Referee Viktor Kassai and England striker Wayne Rooney criticised by Ukraine press


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The Independent Football

Newspapers in Ukraine have criticised referee Viktor Kassai and England striker Wayne Rooney after the co-hosts were eliminated from Euro 2012.

Rooney scored the only goal in England's 1-0 win in Donetsk as Ukraine were denied a goal when the officials failed to spot a shot from Marko Devic had crossed the line before John Terry cleared the ball.

Several newspapers also focused on the decisions of Hungarian Kassai which angered manager Oleg Blokhin.

The broadsheet Zerkalo Nedeli took an aggressive stance towards UEFA and the extra official who failed to spot the ball crossing the line.

There was a feeling of injustice from the publication and a sarcastic undertone detected in the description of Rooney's goal.

The newspaper claimed: "It is unlikely that Rooney's goal can be likened to a great Pele header in the World Cup finals in 1970. Unable to take his chance in the first half, Rooney simply had no right to miss a second chance."

Another broadsheet took a similar view on the positive performance from the co-hosts.

The Komsomolskaya Pravda identified Ukraine's performance as superior to England's and cited the 'goal' which was not given as the turning point of the match.

It said: "Devic scored a clean goal, but the referee did not see. And then you never know - on the wings of our success we may well have gone on to score the second."

The main tabloid newspaper in Kiev, Fakty i Kommentarii, took a different stance in their reaction to the match.

Focusing on a new era with a host of younger names taking to the field and talisman Andrei Shevchenko announcing his retirement, the tabloid looked forward to a bright future after a night they described as "the best time of our national team at Euro 2012".

Many publications chose not to focus on in-depth match reports following the defeat and instead published the thoughts of manager Blokhin.

The manager's post-match reaction was one of pride for his team's performance but anger towards the officials over a host of decisions.

Despite the co-hosts being eliminated from the tournament the Ukraine media took the positives from their performance and claimed the nation could hold their heads high after suffering bad luck against England.