After missing a sitter during a first half mostly dominated by Ukraine, Wayne Rooney scored England's most important goal in Euro 2012 to ensure them a narrow 1-0 win. England have gone through as Group D winners and will avoid the defending champions Spain in the quarter-final, where they take on Italy.
The talking point will be the goal that wasn't. Ukraine were robbed of a perfectly good goal when the goal-line official ruled the ball did not cross the line. TV replays showed otherwise, but England will be happy that a returning Rooney has shown no sign of rust after missing two matches due to suspension and has got back to scoring ways from the word go.
Before the match, England's coach Roy Hodgson called upon Rooney to deliver an inspirational Pele-type performance. This was not even near a Pele-type performance but Rooney was lively throughout the match and linked up well with his strike partner Danny Welbeck and winger Ashley Young. Rooney might be a little disappointed because he could have easily notched-up a hat trick, but if England have to go through all the way, then only this man can lead them to glory.
Wayne Rooney scored England\'s most important goal in Euro 2012 to ensure them a place in the last eight.
You can see the passion he has got in his eyes and after missing the Premier League trophy with Manchester United by a whisker, Rooney will surely be charged up for this one. His last goal at a summer competition was way back in Euro 2004 against Croatia and this goal will really boost his confidence in the upcoming matches.
With 29 international goals, Rooney now trails three greats - Nat Lofthouse, Sir Tom Finney and Alan Shearer - by only one goal in the England goal-scoring charts. The thing that stands Rooney apart from other star footballers is that he knows how to hold his nerve. He has the knack of rising to the occasion. When it's a crunch game and he has to do the business, it doesn't worry him at all whether it is for the country or Manchester United.
Rooney enjoys the big occasion and is a complete team player. Though it hasn't always gone right for him in the past in tournaments for different reasons - injury and getting sent off for his immature behaviour - of late we have seen a mature Rooney. He received just one yellow card in the whole EPL season.
On the pitch he always wants the ball and wants to do everything he can to get the win for his team. Rooney has 75 caps, and yet, with so many disappointments already behind him, his international career can take a huge turn if he leads the Three Lions to the silverware they have been dreaming of for ages now.