WEMBLEY, England (AP) — England's soccer team found a way to quickly dissipate the nation's summer of sporting success and bring back the gloom.
After the Olympics and Paralympics created a feel-good atmosphere in London, the national team returned to Wembley on Tuesday night to play Ukraine and narrowly avoided what would have been its first competitive home loss in five years.
Frank Lampard converted a penalty kick in the 87th minute, giving England a 1-1 tie in Roy Hodgson's first competitive home match as coach.
"We rely on him and he's done the job again for us tonight," captain Steven Gerrard said.
Lampard scored his 26th international goal after Yevhen Khacheridi was called for a hand ball. One minute later, Gerrard was ejected after received his second yellow card, for fouling Denys Garmash from behind. Gerrard became the first England captain to be sent off since David Beckham in 2005.
"These games are not easy and in the end getting a point is a good result considering we were 1-0 down with 10 minutes to go," Lampard said.
Yevhen Konoplianka scored for Ukraine in the 39th minute, crisply curling the ball from 25 yards into the top corner of Joe Hart's goal.
"The young players we had in the squad were probably a little bit intimidated we were leading against England," Ukraine coach Oleg Blokhin said through a translator. "The England team has excelled in the second half and we have got tired."
England (1-0-1) is second in Group H on goal difference behind Montenegro (1-0-1), which won 6-0 at San Marino. The group winner qualifies for the 2014 World Cup in Brazil, and eight of the nine European second-place teams advance to playoffs.
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