England take big step away to Brazil
1 Joe HART (GK)
2 Kyle WALKER
3 Leighton BAINES
4 Steven GERRARD (C)
5 Gary CAHILL
6 Phil JAGIELKA
7 Andros TOWNSEND
8 Frank LAMPARD
9 Daniel STURRIDGE
10 Wayne ROONEY
11 Danny WELBECK
1 Vukasin POLEKSIC (GK)
2 Savo PAVICEVIC
4 Milan JOVANOVIC
5 Vladimir VOLKOV
6 Ivan KECOJEVIC
8 Stevan JOVETIC (C)
14 Dejan DAMJANOVIC
17 Elsad ZVEROTIC
18 Nikola DRINCIC
21 Stefan SAVIC
23 Branko BOSKOVIC
Referee: Alberto UNDIANO (ESP)
Assistant Referee 1: Raul CABANERO MARTINEZ (ESP)
Assistant Referee 2: Roberto DIAZ PEREZ (ESP)
Fourth official: Carlos CLOS GOMEZ (ESP)
by Lucio Menin
WEMBLEY. Half time has gone at Wembley Stadium and frustration is arising among the Three Lions ranks as they cannot get through the well placed Montenegro defenses.
Wayne Rooney got the golden chance at 41′ but went unconvinced and perhaps panicked on the ball and the end product was a misplaced shot with the open foot on the external part of the nearer post with Poleksic still on the floor for the previous save on Andros Townsend shot from the 18 yard line after a prodigious 40 yard run with the ball.
Earlier Sturridge had another chance in the box but again showed that uncomfortability with finishing which is dreadfully penalizing English football.
Montenegro for instance showed much better how to deal with techniques and showed it with the good feet of Jovetic and Damjanovic which almost took the lead only for the latter being offside at the moment of the pass exchange from the Manchester City star.
48′ GOAL for ENGLAND. Again another deep run of 60 yards by the Spurs rookie down the right flank who then crossed when arrived just past the 18 yards line; Montenegro defender Branko Savic headed weakly and wrongly towards the middle of the pitch in front of the box where the incoming Danny Welbeck shot first time but not an impossible shot. It was then badly spilled by the Montenegro goalie Poleksic just outside the small box where Wayne Rooney this time jumped promptly on the loose ball and despite still not blasting it he however managed to slot it underneath Poleksic hapless body and in the back of the net. It was enough though to the break the deadlock.
61′ GOAL for ENGLAND. Branko Boskovic dreadfully miskicked on his own goal whilst trying to prevent a dangerous ball from again Danny Welbeck – launched into space beyond defenders by a skilful Daniel Sturridge back hill pass – who managed to run to the byline before crossing to reach the criss-crossing movement of the Liverpool forward. If before there was a chance to equalise for the Montenegrins, now it looks like a mission impossible for them.
71′ GOAL for MONTENEGRO. A fine training ground drill that found England midfield unable to impede. Following an uninterrupted build up from the Montenegrins’ third a double change of the front of attack managed to open up the Three Lions’ midfield and when the ball was lumped to the feet of Stevan Jovetic just over the half way line, he firstly feinted a run along the left flank but then turned inside and passed and inviting ball into the space on the England’s right third where substitute Fato Beciraj had all the time to control and then testing Hart from just outside the 25 yards mark, Damjanovic already going beyond the two central defenders skilfully launched himself on the trajectory with an extended leg and impacted the ball from just inside the box in front of an off his line Joe Hart to send the ball on the bottom right corner to bring his team back in the game with 20′ to go. Montenegro showed what quality team they are and managed to reopen the match at Wembley.
Earlier Manchester City and former Fiorentina star Stevan Jovetic silenced the football cathedral with a stunning shot from 38 yards that hit the bar next to the left top corner of Joe Hart. There will be now minutes of passion unless the Three Lions will restore the cushion of two goal difference to secure the match.
77′ GOAL for ENGLAND again. Tottenham Andros Townsend scored at his debut rewarding Roy Hodgson for gambling his reputation by conceding him a risky debut in a match so important for the qualification and in front of the majestic Wembley Stadium home crowd.
A task that would have killed anyone. Not Andros, who already proved to be ruthless and to be made of a thick skin by being already in his young carrier being involved in an FA’s betting scandal investigation in May.
Instead he shook off almost immediately the inevitable emotions and played like and better than the veterans on the pitch. He was instrumental and almost unstoppable in the first half creating that only chance in to which Wayne Rooney wasn’t ready to blast in from six yards.
Then – in the crucial phase of the game – when the goings went tough as the opponent came back into the game, he almost single-handed sealed the match – in a life’s dreamed manner which is only allowed to those moved by the hunger and desire, like anyone debuting at Wembley – with a bending thunder from 30 yards that voids Poleksic good dive on the left post to lift the back of the net to send Wembley Stadium 86,000 crowd and Roy Hogdon’s himself into a roaring meltdown of immense exultant astonishment.
92′ Penalty for ENGLAND. Sturridge is reputed fouled in the box by the so far alert and impeccable Spanish referee. This time however perhaps was overzealous as the ball seemed to be effectively touched by the defender in corner whilst the Liverpool striker played the shot-on-the-spot scene. A further gift that England didn’t necessitate. Daniel Sturridge however takes it himself and scores the final 4-1 results with a well taken and well placed shot with the goalie sent on the wrong way.
ENGLAND will have to worry less for Tuesday’s home game against a presumably hopeless Poland which lost today 1-0 against Ukraine. But this is dangerous has relaxation proved in the past fatal in the World Cup’s second weekend match.
It may well be that the England subdued performance could be down to a ‘reduced’ mental energies intake of the sort we see in the Premier League and in all the other Leagues whenever there is a league match followed few day later by the Champions League round.
In that case we may well see a roaring Three Lions making mince of poor disheartened Poland squad which is by the way already out of the World Cup. And may well be that clatter from the media newsrooms for underground manoeuvres from Borussia Dortmund to behold the dreaded Robert Lewandoski to appear on the Wembley Stadium turf on Tuesday night as the Hammer of the England in a manner Jan Tomaszewski was in that October 1973 denying the Three Lions the road to the World Cup at Wembley seven years after their triumph on the same Ground.
MONTENEGRO came at Wembley missing almost half of his regular squad due to injuries and suspensions including the regular goalie and their best striker, Juventus and former Roma striker Mirko Vucinic.
Who knows what could have happened seen how the game went on the pitch. Their dramatic home defeat by 4-0 to Ukraine is however still inexplicable.
Roy Hodgson has therefore broken the ice and beaten an opponent that the Three Lions had never managed to beat in competitive game before whilst maintaining England unbeaten in the group matches.
The Londoner’s forward traction tactics, a sort of 60’s 4-2-4, paid up a good dividend at the end. But it was an edgy game for all the first half although and can perceive the tension that was holding the players down.
Whenever they were going for the finishing in fact the shots were all out of measure either they were from legends like Steven Gerrard and Frank Lampard or debuting rookies like Andros Townsend. It was an obvious sign the squad was acting under fear and wasn’t releasing their full value and skills
Undoubtedly the Kiev result against Ukraine was paramount in this qualifying prospective although the Ukrainian still have a lot of rambling about it.
Not for nothing however Hodgson was chosen to complete Fabio Capello’s earlier job. If only his ‘Italianate’ experiences and assimilated footballing culture is at last paying back.
In other times another English manager would have gone in Kiev trying to win by playing an hazardous 3-5-2 as it was in 2007 against Croatia with the results of compromising the Euro 2008 qualifying campaign..
Now at least even all the English media has learnt the sour lessons of the past and prefer to go cautious with their copy rather than bombastic claims. Again slowly another good sign of Europeanisation.
At the end it seems the results start coming in the Football Association coffers – if only under the shape of precious qualifying points.
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