Euro 2012 – Day 4, As It Happened
By: Henry Whitfield
The much anticipated match between England and France failed to produce an exciting display of football, ending in a 1-1 draw. With France unable to turn their dominance into a result to be happy with.
The surprise catalyst for excitement in Group D was Andriy Shevchenko, as the 35-year old scored two headers in six minutes to steal win for the Hosts.
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England 1 – 1 France
The pre-game talk was all whether England would be able to stop the 21-game unbeaten streak by France, but the match ended a bore 1-1 draw.
France dominated for much of the match, with 60% of the possession and a whopping 15 shots on target, compared to the just one by England.
James Milner had an excellent chance to score early on, beating the keeper but hitting the side netting instead of the wide open goal.
England were saved the embarrassment, with Joleon Lescott heading a sublime free-kick into the back of the net and sending the England fans into celebration.
Despite their positive start, England were guilty of sitting back for much of the game and at times seemed content to sit with ten men behind the ball, void of all attacking intent.
The tactic was their downfall, with Samir Nasri scoring a long-ranged shot past keeper Hart, with three England players unable to close down the Manchester City midfielder.
France will be disappointed that their superior control in the second half was unable to secure them a vital three points as Karim Benzema came close to sneaking a win.
Man Of the Match: Samir Nasri
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Ukraine 2 – 1 Sweden
A battle of two aging strikers lived up the billing as both Zlatan Ibrahimovic and Andriy Shevchenko scored, showing the skill that has cemented the two in their countries respect lore.
After a tightly contested first half, Ibrahimovic put his Swedish team ahead off a cross from Kim Kallstrom, making no mistake from six yards out.
The excitement was short-lived, with the Ukraine talismanic forward turning the game on it’s head with a quick fire double.
His first goal came from a killer header off a short cross, the second was an even more spectacular header at the near post off a corner kick, turning the match around in a mere matter of moments.
The 35-year old sent the stadium into delirium, turning back the years and showing why he is regarded as nothing short of a National Hero.
Man Of the Match: Andriy Shevchenko
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Henry is a writer for Sportstream.ca and part of the Bill McLean Sports Show on 88.1 CKDU every Thursday Morning at 9am. You can follow him on twitter at @HenryWhitfield , he’ll be bringing daily updates throughout the entire European Championships.