Thursday, October 10, 2013

10 October 2009 - Green Sees Red

On 10 October 2009, Robert Green became the first England goalkeeper to get sent off as they lost to Ukraine 1-0.

They were in Dnipropetrovsk for a World Cup qualifier, having enjoyed a perfect record so far under manager Fabio Capello and already secured their trip to South Africa. Green had established himself as the leading candidate to be England's number one in the tournament, starting each of the last five games, but David James, who had started the thirteen games before that, was still pushing for the role.

That narrative gained steam in Ukraine, as Green received a 14th-minute red card, a first for an England keeper, for bringing Artem Milevskiy down in the box. James came on in place of Aaron Lennon for the ensuing penalty, but Andriy Shevchenko's spot kick hit the post to keep the game scoreless.

James was beaten in the 29th minute, though, by Sergiy Nazarenko, whose shot from 20 yards out put the hosts up 1-0. And despite some late pressure from England, including a close chance from Wayne Rooney, that margin held for the final score.

Green did go on to start England's first match in the World Cup against the USA, but it ended 1-1 after he failed to control a long-range shot from Clint Dempsey and Capello replaced him with James for the remainder of the competition.

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