Rooney secures England progress

Updated: June 20, 2012

Wayne Rooney scored his first goal at an international tournament for eight years as England beat Ukraine 1-0 to reach the last eight at Euro 2012, but his performance, like his team’s, was laboured.

Back in Roy Hodgson’s starting line-up after missing their first two group games through suspension, the 26-year-old headed in from close range early in the second half to seal England’s safe passafe to the knockout phase.

It sent the Three Lions into a last-eight meeting with Italy in Kiev on Sunday, but Ukraine were desperately unlucky not to have earned at least a draw after Marko Devic had a clear goal wrongly disallowed.

France drifted into the quarter-finals of Euro 2012 despite second-half goals from Zlatan Ibrahimovic and Sebastian Larsson providing a rousing Group D send-off for already-eliminated Sweden.

Laurent Blanc’s men were second best throughout as they blew their big chance to emerge as group winners and in the end had England to thank for beating Ukraine and keeping them in the competition.

Ibrahimovic struck a sensational volley to give the proud Swedes a 54th-minute lead then Larsson lashed home the second in injury time much to the delight of the Swedish fans in Kiev. France will now face reigning champions Spain in the last eight.