A penalty that Frank Lampard converted in the last minutes of the game saved a point for England in the qualifying duel for the World Cup in Brazil 2014 against Ukraine (1-1), at the legendary Wembley Stadium.
Yevhen Konoplyanka put the visitors ahead in the first half, despite the dominance of the English, who tried to equalize the score without success until the Chelsea midfielder converted a maximum penalty, in the 87th minute., Roy Hodgson's men had their first rival of a certain entity in Ukraine in qualifying for Brazil, after trampling last week in Moldova a group without resources to stand up to them.
The Three Lions team had to beat the Ukrainians tonight without the help of attackers Wayne Rooney and Theo Walcott, nor from defenders John Terry and Ashley Cole, all of them injured, and with fellow forward Daniel Sturridge dragging annoyances that have not allowed him to train this week, despite the absences, England dominated the first half in an overturned stadium with their team, who put Ukrainian goalkeeper Andriy Pyatov in trouble on several occasions but did not find the necessary fortune to put his superiority on the pitch on the scoreboard.
Manchester United midfielder Tom Cleverley was one of the most active English footballers during the first 45 minutes of the crash. Cleverley had the first goal of the Three Lions in his boots when he received a ball in the small area that he finished shyly however and ended up bouncing off the feet of the Ukrainian goalkeeper.
Shortly after, the English cut a defender inside the area to unblock a shot that left Pyatov nailed on the goal line, but that ended up crashed against the outside of the post. In those was England, convinced that the first goal could not take, when he actually raised the first goal to the scoreboard, but on the side of the visitors. Joleon Lescott missed his aim on a pass in midfield and allowed Ukraine to recover the ball in a dangerous area, a circumstance that the visitors took advantage of to open the game towards the left wing, where the young midfielder from 22 years Yevhen Konoplyanka.
Football player, who plays in the Dnipro Dnipropetrovsk of the Ukrainian league, made one last jog before facing the English goal from outside the area and shooting a ball into the squad that Joe Hart, still with his body stretched to the maximum, had no option to reach. After half an hour of an anodyne second part, in which the defensive organization of a Ukraine without excessive resources in the attack prevented England from creating danger before the visiting goal, it was Glen Johnson's turn to lift the Wembley crowd from their seats.
The Liverpool defender found a ball on the edge of the area that shot low, crossed, and that came out on the baseline glued to the right post of Pyatov's goal. When England was already on the edge, with five minutes to go to ninety, Danny Welbeck fell in the rival area and the referee did not hesitate to point out a maximum penalty that Frank Lampard fired angrily at the net.
The draw was not enough for an England that sought, unsuccessfully, another goal in the remaining time, to the point that captain Steven Gerrard saw a red card for a dangerous foul while trying to recover a ball.
Argentina also tied
The same luck ran Argentina. The team trained by Alejandro Sabella had to suffer much more than expected to be able to score a point at the National Stadium in Lima, where the fans turned the stage into 'hell’ for Argentines, as they already demonstrated in the reception they did to their bus, which they stoned. further, the early goal of the locals, and the little participation of the visiting star Leo Messi put things even more uphill for the celestial.
The meeting started in the most rugged way possible, and being a clear reflection of what the dynamics of the whole party would be. The fans had not yet reached their seats when in Peru's first attack, Angel Di María hit a rival inside the area and the referee signaled the maximum penalty. The one in charge of 'kicking’ the leather was Claudio Pizarro, but his shot was destroyed by goalkeeper Sergio Romero.
Far from this error discouraging the pupils of the, precisely Argentine coach Sergio Markarian, they kept pushing and stalking the rival goal, and about the 20 minutes of play the inevitable happened. In a quick against Zambrano a center from the right culminated, to send the ball to the back of the net, and break the initial tie.
It was then that Sabella's men woke up from the torpor in which they had been submerged since the beginning of the meeting., and they only needed to combine four passes, for the first time so far, so that the white striker will finish off a center by Ezequiel Lavezzi, the most active of Argentines, to return the tables to the luminous. Higuaín thus added his fifth consecutive official match, three with Real Madrid and two with the national team, seeing door.
With this result and both teams playing very conservative they came to rest. In the second half, The Peruvian coach intensified the defense and put more men behind so that the few attacks of the Albicelestes were easily thwarted. The two-time world champion missed the magic of the best player in the world too much, but the azulgrana suffered an excessive marking and with each movement he had three men on top, also harmed by the pitch, so this time, could not solve the meeting, that ended up in tables.
So, Argentina thus adds another point that allows it to remain leader of the South American group, with 14 points, closely pursued by Colombia and Ecuador, which add up 13 points each. Uruguay and Chile also follow, that have 12.