Frank Lampard scored from the penalty spot yet again as England rallied back late from a deficit that nearly condemned them to a shock defeat in their World Cup 2014 qualification home opener.
Ukraine had stunned the Wembley late in the first half as 22-year old winger Yevhen Konoplyanka curled brilliantly past Joe Hart from outside the box.
The visitors led 1-0 at half-time as Jermain Defoe was disallowed a goal for blocking his defender with the arm up and Tom Cleverley also missed easy opportunities for conversion.
While Roy Hodgson’s starting Lions unit was unable to replicate Friday’s terrific showing from the 5-0 away win at Moldova, the manager made a trio of sound substitutions to turn on the pressure on Ukraine in the second half.
The hosts played with more urgency as Ryan Bertrand replaced Leighton Baines, Danny Welbeck came on for Cleverley, and Daniel Sturridge took Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain’s spot.
Welbeck created all sorts of problems for the Ukraine defense and hit the post from point-blank range before making his impact four minutes from the end of regulation.
The Manchester United forward latched on to a loose ball inside the box and volleyed it towards the goal, only to draw a hand ball from Yevhen Khacheridi.
Chelsea ace Lampard, who had scored twice in the win over Moldova, made no mistake as he calmly yet powerfully struck past Andriy Pyatov to equalize in the 87th minute.
A minute later, England’s aggressive pursuit of a late win turned sour, as skipper Steven Gerrard was booked for the second time and handed his marching orders.
The sending off appeared to be harsh but stand-in captain Lampard and his nine other teammates left on the pitch had no option but to fight to a draw in the final moments.
While four points from their first two qualifiers won’t disappoint an England side that has been suffering from a plethora of injuries, failure to win in their home opener is a reminder that the road to Brazil 2014 would be far from easy.
Elsewhere, reigning world champions Spain had to rely on a late Roberto Soldado strike to seal a narrow 1-0 win in Georgia while Wales were thrased 6-1 away to Serbia and Scotland were held to a 1-1 draw at home by Macedonia.