Martin Lipton in the Daily Mirror: It doesn't get any better. But at least it didn't get any worse. This is a campaign which is becoming an England Groundhog Day. Win one, draw one. Win one, draw one. Win one, draw one. Win one, draw one. Yes, Roy Hodgson and his men escaped from the Olympic Stadium with the clean sheet and the point that keeps them masters of their own World Cup destiny. Yes, too, when they seek back to back wins to clinch the golden ticket to Brazil against Montenegro and Poland at Wembley next month, they will hopefully have Wayne Rooney, Danny Welbeck and Daniel Sturridge. But just as in Warsaw and Podgorica, up against a side that lacked the courage of their open convictions, all the faults that produced Greg Dyke's cri de coeur last week were evidenced.
Matt Dickinson in The Times: A pattern has been established where we journalists tell Roy Hodgson that his England team have underwhelmed in a disappointing, unambitious performance — yet another draw — and he looks hurt and disbelieving then retorts that such criticism is unfair. That circular argument cannot last much longer. There will be a resolution because England will have to win at least one, probably both, of their World Cup qualifiers next month.
Martin Samuel in the Daily Mail: Against Montenegro and Poland next month, this team will surely get the victories they need to finish with a flourish and maintain first place in Group H. They will suddenly pick up an expansive, attacking method of play that has been largely missing in the last year, get on the front foot and win. They will be immune to nerves at Wembley, as has been the case on so many occasions. At least that is the hope.
World Cup
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Henry Winter in the Daily Telegraph: This draw inches Roy Hodgson’s side closer towards the 2014 World Cup finals but if they intend playing as wretchedly as this in Brazil, they would be well-advised to keep their cars in short-stay at Heathrow and keep the engines running. On this dispiriting evidence, England won’t get the ball off the kids on Copacabana beach let alone Spain or Brazil at Maracana. This was one hideously ugly performance by England, highlighting many technical flaws, but this was also undeniably one sweet qualifying point at the home of their Group H rivals.
Barney Ronay in the Guardian: Hodgson had called this "a cup final" in the pre-match build-up. If so, it is one he set out to draw. With this in mind it is tempting – for the first time perhaps in his 18 months in charge – to cast a censorious eye over Hodgson's approach to a qualifier where victory would have all but assured England's place at the World Cup. And yet at the end of this match the overriding feeling was that, really, Greg Dyke needn't have bothered. Here England stated the case for declining standards far more eloquently in a match that showcased not just the usual technical failings but a degree of drift that has little to do with whether the manager selects James Milner or Tom Cleverley.
Glenn Moore in the Independent: When the final whistle blew, the players were elated. They had travelled to a difficult venue, with a depleted squad, absorbed a lot of pressure, and secured what was in many respects a fairly comfortable point. Footballers love that kind of result, especially English ones. It is all about heart, grit, digging deep and every other cliché we have heard for decades. Moreover, progress to the World Cup finals is still in their own hands. A brace of home wins against Montenegro and Poland and England are off to Rio. However, based on tonight's performance there is no guarantee England will achieve those wins. And if they do get to Brazil they could tank as they did in South Africa.
Paul Joyce in the Daily Express: Where regret and recrimination had previously pursued England out of the Olympic Stadium, so now they departed cautiously content. This vast, cavernous arena in downtown Kiev did not represent a dead end for Roy Hodgson’s hopes as it had last summer in Euro 2012 , but brought a renewed sense of optimism and self-belief. England will consider that all roads can indeed still lead to Rio. A hard-fought goalless stalemate against Ukraine owed much to a muck and nettles display that was never easy on the eye. Yet it was a performance which revealed that rather than shrinking in the intense glare of an unrelenting spotlight those in red shirts – particularly the outstanding Gary Cahill and Phil Jagielka – puffed out their chests.
World Cup
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