Ukraine claimed their first point of this UEFA European Under-21 Championship and England their second but this Herning stalemate will probably have brought more cheer to Group B rivals Spain and the Czech Republic.
England were closest to scoring in a slow-burning contest with Daniel Sturridge rattling the crossbar and Danny Welbeck missing when clean through, although substitute Roman Zozulya might have grabbed the winner for Ukraine in an exciting finish. Instead the shared spoils leave both sides looking up at the top two in the section ahead of Sunday's final fixtures when England face the Czech Republic and Ukraine meet Spain, with both needing victory.
Ukraine went into the game knowing a second defeat would spell early elimination and coach Pavlo Yakovenko made five changes from their opening loss to the Czech Republic. That meant starting roles for Maxym Biliy, their scorer on Sunday, and Denys Garmash who found the net when Ukraine beat England in the U19 final two summers ago.
Yevhen Konoplyanka, moved out to the left to accommodate the free-floating Garmash, drew the first save from Frank Fielding after 12 minutes when he came infield and struck a low shot that bounced dangerously as the goalkeeper parried. The ball fell loose but Biliy was penalised for fouling Danny Rose as he tried to get there first.
There was little other goalmouth action during an opening half-hour where England's central striker, Welbeck, often looked isolated. Sturridge, playing on the right, almost put that right, however, with England's first attempt on goal after 33 minutes. Collecting a pass from Michael Mancienne, he drove in a superb half-volley from 25 metres that beat Anton Kanibolotskiy but not the woodwork. England's play got brighter but it was not until Sturridge unleashed an ambitious free-kick after half-time that Kanibolotskiy had to make a save.
England's best opportunity came after 54 minutes when Sturridge sent Welbeck racing clear onto his long ball down the middle. The ball sat up for the England No9 yet, under pressure, his miscued effort flew high and wide. With the hour mark approaching Stuart Pearce made changes, sending on Scott Sinclair and Henri Lansbury for Danny Rose and Jack Rodwell. Both threatened as England pushed for a winner while Sturridge and Welbeck also called Kanibolotskiy into action.
Ukraine went just as close at the other end. Garmash tested Fielding and Zozulya might have won it with eight minutes remaining when Phil Jones misread Garmash's chip, allowing the forward a shot. Fielding got a leg in the way, however, and it is all to play for on Sunday.