England has just beat Sweden in Kiev only to enhance an already exciting tournament. Sweden has a good team but ultimately fell victim to ill fortune. Now, this group, led by France, will have an enticing last day match. England is not dead, neither is the Ukraine, but what does this win really mean?
England has the morale but, Ukraine has the support
We have been seeing a show of support by the host nations and because of that, their squads have been playing a lot better than usual. The Ukrainian squad plays a tight game but, due to defensive errors, they gave up two goals to an efficient French squad. England, on the other hand, found a win against Sweden due to Andreas Isaksson's debacle.
England's effort gives them an outstanding morale boost, whereas the lackluster performance from the Ukraine has put the pressure on Oleg Blokhin's squad. The support for the Ukrainians has been immense, but this win might have turned on the English juggernaut. The match has been scheduled for Donetsk and both fan bases will be there en masse.
An interesting thing about the city of Donetsk is that it was founded by a Welsh businessman named John Hughes, who built several coal mines in the region.
The wingers will decide the match
Both teams have very speedy players in the wings with enough dribbling ability to break the defenses wide open. Yevhen Konoplyanka has been widely inefficient for the Ukraine. While he is quick and has been playing well, he has been a little bit of a "ball hog" and his strikes from outside the box have been nothing short of embarrassing. As for this match day, Walcott and Welbeck scored.
The wild card for the Ukraine could be Marko Devic. Devic came in during the second half and changed the pace of the game. He played not only as a winger but, he also played in the middle, being the bridge between Tymoschuk and Shevchenko. Devic has wild speed and a good touch. He might be the game breaking option Oleg Blokhin needs to aid Andriy Shevchenko.
Because the Ukraine has a goal deficit, they need the win. This game will most likely be decided by the wingers because both teams have a solid midfield.
Old but gold?
Steven Gerrard and Andriy Shevchenko are the most experienced players in their squad and the weight of advancing lies squarely on their shoulders. Each has their supporting cast, but there is no doubt that the English Team is better than the Ukrainian side. Ukraine can count on Shevchenko's effectiveness whenever he gets the ball. Gerrard can be very sleepy on the pitch at times, but if inspired, Gerrard can win a match on his own. The question is: which one of the elder statesman in each team will uneven the match?