Euro 2012: Roy Hodgson admits England exceeded his expectations

Written on:June 20, 2023
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England makes its boss proud by qualifying top of Group D

England team’s manager Roy Hodgson admits that the team has bettered his expectations by qualifying top of Group D at Euro 2012, with the team standing tall with seven points including two victories and a draw.

England has topped its group and is now ready to face Italy in the quarter-finals what with its Tuesday’s 1-0 win over Ukraine, and France’s 2-0 defeat by Sweden.

The 64-year-old coach said, “For us to get seven points with two victories and a draw probably exceeds everyone’s expectations. We’re very pleased to have won the group. It wasn’t an easy group to win. Ukraine have very good players, France were undefeated in 23 games, and then there’s Sweden who ended that run. But we deserve it.”

England’s inclusion into the last eight group winners was sealed by a second-half header from the returning Wayne Rooney following a competitive win over the co-hosts in a Donbass Arena in Donetsk dominated by home support.

Hodgson praised goalscorer Rooney, who was playing his first game in the tournament after serving a two-match ban for his sending off in the final qualifying game against Montenegro. Hodgson also paid testimony to captain Steven Gerrard, who set up Rooney’s goal and was voted man of the match.

In the Tuesday’s game, Ukraine not only dominated for long periods but were denied a perfectly good equaliser when Marko Devic’s shot was several inches over the line before being hooked away by John Terry, but the goal was not given by the officials.

By winning Group D, England avoided world and European champions Spain in the quarter-finals and will play Group C runners-up Italy instead in Kiev on Sunday.

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