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Hodgson optimistic despite tame draw

England boss Roy Hodgson remains convinced his side will qualify for the World Cup finals in Brazil even after the lack-lustre display against Ukraine.

steven-gerrardEngland needed a late Frank Lampard penalty to rescue a 1-1 draw against the Euro 2012 co-hosts who appeared to be the more cultured side throughout.

However, Hodgson pointed to the fact that Jermain Defoe had been unfortunate to have an early strike disallowed while England also hit the woodwork three times.

The former Liverpool, Fulham and West Brom manager said: "I was very pleased with many of the aspects of the play. I leave Wembley a lot more confident that we have a group of players who will take this England team to Rio."

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England were without a host of players, including Wayne Rooney, Andy Carroll, Ashley Young, Theo Walcott, John Terry, Scott Parker, Jack Wilshere, Phil Jones, Chris Smalling and Ashley Cole, but trailed to Yevgeni Konoplianka's 25-yard strike before Lampard scored from the spot after Yevgeni Khacheridi had handled in the area.

Afterwards Steven Gerrard was sent off for a second bookable offence, but Hodgson remained upbeat, adding: "At the end of the day, we have had two youngsters starting the game.

"They have come off and we have replaced them with three other youngsters. We have a whole team off the field, who, under normal circumstances, would have been competing for places."

England are now 21.00 to win the 2014 World Cup while hosts Brazil can be backed at 4.00, Germany at 9.00 and Spain at 5.50.

Tags: Bet on England | Bet on Frank Lampard | Bet on Roy Hodgson | Bet on Steven Gerrard | Bet on the World Cup 2014 | Bet on world cup qualifiers

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