‘A really good test away from home’ – Southgate takes positives from draw with Ukraine

England manage Gareth Southgate

England manager Gareth Southgate credited his players and their control of the game as England were held to a 1-1 draw by Ukraine.

England dominated large spells of the game but found themselves behind when Arsenal defender Oleksandr Zinchenko put Ukraine in front after 26 minutes.

A frustrated England equalised just before half-time through Kyle Walker, his first goal for his country after 77 caps.

Southgate spoke of his disappointment in the lack of chances created across the 90 minutes.

“I thought we played with real composure up until the final third. By the time we scored the goal, that was our first attempt on target.

“Clearly most of our attacking play wasn’t at the level that we would have hoped it to be. Ukraine made it difficult to find space in midfield, so credit to them.

“They defended in a very compact way. That helped with us having control up that point. We turned too many balls over that we would not normally do. I wouldn’t expect that to happen again.”

Southgate was pleased England had taken four points from their two trickiest away games, as they edge closer to securing qualification for Euro 2024.

England have 13 points from 5 games in group C, six points above Ukraine who occupy second place.

“The reality is we are not going to win every game by four (goals) and seven (goals) as we have done in this qualifying campaign.

“That was a really good test away from home, a very passionate atmosphere and quite a few changes forced from the last game.

“Sometimes especially with attacking play, it does not quite click.”

England play Scotland at Hampden Park in a friendly for their last game of the September international break.

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