Euro 2012 Day 4

The final match day of the first round of group stage games did not feature too much excitement in the first match between France and England, but saw a wonderful upset in the second between Ukraine and Sweden. France played better than in the 2010 World Cup showing their better form of the past year, but still showed a mediocre performance. England also played a very middling game. Gerrard played rather on form with set pieces as usual, netting England a goal from a free kick off the head of Joleon Lescott. However, Sami Nasri responded with a smartly driven low shot that whipped past Hart into the bottom left corner of the goal in the 39th minute. After France piled on the pressure in the remaining minutes of the first half, they continued to dominate possession throughout the second 45 minutes but failed to capitalize on it with a goal. The game ended a draw with both sides hoping they could have converted one more of their chances.

The match between Ukraine and Sweden was much more exciting with the cohosts Ukraine playing in their capital city of Kiev. The first 45 minutes were pretty even with both sides playing the ball well and both defenses blocking any chances on goal. However, Sweden gained a slight upper hand in the beginning of the second half with a couple efforts on goal, and brought the first goal of the match in the 52nd minute. After two high cross attempts from the right, Kim Kalstrom sent a low cross from the left that was chipped in by veteran Swedish striker Zlatan Ibrahimovic. Sweden’s lead only lasted a scant three minutes. Ukrainian defender Yarmolenko drove down the right side and crossed it, where Shevchenko headed it into the Swedish net. The game quickly unraveled for Sweden as Shevchenko scored yet again in the 62nd minute off a corner. The game ended 2-1 for Ukraine, putting the cohosts at the top of group D and making a spectacular end to the first set of matches in this tournament.

Group D Standings:

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