England secure France draw

June 12, 2012
Football - Euro 2012 - Bet Now at Bet365

England had to settle for a 1-1 draw from their opening game of Euro 2012, with an encouraging display against France giving hope for progress in the competition.

Roy Hodgson's side are now 1.53 to progress from Group D, which also includes Ukraine and Sweden, while they are 6.50 to reach the semi-finals and 11.00 to lose in the final.

In Donetsk Les Bleus made the brighter start, with Franck Ribery looking lively as he troubled the England backline.

Fifteen minutes in England carved open the French defence, with Ashley Young's throughball releasing James Milner, but he could only hit the sidenetting after rounding Les Bleus goalkeeper Hugo Lloris.

However, Hodgson's men did take the lead after half an hour as skipper Steven Gerrard curled over a free-kick from the right and Joleon Lescott arrived right on cue to head home past the helpless Lloris.

Goalkeeper Joe Hart then came to England's rescue as he parried a powerful header from Alou Diarra, but France were level six minutes before half-time as Samir Nasri was given time and space on the edge of the area and curled a low shot beyond Hart.

The second half started as positively as the first, with both sides pushing on looking for a crucial breakthrough, but clear chances were at a premium.

Midway through the half Karim Benzema cracked in a shot from 35 yards which forced Hart into a decent low save, before Glen Johnson lifted a shot over from 25 yards at the other end.

Ten minutes from time Yohan Cabaye's goalbound shot was deflected away by Danny Welbeck, while both sides continued to look for a late winner which never came.

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