England under-21s required a late Dominic Solanke goal as they beat a spirited Ukraine side
The Liverpool forward headed home with two minutes remaining after Mykola Shaparenko had cancelled out Dominic Calvert-Lewin's first-half strike.
England started the game very patiently as Ukraine let them have as much of the ball as they wanted, looking to capitalise on any mistakes by England’s midfield pair of Tom Davies and Josh Onomah.
The first chance of the game fell to the visitors, when the ball was cut back to the edge of the box, but Oleksandr Pikhalonok saw his effort drift wide of the post. Ukraine kept their shape and a high level of pressure which caused England to make mistakes in midfield leading to more chances.
England’s first big chance of the game, came when Onomah set Demarai Gray off down the right hand side and his cross was almost turned into his own net by Pavlo Lukyanchuk. England were lacking a spark throughout the first half but James Maddison did produce a ball to Calvert-Lewin who slotted underneath Andriy Lunin in the Ukraine net to give England the lead just before the break. Ukraine would have felt hard done by as they created a few clear-cut chances in the half but could not finish in front of goal.
Ukraine Battled on
Ukraine started the second half brightly but again lacked ruthlessness up front in the early stages. England did have their chances and Joe Worrall almost doubled England’s lead in the 59th minute, when he met a Maddison free-kick but Lunin was able to save.
Ukraine put England under more pressure in the second half as they looked to get a well deserved equaliser. They almost found it when the ball fell to Maksym Lunov in space but his effort was cleared off the line by Dael Fry's improvised header
England had another chance when Onomah burst through the Ukraine midfield and set up Maddison on the top of the box but his curling effort when just behind Lunov’s left hand post.
Ukraine eventually found an equaliser in the 82nd minute when the ball was whipped in from the left and Shaparenko got his head on it and the ball found its way into the back of Angus Gunn’s net. The Norwich loanee will feel he could have done better, evident by his frustrated lash of the ball.
Ukraine had to leave empty handed though as Dominic Solanke headed home from Ademola Lookman's cross with just three minutes to go on the clock.