A match that seemed far more important for its meaning off the pitch than on it ended somewhat fittingly in a 1-1 draw, with Oleksandr Zinchenko’s opening goals canceled out by fellow full back Kyle Walker before a scoreless second half ensured a share of the spoils between the two teams.
The points dropped are England’s first in Euro 2024 qualifying and put Ukraine in a good position to try to nab that second qualifying spot from the group ahead of Italy (who were held 1-1 in North Macedonia).
With Russia’s invasion of Ukraine still ongoing, some 18 months after it began, the match was played in Wrocław, Poland, in front of 40,000 vocal supporters, who went absolutely nuts when Zinchenko got the “home” side on the board in the 26th minute. But Walker canceled out that advantage some fifteen minutes later, and England were probably a bit unlucky not to win it in the end, hitting the woodwork twice in the second half.
Ben Chilwell got the start for the visitors and played the full game, while Conor Gallagher got a few minutes off the bench towards the end. Levi Colwill did not get to make his debut.
Mudryk delivered yet another underwhelming performance. He's played 11 matches for Ukraine and 20 matches for Chelsea without scoring a goal.— Noor (@Noor_AFC) September 9, 2023
Apparently, we narrowly escaped a bullet. Thank you Todd Boehly pic.twitter.com/tiU5vLO4tl
For the team in yellow and blue, Mykhailo Mudryk got the start but only two of his failed moves made the highlights, once getting dispossed rather easily by Declan Rice, and then appearing to hurt himself in an attempted Cruyff turn against Walker. Given the lack of questions about it afterwards, hopefully it was just a cramp for our young winger, who continues to be either unfit, or lacking any confidence ... or both.
England will play Scotland in a friendly on Tuesday next, while Ukraine have a showdown with Italy in Milan that same night.