England vs. Ukraine: 1-1 Draw Proves English Has Plenty of Work to Do

Steven Cook@@stevencookinFeatured Columnist IVSeptember 12, 2012

LONDON, ENGLAND - SEPTEMBER 11:  Frank Lampard of England applauds the crowd after the FIFA 2014 World Cup Group H qualifying match between England and Ukraine at Wembley Stadium on September 11, 2012 in London, England.  (Photo by Laurence Griffiths/Getty Images)
Laurence Griffiths/Getty Images

The England national team is far from ready to compete with the best international football teams at the rate at which they're currently playing, and they'll be hard pressed to become so before the 2014 World Cup.

With England heading into a home game—in Wembley Stadium—against a far inferior opponent in Ukraine, you wouldn't think many English fans would be all too worried about the game's outcome. 

They ended up watching their team trail nearly the whole game after a first-half goal by Yevhen Konopliankaand andhave to salvage a 1-1 draw by a fortunate penalty call and a subsequent PK by Frank Lampard. 

The scoreline doesn't do this match justice, as Ukraine squandered many early chances, including a shot tipped off English defender Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain that went off the post. 

Oxlade-Chamberlain wasn't the only England fielder to make a save, as Steven Gerrard got in on the action, as well, to help out goalkeeper Joe Hart's cause.

Apparently, Lampard wasn't all too disappointed with the surprising draw at Wembley (via Rob Harris of the AP, h/t Sports Illustrated):

These games are not easy, and in the end getting a point is a good result, considering we were 1-0 down with 10 minutes to go.

But Roy Hodgson is having to boldly state (h/t BBC Sport) that his team will make the World Cup. Not win it, just make it.

Has England shifted from a "World Cup or bust" team already?

You'd have to think not, considering their endless pool of top talent and countless up-and-coming stars. But we've seen crazier things (France, 2010 World Cup), and you can never completely trust a team with a new manager.

These are the types of headlines we've become used to seeing in the Hodgson era of English football, as short as it may be. It's definitely too early to consider him a failure, but he doesn't have very long to turn this team around. 

Otherwise, he could be replaced very soon.


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