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Germany's Lars Bender, right, scores his side's second goal during the Euro 2012 soccer championship Group B match between Denmark and Germany in Lviv, Ukraine, Sunday, June 17, 2012. (AP Photo/Martin Meissner)
Soccer: England, France reach Euro 2012 quarterfinals
Soccer » Brits’ win clinches Group D, while French move on despite loss.
First Published Jun 19 2012 03:02 pm • Last Updated Jun 20 2012 12:15 am

Donetsk, Ukraine • Wayne Rooney returned from suspension Tuesday and scored on a header in the 48th minute to give England a 1-0 victory over Ukraine and a spot in the European Championship quarterfinals.

England won Group D and will next face Italy in Kiev on Sunday.

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Ukraine appeared to have evened the score in the 62nd minute when Marko Devic’s looping shot crossed the line before it was hooked clear by John Terry. But the goal was missed by the referee and his extra assistant behind the goal.

The disputed play will likely add to the pressure on UEFA President Michel Platini to reverse his opposition to goal-line technology.

"I was sad because the ball was in the goal by one meter," Ukraine coach Oleg Blokhin said.

Rooney, who sat out his team’s first two matches at Euro 2012, returned from suspension Tuesday and headed in the goal in the 48th.

Steven Gerrard whipped a dangerous cross into the penalty area that went past two defenders before Pyatov let it slip through his hands as he crouched to collect the ball. Rooney was at the far post and put England ahead.

It was Rooney’s first goal at a major tournament since scoring four at Euro 2004 as an 18-year-old kid. He failed to find the net at both the 2006 and 2010 World Cups.

With the victory, England won Group D and will next face Italy in Kiev on Sunday. France also advanced, despite losing to Sweden 2-0 in the other group match. Ukraine, however, will have to watch the rest of the tournament as spectators, just like co-host Poland.

Ukraine had never won at the Donbass Arena on four previous occasions, and failed to seize on its advantage when it mattered most.


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With their fans dominating the crowd, the Ukrainians were in control from the outset, far more confident on the ball and containing England inside its own half, even with captain Andriy Shevchenko on the bench at the start due to a left knee injury.

But early efforts were from distance, with Denys Garmash and Yaroslav Rakitskiy striking over, while England midfielder Scott Parker had to throw his body into the path of Devic’s low shot.

They were getting closer, though, and looking more even menacing going forward with Oleh Gusev getting into the penalty area and sending in a shot that just creep over Joe Hart’s goal.

Before Rooney scored, England came close to testing Pyatov when Ashley Young sent in a low cross that was easily dealt with in the 11th minute.

As Ukraine attacked the England goal, Rooney was quiet in the first half of his first competitive match in more than a month until he sent a free header wide in the 28th from Young’s cross.

Sweden 2, France 0 • At Kiev, Ukraine, France backed into the quarterfinals of the European Championship, losing to Sweden but going through thanks to England’s win over Ukraine.

Zlatan Ibrahimovic scored one of the best goals of the tournament with an acrobatic volley in the 54th minute and Sebastian Larsson added an injury-time goal to give already eliminated Sweden its first points of the tournament.

The margin of victory could have been bigger as France was outplayed for much of the game despite only needing a draw to guarantee a spot in the next round and facing a team with nothing to play for but pride.

The loss ended France’s 23-game unbeaten streak but it still finished second in Group D after England beat Ukraine 1-0 in Donetsk. France will face Spain in the quarterfinals but will need a much better performance to give the defending champions much of a challenge.

England finished with seven points, while France had four and Ukraine and Sweden bowed out with three each.

France looked lackluster throughout much of the game and couldn’t finish when it did threaten the Swedish goal.

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