Hodgson happy after stalemate

11 September 2013 08:55:04 UK

Roy Hodgson admitted that he was pleased with a point from Tuesday's qualifier in Ukraine as England remained on course to qualify for the World Cup finals in Brazil.

A drab game in Kiev ended goalless, but Hodgson was pleased that, with home games to come against Montenegro and Poland in October, England's fate remains in their own hands.

If England can win both those matches they will definitely finish at the top of the group and be playing in Brazil next summer. England are 1/1 to top Group H and 1/1 to qualify for the World Cup finals. They are also available at 1/1 to win the 2014 World Cup outright.

Frank Lampard almost scored for England in the closing stages.

England were without the likes of Danny Welbeck, Wayne Rooney, Daniel Sturridge and Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain for the Ukraine game, which made the result even more important for Hodgson.

He said afterwards: "It is still very tight. We knew a victory would put us in a good position and a draw would maintain our leadership and make certain going into the last two matches at Wembley we have our fate in our hands.

"I am more than happy we go into these last two games at Wembley top of group and have one more point than rivals. That is positive as far as we are concerned.

"Before the game, the feeling among a lot of people was that a draw would be a good result. I'm surprised to hear what I thought was a good performance and result might be being seen as an underwhelming performance."

England rode their luck at times in Kiev, and did not create their best chance until the closing stages when Frank Lampard headed wide from close range.

Hodgson added: "Our attacking options were very limited because we were without Rooney, Welbeck and Sturridge. We also lost a top midfield player in Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain and I thought those players who took their places did a remarkable job."

The draw moves England one point clear of Montenegro at the top of Group H with two games remaining.

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