Tuesday evening’s match against the Ukraine was a massive one for England if they were to keep their automatic qualification hopes alive, and they did just that with a hard-fought draw.
Although the performance was largely uninspired and relatively unconvincing, it was the result that mattered most to the players and fans if they were to maintain their decent qualification record to date.
Both sides had opportunities to rattle the net, however there was certainly a lack of clinical finishing in Kiev as neither one seemed to possess that cutting edge in front of goal.
On his 100th cap for the national team, Frank Lampard came closest late on with a glancing downward header that bounced narrowly wide of the goal. A goal for the Chelsea star would have capped a wonderful evening for him, however it wasn’t to be.
Overall, manager Roy Hodgson will have been relatively content to avoid the potentially disastrous stumbling that is Ukraine, and can now focus on more promising days to come.
In fact, England’s next two qualifying matches are at home in Wembley, so they’ll have the added benefit of home support to help them over the line.
Of course, some will have been worried with how unspectacular the English display was, as they never really took hold of the game. Granted, Hodgson’s decision to place Rickie Lambert as the spearhead of the attack clearly had a specific purpose, however, it just didn’t look as though it worked.
Improvement is needed in the England camp, but for now they can relax a little, knowing their fate rests safely in their own hands.
And now it’s time to take a look at some of the best tweets of the night:
In terms of qualifying for The World Cup, tonight's result was very good. In terms of looking to the future, it's hard to be positive.
— michael owen (@themichaelowen) September 10, 2013
Until coaching,Premier League, grass roots are addressed properly there's no point arguing about England anymore. Adapt or die.We know this.
— Stan Collymore (@StanCollymore) September 10, 2013
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