Euro 2012: Welbeck seals England win; France weathers elements, Ukraine

Euro 2012: Welbeck seals England win; France weathers elements, Ukraine

Euro 2012

Euro 2012: Welbeck seals England win; France weathers elements, Ukraine

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Welbeck (Getty Images)

The Three Lions have plenty to roar about now.

Danny Welbeck scored off an inventive back-heel flick with his back to the goal mouth in the 78th minute to snap a 2-2 draw and cap off a frenetic second half in England's 3-2 victory over Sweden that eliminated the Swedes from the tournament and put England in a very advantageous position to advance to the knockout stage. With a win or draw against Ukraine in next week's Group D finale — one in which Wayne Rooney will be eligible to play — England will go through.

Theo Walcott came off the bench to spark a comeback for England, scoring an equalizer on a swerving shot from distance in the 64th minute to level the score at 2-2 before setting up Welbeck with a run and cross from the right.

England opened the scoring midway through the first half, with surprise starter Andy Carroll getting on the end of a Steven Gerrard cross to head England in front in the 23rd minute. 

It all unraveled for England after the halftime break, as Olof Mellberg forced an own goal off Glen Johnson off a scramble in the 49th minute, and Mellberg headed Sweden in front 10 minutes later. Walcott, though, brought England level just three minutes after entering for James Milner.

In Group D's other game on Friday:

FRANCE 2, UKRAINE 0

After torrential downpours and lightning caused the match to be halted for an hour just five minutes in, France weathered a game Ukraine side before finding their top form in a dominant second half.

Jeremy Menez — getting the start in place of Florent Malouda, broke a scoreless deadlock in the 53rd minute from inside the area, quickly cutting to his left foot and beating Andriy Pyatov, who had made a few tremendous saves to keep France off the board earlier, low and to the near post. Yohan Cabaye doubled the advantage just three minutes later to seize all momentum that Ukraine had left.

Andriy Shevchenko could not replicate his heroic performance from the co-hosts' opening match of the tournament, though he came tantalizingly close to hitting the upper corner on a shot from the edge of the box for his best chance of the game.

GROUP D STANDINGS

1. France (1-0-1, 4 points, +2 GD)

2. England (1-0-1, 4 points, +1 GD)

3. Ukraine (1-1-0, 3 points, -1 GD)

4. Sweden (0-2-0, 0 points, -2 GD)

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What did you think of Friday's matches? Was England-Sweden the match of the tournament? Which two teams do you see advancing out of the group?

Share your thoughts below.

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