Fabio Capello defended his side after Ukraine inflicted the Italian's first competitive defeat as England coach.
With his defence shaky and Robert Green earning a red card, Capello might have been downhearted at the final whistle. In fact, he could only talk of his pride at such a battling ten-man display.
"I am proud of my team," he said. "In the second half we played very well and created a lot of chances, right until the very last minute."
Capello also had words of comfort for Ferdinand, whose form this season has been well below his usual high standards. In addition to tonight's mishap, Ferdinand was also at fault for one of the Netherlands' goals in August's 2-2 draw in Amsterdam, while he was left for dead by Craig Bellamy in the build-up to Manchester City's third equaliser during last month's pulsating derby clash at Old Trafford.
"He made one mistake, that is all, and that was for the penalty," said Capello. "The only other one was for the goal."
Green will now be banned for Wednesday's encounter with Belarus at Wembley, although James was set for a recall anyway. Other changes can be expected too, not least because Steven Gerrard is a doubt after being replaced by James Milner at half-time. "It is a little muscle problem in the groin," said Capello.
In contrast to England's dismay at defeat, Ukraine coach Alexiy Mykhaylychenko was delighted to gain a win that should see his country make November's play-offs at Croatia's expense.
A win in Andorra on Wednesday is all that is now required. "I am really pleased to get this result," he said. "We still have a game to win but we have given ourselves the best possible chance."