Wednesday, June 19, 2013

19 June 2012 - The Controversy That Never Ends

On 19 June 2012, England beat Ukraine in their last group stage match of the Euros, but not without a little goal-line controversy.

They started the day separated by a single point in the Group D table. England were on top with four points, while France and Ukraine were behind them on three points each and Sweden were at the bottom with no points at all. As the top two teams advanced, everybody was still in the mix.

Playing at the Donbass Arena in Donetsk, Ukraine had the support of a partisan home crowd, but England quieted them somewhat after Wayne Rooney's 48th-minute header gave the Three Lions a 1-0 lead. Their voice returned in force in the 62nd minute, however, when the referee refused to award a goal for Marko Dević. The striker's high arcing shot was cleared by a scrambling John Terry, but replays showed that the ball crossed the line before Terry got to it. The match ended 1-0.

Afterward, Ukraine manager Oleg Blokhin was so angry that he invited one reporter to step outside for what he called "a man conversation." Dević expressed disappointment with the non-goal, suggesting a 1-1 draw with more than 25 minutes to go could have drastically altered the outcome. As it stood, however, England and France advanced, though both were eliminated in the quarterfinals.

In addition to eliminating Ukraine, the loss to England was also the last international match for their captain, Andriy Shevchenko.

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