John Terry kept the England football team firmly on course for next year's Fifa World Cup finals in South Africa as his late winner at Wembley sank Ukraine and made it five wins out of five in their qualifying group.
Ukraine had threatened to take a point their approach barely deserved when substitute Andriy Shevchenko struck with 16 minutes left to cancel out Peter Crouch's 29th-minute volley.
England's previously flawless record in Group Six was in serious danger until captain Terry bundled in from close range after 85 minutes, getting on the end of Steven Gerrard's header from David Beckham's free-kick.
Terry's intervention came as huge relief to England coach Fabio Capello, who had watched in frustration as his side failed to build on their first-half advantage with a performance that was lacklustre for lengthy periods.
England have 15 points from five matches, Croatia 10, Ukraine seven and Belarus six.
Ireland drew 1-1 in Italy thanks to a late goal from Robbie Keane, Scotland beat Iceland 2-1 in Glasgow and Northern Ireland defeated Slovenia 1-0 in Belfast but Wales lost 2-0 to Germany in Cardiff.
The European champions Spain beat Turkey 2-1 in stoppage time in Istanbul and other winners include France, the Netherlands, Greece, Poland, Switzerland, Austria and Bosnia.