Pictures
- Spain Tops Italy: Nabs 2nd Straight Euro Championship
- Euro 2012 Finals Preview: Italy vs Spain
- Super Mario Balotelli Lifts Italy Past Germany into Euro Final
- David Beckham Surprise Omission from Great Britain's Olympic Soccer Team
- Spain Tops Portugal in Penalty Shootout, Advances to Euro Final
- Italy Hopes to Get Key Players Back vs Germany
- Spain and Portugal Ready for Euro 2012 Semi-final Battle
- Italy Tops England in Penalty Shootout
- Alonso Sparks Spain Past France into Semifinals
- Germany Posts Record 15th Straight Win, Books Place in Euro 2012 Semis
- Greece Faces Daunting Task vs Germany in Euro 2012 Quarterfinals
- Ronaldo's Header Powers Portugal into Euro 2012 Semis
- England and France Move On to Euro 2012 Quarterfinals
- Spain And Italy Move on to Euro 2012 Quarterfinal Round
- Germany and Portugal March into Euro 2012 Quarterfinals
- Coach Del Bosque Signs Contract Extension with Spain
- Czechs and Greeks Advance to Euro 2012 Soccer Quarterfinals
- Fernando Torres Stars in Spain's 4-0 Win Over Ireland
- Euro 2012: Portugal Edges Denmark; Germany Tops Netherlands
- Euro 2012: Czechs Drub Greece; Poland Ties Russia
- Euro 2012: England and France Battle to Draw at Euro 2012
- United States Settles for Tie on Road Against Guatemala
- Euro 2012: Italy Ties Defending Champion Spain; Croatia Dumps Ireland
- Euro 2012: Denmark Shocks Netherlands; Germany Edges Portugal
- Euro 2012: Russia Trounces Czech Republic; Poland-Greece Draw
- World Cup Qualifying: US Faces Tough Challenge in Guatemala
- Sweden Ends Euro 2012 Preparation with Win vs Serbia
- Brazil Downs United States in Exhibition Soccer Match
- Spanish Soccer Squad Unleashes True Form Against South Korea
- Landon Donovan Hat Trick Powers United States Past Scotland
- Offensive-Minded Coach, Goal Scorers Boost US Soccer Team
- Soccer Bridges Distance Between Manchester City and Abu Dhabi
- Manchester City Wins Premiere League Crown After 44 Years
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