England’s group wide open as Ukraine beat Montenegro

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Ukraine beat Montenegro 4-0 in World Cup qualifying last night, putting themselves in contention for a spot in Brazil and throwing England’s Group H wide open.

The victory puts Ukraine three points behind group leaders Montenegro with a game in hand, and also did second-placed England a big favour, for Roy Hodgson’s side now control their own fate again as they are two points behind Montenegro, also with a game in hand.

Denys Garmash scored first in the 52nd minute after goalkeeper Mladen Bozovic spilled a long-range shot from Andriy Yarmolenko out for a rebound. Yevgen Konoplianka then took a perfect pass from Yarmolenko to double the lead in the 77th, before Artem Fedetski added the third from a tight angle in the 85th. Substitute Roman Bezus netted a solo goal to cap the victory in injury time.

Elsewhere, Robbie Keane celebrated his record 126th 
appearance for Ireland by grabbing a hat-trick in a 3-0 win over Faroes in Group C, taking the striker’s international tally to 59 goals.

In Group B, Mario Balotelli’s dismissal was the talking point as Italy ground out a goalless draw with the Czech Republic in Prague.

Gianluigi Buffon delivered some heroics to keep the Italy goal intact.