Robert Green was sent off after just 14 minutes as already-through England lost their 100 per cent record in 2010 FIFA World Cup qualifying with a 1-0 defeat in Ukraine.
The West Ham United goalkeeper was left cruelly exposed in a one-on-one with Artem Milevskiy after a defensive mistake by Rio Ferdinand. As Green came out to collect the ball, Milevskiy went over his outstretched arms, leaving the referee to point to the spot and brandish the red card.
With Aaron Lennon sacrificed for David James, Ukraine captain Andriy Shevchenko missed the resulting spot-kick but Sergiy Nazarenko scored the only goal of the game on the half-hour mark. James was left with no chance as Nazarenko's long-range effort was deflected into the net off Ashley Cole.
While Green had been given hardly any chance to impress, Carlton Cole came on for the last 18 minutes as a replacement for Emile Heskey. The in-form forward had little chance to shine though as ten-man England struggled to keep possession against a Ukraine side still dreaming of joining them at next summer's finals in South Africa.
Green will miss Wednesday's final qualifier at home to Belarus, when Matthew Upson, an unused substitute in Dnipropetrovsk on Saturday evening, will hope to get a chance to dislodge either Ferdinand or John Terry. Carlton Cole will also look for a starting opportunity, having teed up Wayne Rooney for a last-gasp effort that just fizzed wide.