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Saturday, 12 October 2002
European Championship 2004 Group 7 qualification match

Slovakia 1 England 2 [1-0]
 

Tehelné pole, Nové Mesto, Bratislava
Attendance: 27,000 to 30,000;
Kick-off: 7.30pm CET, 6.30pm GMT
Live on BBC One (UK) - Commentator: John Motson

Slovakia - Szilárd Németh (pivoted to strike his four yard shot 24 23:23),
England - David Beckham (thirty-five yard curling free-kick 64 63:57), Michael Owen (headed the ball home from four yards following a Scholes cross 82 81:53).
Match Summary
Slovakia Squad
England Squad
Results 2000-2005 Slovakia - Róbert Vittek (31), Vladimir Leitner (63), Marián Zeman (86),
England - Steven Gerrard (42), Paul Scholes (68)
.

Slovakia kicked-off. 96 minutes (46 & 50).

 

Match Summary

Officials from Italy

Slovakia

Type

England

Referee (yellow) - Domenico Messina
40 (12 August 1962), FIFA listed 1998.

Assistant Referees - Fabrizio Babini, 42 (25 October 1959), and Claudio Puglisi, 42 (03 April 1960).

Fourth official - Stefano Farina, 40 (19 September 1962), FIFA-listed 2001.

  Goal Attempts  
  Attempts on Target  
  Hit Bar/Post  
  Corner Kicks Won  
  Offside Calls Against  
  Fouls Conceded  
  Possession  

Slovakia Team

 

Rank:

FIFA (18th September 2002) 45th
ELO rating 49th to 51st
Colours: Made by Nike - Blue shirts with white round collars/cuffs and white thinning side panels, blue shorts, blue socks topped with a single white vertical stripe.
Capt: Peter Dzúrik. Coach: Ladislav Jurkemik, 49 (20 July 1953), appointed December 2001, 
8th match, W 2 - D 2 - L 5 - F 10 - A 16.
Slovakia Lineup
1 König, Miroslav 30 1 June 1972 G

FC Zürich, Switzerland

30 0
2 PetrĂ¡s, Martin 22 2 November 1979 M AC Sparta Praha, Czech Republic 5 0
3 Karhan, Miroslav 26 21 June 1976 M VfL Wolfsburg eV, Germany 54 1
4 Hlinka, Peter 24 12 May 1978 LB SBV Vitesse Arnhem, Netherlands 5 0
5 Dzúrik, Peter 33 29 December 1968 CD

ŠK Slovan Bratislava

42 2
6 Zeman, Marián 28 7 July 1974 RB SBV Vitesse, Netherlands 25 2
Zeman cautioned in the 86th minute for Unsporting Behaviour, for a late challenge on Dyer.
7 Pinte, Attila, off 89th min. 31 6 June 1971 M

Panionios GSS, Greece

27 1
8 Németh, Szilárd 25 8 August 1977 F Middlesbrough FC, England 34 12
9 Leitner, Vladimir 28 28 June 1974 M

FK Teplice, Czech Republic

20 0
Leitner cautioned in the 63rd minute for Unsporting Behaviour, for a late challenge on Beckham.
10 Janočko, Vladimír, off 89th min. 25 2 December 1976 M

FK Austria MAGNA Wien, Austria

25 1
11 Vittek, Róbert, off 88th min. 20 1 April 1982 F ŠK Slovan Bratislava 11 1
Vittek cautioned in the 31st minute for Unsporting Behaviour, for a woefully late challenge on Gary Neville
Slovakia Substitutes
17 Reiter, Ľubomír, on 80th min, for Vittek 27 3 December 1974 F

SK Sigma Olomouc, Czech Republic

8 3
18 Kozlej, Jozef, on 88th min. for Pinte 29 8 July 1973 F Olympiakos Nicosia, Cyprus 21 3
14 Mintál, Marek, on 89th min. for Janocko 25 2 September 1977 M MŠK Zilina 5 2

unused substitutes:

12-Juraj Buček, 13-Marián Čišovský, 15-Rastilav Michalík, 16-Maroš Klimpl.

team notes:

Coach Ladislav Jurkemik played against England as a Czechoslovkia player in the 1982 World Cup Finals, as well as in November 1978 and October 1975.
 

3-5-2

König -
Zeman,
Dzúrik, Hlinka -
Pinte
(Kozlej), Janocko (Mintál), Karhan, Petrás, Leitnar -
Vittek
(Reiter), Németh.

Averages (Starting XI):

Age 26.5 Appearances/Goals 25.3 1.7

 

England Team

 

Rank:

FIFA (18th September 2002) 9th
ELO rating 6th
Colours: The 2002 away uniform - Red shirts with thick navy blue stitching, navy v-neck collar/cuffs trimmed with English flag, white shorts with red side panel and navy stitching, red socks with navy band trimmed with English flag.
Capt: David Beckham, 19th captaincy. Coach: Sven-Göran Eriksson, 54, appointed 31 October 2000, took post 12 January 2001, 
22nd match, W 11 - D 8 - L 3 - F 42 - A 19.
England Lineup
1 Seaman, David A. 39 19 September 1963 G

Arsenal FC

74 42 GA
2 Neville, Gary A. 27 18 February 1975 RB Manchester United FC 53 0
3 Cole, Ashley 21 20 December 1980 LB

Arsenal FC

15 0
4 Gerrard, Steven G., off 78th min. 22 30 May 1980 M Liverpool FC 12 1
Gerrard cautioned in the 42nd minute for Unsporting Behaviour, for a very late tackle on Petras.
5 Woodgate, Jonathan S. 22 22 January 1980 CD Leeds United AFC 3 0
6 Southgate, Gareth 32 3 September 1970 CD Middlesbrough FC 51 1
7 Beckham, David R.J. 27 2 May 1975 M

Manchester United FC

55 8
8 Scholes, Paul 27 16 November 1974 M Manchester United FC 50 13
Scholes cautioned in the 68th minute for Unsporting Behaviour, for a reckless challange.
9 Heskey, Emile W.I., off 90th+5 min. 24 11 January 1978 F Liverpool FC 31 4
10 Owen, Michael J., off 86th min. 22 14 December 1979 F

Liverpool FC

43 19
11 Butt, Nicholas 27 21 January 1975 M Manchester United FC 24 0
England Substitutes
16 Dyer, Kieron C., on 78th min. for Gerrard 23 29 December 1978 M

Newcastle United FC

13 0
15 Hargreaves, Owen L., on 86th min. for Owen 21 20 January 1981 M FC Bayern München AG, Germany 10 0
18 Smith, Alan, on 90th+5 min. for Heskey 21 20 October 1980 F

Leeds United AFC

5 1

unused substitutes:

12-Danny Mills, 13-David James, 14-Ugo Ehiogu, 17-Darius Vassell.
 

4-4-2

Seaman -
Neville, Woodgate, Southgate, Cole -
Beckham, Gerrard
(*Dyer), Butt, Scholes -
Owen
(Smith), Heskey (Hargreaves)
With the introduction of Dyer, Scholes went central midfield.

Averages (Starting XI):

Age 26.4 Appearances/Goals 37.4 4.0

 

    Match Report

England opened their European Championship qualifying campaign with a valuable victory in Bratislava, coming from behind to take all three points courtesy of two priceless goals from Beckham and Owen.

This was not a classy performance and it was far from England's best under Sven, but given the cirumstances and conditions under which the Three Lions finally prevailed, it must go down as one of the most important of the Swede's reign.

The pitch was a real problem. After incessant rain for two days there had been doubts about whether the game would be played at all. With the immaculate standard of surfaces that these England players are used to gracing on a weekly basis in the Premiership, it immeditaely became apparent that England's superstars were not to have things all their own way.

This was the biggest game in Slovakia's short history and, inspired by the fanatical enthusiasm of 30,000 home supporters, Ladislav Jurkemik's team made some powerful early surges, often testing Ashley Cole's pace and strength down their right flank.

Nemeth's dash to the byeline on 18 minutes caused genuine concern in the English rearguard and it was a relief to see Steven Gerrard's last-ditch clearance fly just wide of David Seaman's upright.

The Slovaks sensed their opportunity and went for it. Janocko raced past Neville and, as the ball seemed to be rolling out of play, he wrapped his left foot around it to flight a perfect cross to the far post where Pinte rose high to power a header back into the six-yard box. Of course it had to be the English-based Nemeth who got the goal, pivoting expertly to strike a firm 24th minute shot past the 'keeper.

The crowd went crazy and England had confirmation that they had a real game on their hands. A Beckham free-kick which was well saved by Konig and a good Butt strike which went inches wide provided England with an immediate riposte - but it wasn't enough to dampen the new-found confidence of either the Slovak team or their followers.

With half-an-hour still remaining, the home fans could see a historic victory looming and warmed a bitterly cold night with an ecstatic Mexican wave. England needed something badly...and quickly. The man of the hour, once again, was skipper Beckham. Taking a free-kick some 35 yards out on the left, he curled the ball viciously towards the far corner of the goal. Just the sight of Owen's forward thrust was enough to put the 'keeper off and he simply watched, flat-footed, as the ball bounced along into the net.

Into the last 15 minutes Sven had a shot at victory, sending on Kieron Dyer in place of Gerrard. England gre stronger, snatching the upper hand arguably for the first time in the game. Suddenly Slovakia appeared vulnerable instead of forceful, worry replaced confidence and England knew it.

On 82 minutes Paul Scholes sprinted to the right-hand byeline and whipped in a cross for Owen. This time Liverpool's ace marksman did get a touch, nudging the ball home at the near post. There are few strikers in the world that you would rather have on your side when you are looking for a match-winning goal. - The Football Association Yearbook 2003-04, pp40 & 42

Violence mars England victory

England fans have been involved in violence during a Euro 2004 qualifying match against Slovakia in Bratislava.  The trouble apparently started when visiting fans in the stands behind one goal began hurling missiles at nearby Slovakian supporters.  Some even tried to scale the flimsy metal fence separating them from their rivals, who were celebrating Szilard Nemeth's goal, putting them 1-0 up in the 24th minute.  Just before half-time, as seats were being thrown, police wearing riot helmets and wielding batons forced England supporters to retreat.

Loudspeaker announcements in English urged the visiting fans to behave.  The second half passed off peacefully and England went on to score two goals, both from Michael Owen, to clinch the tie.  The violence came as police in Bratislava investigating the shooting of two England football fans questioned a pair of private security workers.  Phil Holland, 31, from Worcester, was shot in the leg while Gareth Jones, 30, from Coventry, was shot in the throat.

He was undergoing surgery to remove a bullet, but is said to be in a stable condition.  Police said the manager of a bar in the city centre called a security service to remove about 60 England fans after they had reportedly been trying to pull their own pints of beer.  Security guards opened fire, said police spokeswoman Marta Bujnakova.  Police found 16 cartridges in the bar and have detained two security officers, but are still searching for another.  Mr Holland, a tiler, said: "We had been in the pub in the main square and were walking towards a nightclub when we heard some shots being fired.

"At first they seemed to be firing into the air.  We all moved away from the noise - but then I suddenly realised I had been shot in the leg."  A friend of Mr Jones, Andy Harvey, added: "We were walking towards the Carlton Hotel, where the England team are staying, just after midnight, looking for a taxi, when there was a bit of a slanging match between English and Slovakian fans, then suddenly six shots rang out.  "We ran for it, but Gareth pulled up saying, 'I think I've been shot'."  Police believe the shot had ricocheted into Mr Jones' neck and that he was "very unlucky".

Intensive care

As he was being taken from intensive care, Mr Jones said the operation he was due to undergo was "quite straightforward".  In the hours before kick-off, another three England fans were detained by police at one of the city's biggest hotels, the Forum.  Meanwhile in Prague, the capital of the Czech Republic through which many fans going to the game travelled, 10 England fans were arrested after severe damage was caused to a lap-dancing bar.  The National Criminal Intelligence Service said the violence was believed to have stemmed from an argument about the non-payment of a bill.

Source Notes

BBC Sport
TheFA.com
Football Association Yearbook 2003-04

____________________

CG