Poor England drift to 4-9 for group victory
ENGLAND needed a late Frank Lampard penalty to salvage a 1-1 draw with Ukraine at Wembley on Tuesday night after a disjointed performance in which captain Steven Gerrard was sent off.
The Liverpool midfielder was given a second yellow card in the closing stages and his miserable exit summed up a poor night for the Three Lions, albeit one where the result was far from disastrous.
Roy Hodgson’s men are still expected to top World Cup qualifying Group H – they are a best-priced 4-9 from 3-10 with Hills to do so – but there will be concern about the lack of fluidity they displayed. Even so, Hills offer 7-2 that they go through the group unbeaten.
Their showing was nowhere near as bad as that of Wales, who were hammered 6-1 in Serbia.
It was a shocking result for Chris Coleman’s men, who now face a huge task to qualify from Group A, which they are unsurprisingly dismissed as 200-1 shots to win by Ladbrokes.
Scotland didn’t fare much better and laboured to a 1-1 draw with Macedonia. They were pushed out to 25-1 to win the section by Ladbrokes, with Serbia slashed to 9-4.
A poor night for the home nations was capped by Northern Ireland’s 1-1 home draw with Luxembourg.
Russia hardened to 5-4 to top Group F after triumphing 4-0 in Israel, though Portugal remain 4-7 favourites.
Australia are in a bit of bother in Group B of the Asian qualifying section after they lost 2-1 to Jordan.