England’s winning run in their Euro 2024 qualifying campaign came to a halt as they were held to a draw by Ukraine in Wroclaw.

Ukraine were backed by 40,000 fans in the Tarczynski Arena, giving the game the fervent feel of a home fixture despite the hosts being unable to play in their own country because of the war with Russia.

The magnificently noisy backing in Poland turned to a deafening roar when Arsenal’s Oleksandr Zinchenko put Ukraine ahead after 26 minutes, turning in a cross from Yukhym Konoplya.

England had plenty of possession but lacked creativity and it needed a moment of brilliance from captain Harry Kane to set up the equaliser four minutes before half-time, dropping back almost to the halfway line before sending a magnificent raking pass to play in Kyle Walker for his first international goal on his 77th appearance.

Gareth Southgate’s side had the better of the second half, going close when Bukayo Saka’s shot was turned on to the bar by the slightest touch from Ukraine keeper Georgiy Bushchan.

England are still firmly on course to qualify from Group C for next summer’s Euros in Germany, but this was a lacklustre performance.

Colourless England rely on Kane

Harry Kane’s goalscoring importance for England is proved by his status as the country’s record marksman, but his development into the complete player cannot be under-estimated.

Kane helped to rescue a point from a dreary team display with the brilliant demonstration of his vision and range of passing to set up Walker, who finished with composure.

It was a rare moment of quality from England and questions will once more be raised about what appeared to be a conservative approach from manager Southgate.

England’s midfield contained the natural talent and variety of Jude Bellingham and James Maddison, but there was a lack of balance and urgency in the face of a Ukraine side determined to repay their fans for some very special support.

It would take something truly remarkable for England to slip up in qualifying, yet there was very little else in the way of positive news to take away from Wroclaw as Southgate’s players head to Glasgow for Tuesday’s friendly against Scotland.

Ukraine’s show of unity

Ukraine players show their appreciation to the supporters
Ukraine have not been able to host a home game in their home country since November 2021 due to the war with Russia

Kesh Awefada

Kesh Awefada

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