So England get the win that saw them not only progress, but move on from Group D top of the group to set up a quarter-final tie with Italy.
And once again it was a game that did not feature a host of Scoring Chances; tied at 6-6 (Ukraine edging the first half 3-2 - despite their possession and territorial advantage - and England have the better of the second half 4-2) and one area England have been impressive in is their defensive play around what I have classed as the 'Scoring Zone' (see this post for a full definition). Testament to the discipline of Roy Hodgson's system?
For those that follow the blog regularly you will be familiar with what we here have coined ‘Scoring Chance Index' (or ‘SCI'): essentially a model we have developed to try and better understand and measure scoring chances in football. A full breakdown of SCI can be found at this introductory post.
The individual numbers are as follows:
A couple of observations:
- Wayne Rooney's return saw him lead the way for England with +4. He was clearly given the prominent role in attack, with Wellbeck as a support striker and teamed up well with Steven Gerrard (+2) on a number of occasions. With the style of play England have adopted, this pair will be key to England's fortunes in the knock out stages.
- I referred earlier to England's discipline in the 'Scoring Zone' and both John Terry and Scott Parker scored in this area (as England have done defensively in all three games so far). To caution against this a little, John Terry registered two 'Errors' for his role in Ukraine's chances; perhaps no surprise when defending so deep (i.e. inviting the opposition on to such a degree) but this could be costly in a knock-out game.
- Pyatov, the Ukraine goalkeeper, was an impressive +10 heading into the game but he was a 0+/- on the night as he made just one defensive 'stop' and of course errored badly on Rooney's goal.
- How much did Ukraine miss Andriy Shevchenko? He led them with +5 leading into the game (with no other player scoring higher than +3) but injury prevented him from starting and in his absence Ukraine's numbers on the night were low.