Tuesday, June 19, 2012

Rooney, refs get England through to quarters

England's Wayne Rooney scores the only goal in a 1-0 win ... Carl De Souza / AFP/Getty Images
Associated Press
England and France failed to impress but still advanced to the European Championship quarterfinals Tuesday amid yet another goal-line dispute.
England striker Wayne Rooney returned after a two-match ban to score in the 48th minute and secure a 1-0 win over Ukraine in Donetsk, a result that eliminated the Euro 2012 co-hosts.
Rooney was decisive when a right-flank cross by Steven Gerrard, which deflected off two Ukraine players and was fumbled by the goalkeeper, found Rooney at the back post for a simple close-range header.
Ukraine was denied an equalizer when the match officials ruled Marko Devic's 62nd-minute shot had not crossed the line, despite replays indicating it had.
France progressed as Group D runner-up despite being beaten 2-0 in Kiev by Sweden, which lost its first two matches. Forward Zlatan Ibrahimovic scored with a stunning volley in the 54th and Sebastian Larsson scored the second in stoppage time.
France will play Spain on Saturday in Donetsk. England will face a revitalized Italy in Kiev on Sunday. With the group stage completed, Portugal will face the Czech Republic on Thursday in Warsaw in the first quarterfinal match. Germany will face Greece on Friday in Gdansk.
Also Tuesday, UEFA charged the German football association for a neo-Nazi banner identified among its fans during a game against Denmark. UEFA also fined the Croatian football association $101,000 after fans racially abused Italy forward Mario Balotelli.
Ex-U.S. coach dies: Former United States coach Alketas "Alkis" Panagoulias died Monday at 78. A native of Greece, Panagoulias led the U.S. men 1983 through '85, and also guided the 1984 Olympic team in Los Angeles. He later managed Greece from 1992 through '94 and led his country to its first World Cup appearance in 1994.
The Americans went 6-5-7 with Panagoulias as coach. In an era in which the Americans were in soccer purgatory, 40 years (1950-90) between World Cup appearances, Panagoulias' six wins were then the second-highest total for a U.S. head coach.
Greek players will wear black armbands during the Euro 2012 quarterfinal against Germany on Friday.


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