Defoe strike sends England through

DiamondGeezer

VIP Member
VIP Member
Joined
Nov 19, 2004
Messages
3,002
Reaction score
166
Location
Bangalore
England are finally up and running in this FIFA World Cup™ after booking their place in the Round of 16 with a 1-0 win over Slovenia in Port Elizabeth.

Fabio Capello's men had entered the match third in Group C after draws with USA and Algeria but they ended the day second following a victory secured by Jermain Defoe's first-half volley. Slovenia, by contrast, suffered heartbreak as they slipped from first place to nowhere as Landon Donovan's late goal for USA in Pretoria condemned them to elimination.

England's campaign up to this point had been played out against a backdrop of negative headlines but not for the first time at the FIFA World Cup, they delivered a result when it mattered in their final group game. They may have been wearing an unfamiliar all-red kit but Capello's men looked much more like themselves than in their previous two outings.

With a cool breeze blowing in off the Indian Ocean, they stirred to life in a Nelson Mandela Bay Stadium awash with the white and red of England. After 14 minutes Frank Lampard tested Samir Handanovic with a long-range free-kick and their desire to make things happen appeared evident when central defender Matthew Upson – in for the suspended Jamie Carragher – won a tackle outside the Slovenia box, allowing Rooney to get in a shot that was deflected behind.

As the game took shape, Slovenia showed the self-belief that had brought them four points already. James had already saved one early drive by Valter Birsa when Ashley Cole's misdirected clearance set Zlatan Ljubijankic on a run down the right, halted only by a fine John Terry tackle. When the ensuing corner was only half-cleared, Milivoje Novakovic drove in a shot that Bostjan Cesar flicked goalwards but without the pace to trouble James.

In the 23rd minute England got their goal. James Milner, restored to the team in the place of Aaron Lennon, swung in a ball from the right and Defoe got there ahead of Marko Suler to fire in a volley that found the roof of the net via the palms of Samir Handanovic. Coincidentally, it was his first England goal since he scored in a 2-1 friendly win against Slovenia last September.

Suddenly England’s confidence came flooding back and they had chances to add to their advantage. Another Milner cross unnerved Slovenia’s defence, Handanovic’s attempted clearance only reaching Lampard who drove over. On the half-hour, Defoe drew a fingertip save from Handanovic who then needed two attempts to keep out Steven Gerrard’s low shot, after Wayne Rooney had teed up his captain.

England continue to set the pace entering the second half. When Gerrard headed a half-cleared corner back into the six-yard box, Defoe hooked wide of an inviting net. The Tottenham Hotspur striker then converted a Rooney cross but the offside flag was raised.

If Rooney had had to apologise to England’s supporters for his angry words into a TV camera in response to boos that accompanied the team off the pitch against Algeria, now they were chanting his name. Yet he should really have given them a second goal to celebrate in the 58th minute when Terry’s pass put him in the clear. However, Handanovic, who had only just kept out a Terry header just before, reacted well once more to tip his shot on to the post.

Slovenia had barely troubled England’s defence but they provided a scare after 68 minutes when Novakovic and substitute Zlatko Dedic both got in shots blocked by Terry and Glen Johnson, before Birsa dragged a third attempt past the post. Matjaz Kek’s men came close again in the dying moments only for Upson to deny Tim Matavz with a last-ditch challenge and the USA's late winner up in Pretoria sealed their unhappy fate. For England, by contrast, the show goes on.

FIFA.com - Slovenia-England - The matches of 2010 FIFA World Cup South Africa
 

DiamondGeezer

VIP Member
VIP Member
Joined
Nov 19, 2004
Messages
3,002
Reaction score
166
Location
Bangalore
Not most convincing off wins but we are in the next round at the end of the day

Bread & Butter goal for Defoe.... that is his type of goal and the difference between playing him and Heskey

Goal difference today is what separates us and the USA who won late on and if the German's win tonight they will be our opponents in the next round but I do think it will be have to be a half decent team to play against to bring the best out of the England team.

Lamps I thought went missing again today but just thought there was just not enough pace in the team to kill the game off after all the possession we had
 

artie

Inactive User
Joined
May 30, 2010
Messages
55
Reaction score
0
bit negative mate?

its the best i've seen England play in a long while! lol.

the part about lampard is right tho what a spoon.
 

NL7

Inactive User
Joined
Apr 2, 2007
Messages
3,200
Reaction score
25
Location
UK
i was happy for capello... i think he has come under-pressure for no apparent reason and it showed that when the players put there minds to it, they can play as a team... capello was and has been showing so much passion and commitment for us and seeing him smilin with the players at the end brought a smile to my face coz u could just tell how relieved and happy he was....

as for the performance it was ok, not great but considering what was served up in the last couple games, it was million times better. the players tried and got stuck in... hopefully these positive signs carry on into the game on sunday but theres no doubt we're gona have to crank it up a couple notches to progress further on in the competition....
 

elniro

Inactive User
Joined
Mar 16, 2005
Messages
1,400
Reaction score
21
First England game in long while that was good to match...excellent tempo through most of the match. Need to create bit more clear cut chances though, I predicted a 3-0 victory would make England top the group and I was right. But hopefully Germans cock up again and they finish 2nd in group D, although I feel that is unlikely.

Also glad that Capello decided to change things a bit...getting rid of the lump of luggage that is Heskey and putting on a proper striker. Milner also was an excellent change, difference between him and players like Lennon and SWP is that he can actually cross and will near always put in a cross when theres a chance to do so.
Barry was not good today, tried too many long passes which he cant pull off.
Lampard was just...well dont need to say anything new about him in an England shirt.

This should give England players confidence that they can perform and play good football, so hopefully that will be replicated and improved upon in the last 16 match.
 
TEST
Top