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877 vs. Slovenia
878
879 vs. Ukraine

Wednesday, 9 September 2009
World Cup 2010 UEFA Group 6 qualification match

England 5 Croatia 1 [2-0]
 

The National Stadium, Wembley, London
Attendance: 87,319; Kick-off: 8.00pm BST;
Live on ITV One (UK) - commentator: Clive Tyldesley

England - Frank Lampard (penalty 7 6:54, twelve-yard header 59 58:15), Steven Gerrard (header from six-yard box corner 18 17:29, six-yard header 67 65:66), Wayne Rooney (thirteen yard shot after a poor clearance 77 76:49). 
Croatia - Eduardo (rebounded three-yard tap-in 71 70:56).
Match Summary
England Squad
Croatia Squad
Results 2005-2010 Croatia - Josip Šimunić (44).
England - John Terry (85).

England kicked-off. 93 minutes (46 & 47:00).

 

Match Summary

 

Officials from Spain

England

Type

Croatia

Referee (yellow) - Alberto Undiano Mallenco
35 (8 October 1973), Pamplona, FIFA-listed 2004.

Assistant Referees - Fermin Martinez, 43 (4 July 1966) & Juan Carlos Yuste Jimenez, 33 (25 September 2009).

Fourth official - Carlos Clos Gomez, 37 (30 June 1972), Zaragoza.

12 Goal Attempts 11
9 Attempts on Target 5
0 Hit Bar/Post 0
2 Corner Kicks Won 3
8 Offside Calls Against 3
16 Fouls Conceded 9
53.1% Possession 46.9%

England Team

 

Rank:

FIFA (2nd Sept 2009) 7th
ELO rating 4th
Colours: The 2009 home uniform - Plain white shirts with white collar, plain white shorts, plain white socks.
Capt: John Terry, 26th captaincy Coach: Fabio Capello, 63, appointed 14 December 2007, effective 7 January 2008, 
18th match, W 14 - D 2 - L 2 - F 50 - A 15.
England Lineup
1 Green, Robert P. 29 18 January 1980 G West Ham United FC 7 6 GA
2 Johnson, Glen M. 25 23 August 1984 RB Liverpool FC 18 0
3 Cole, Ashley 28 20 December 1980 LB Chelsea FC 76 0
4
Gerrard, Steven G., off 80th min. 29 30 May 1980 M Liverpool FC 76 16
5 Upson, Matthew J. 30 18 April 1979 CD West Ham United FC 17 1
6 Terry, John G. 28 7 December 1980 CD Chelsea FC 56 6
Terry cautioned in the 85th minute for unsporting behaviour for a foul on Klasnić.
7 Lennon, Aaron J., off 80th min. 22 16 April 1987 M Tottenham Hotspur FC 13 0
8
Lampard, Frank J. 31 20 June 1978 M Chelsea FC 74 20
9 Heskey, Emile W.I., off 59th min 31 11 January 1978 F Aston Villa FC 56 7
10 Rooney, Wayne M. 23 24 October 1985 F Manchester United FC 55 25
11 Barry, Gareth 28 23 February 1981 M Manchester City FC 33 2
England Substitutes
16 Defoe, Jermain C., on 59th min. for Heskey 26 7 October 1982 F Tottenham Hotspur FC 37 11
17 Beckham, David R.J., on 80th min. for Lennon 34 2 May 1975 M LA Galaxy, USA 114 17
15 Milner, James P., on 80th min. for Gerrard 23 4 January 1986 M Aston Villa FC 3 0

unused substitutes:

12-Ben Foster, 13-Wes Brown, 14-Wayne Bridge, 18-Peter Crouch.
 
4-4-2 Green -
Johnson, Terry, Upson, Cole -
Lennon
(Beckham), Barry, Lampard, Gerrard (Milner) -
Rooney, Heskey
(Defoe).

Averages (Starting XI):

Age 27.6 Appearances/Goals 29.9 6.5

 

Croatia Team

 

Rank:

FIFA (2nd Sept 2009) 9th
ELO rating 8th
Colours: Made by Nike - Blue shirts with white/red chequered side panel/red collar, blue shorts with white trim, blue socks with red/white chequered hoop.
Capt: Darijo Srna Coach: Slaven Bilić, 40 (11 September 1968), appointed 25 July 2006.
35th match, W 24 - D 7 - L 4 - F 70 - A 34.
Croatia Lineup
1 Runje, Vedran 33 10 February 1976 G RC de Lens, France 10 0
2 Pokrivač, Nikola, off 46th min. 23 26 November 1985 M FC Red Bull Salzburg, Austria 8 0
3 Šimunić, Josip 31 18 February 1979 CD TSG 1899 Hoffenheim eV, Germany 74 3
Šimunić cautioned in the 44th minute for unsporting behaviour for a foul on Heskey.
4 Krizanac, Ivica 30 13 April 1979 CD FC Zenit Sankt-Petersburg, Russia 8 0
5 Vukojević, Ognjen 25 20 December 1983 M FC Dynamo Kyiv, Russia 16 1
6 Pranjić, Danijel 26 2 December 1981 RB FC Bayern München eV, Germany 25 0
7 Mandzukić, Mario 23 21 May 1986 F NK Dinamo Zagreb 8 1
8 Kranjčar, Niko 25 13 August 1984 M Tottenham Hotspur FC, England 51 7
9 Eduardo, off 73rd min. 26 25 February 1983 F Arsenal FC, England 27 16
10 Olić, Ivica, off 46th min. 28 14 September 1979 F FC Bayern München eV, Germany 67 13
11 Srna, Darijo 27 1 May 1982 LB FC Shakhtar Donetsk, Ukraine 68 17
Croatia Substitutes
10 Petrić, Mladen, on 46th min. for Olić 28 1 January 1981 F Hamburger SV eV, Germany 35 11
7 Rakitić, Ivan, on 46th min. for Pokrivač 21 10 March 1988 M FC Gelsenkirchen-Schalke 04 eV, Germany 22 7
17 Klasnić, Ivan, on 73rd min. for Eduardo 29 29 January 1980 F Bolton Wanderers FC, England, on loan from FC de Nantes, France 36 11

unused substitutes:

1-Danijel Subašić, 2-Dino Drpić, 5-Hrvoje Čale, 14-Jerko Leko.
 
4-4-2 Runje -
Pranjić, Šimunić, Krizanac, Srna -
Kranjčar, Pokrivač (Rakitić), Vukojević, Mandzukić -
Olić
(Petrić), Eduardo (Klasnić).

Averages (Starting XI):

Age 27.0 Appearances/Goals 32.4 5.2

 

    Match Report by Mike Payne

All the pre-match questions as to whether England could qualify for the World Cup against Croatia were answered emphatically with a scintillating performance at Wembley.  England are most definitely on their way to South Africa!

Right from the first whistle England were on their game.  They pressed the Croatians into their own half and all the home players looked full of determination and running.  It took just seven minutes to unlock the visiting defence.  Aaron Lennon's pace had already frightened the Croatians and when the Tottenham winger cut inside across the edge of the box Josip Simonic's clumsy challenge gave the referee his easiest decision of the night.  Penalty!  Up stepped Frank Lampard with an exact replica of his penalty goal against Slovenia four days earlier.

That was just the start England wanted, but they did not take their foot off the pedal for a moment and in the first half alone they could have scored six goals.  Steven Gerrard headed Wayne Rooney's cross over, Gareth Barry hit a screamer that was very well saved by Vedran Runje, diving to his right, and then on seventeen minutes Gerrard's pass found Lennon on the right and his cross to the far post was met by the incoming Liverpool captain who scored with a glorious header to make it 2-0.

The opening twenty minutes had been superb by England and Fabio Capello saw all his work pay off as the players carried out his instructions to the letter.  The visitors did come into the game for a while after going two goals down but England were still in control.  Gareth Barry was outstanding in his midfield role, intercepting, making good tackles, supporting the attack and always making himself available for his colleagues.  Croatia could not create anything by way of a goal attempt and Rob Green had an easy half.  On 27 minutes Frank Lampard hit a 35 yard free-kick, which again the goalkeeper did well to claw away.  Rooney then cleverly put Lennon clear but the goalkeeper just managed a touch to stop his shot and if Emile Heskey's touch had been better he too would have scored following another good attack.

Croatia had no answer as the England players snapped at their every move, with the nearest home player taking on the man in possession.  It was tremendous stuff and the crowd loved it.  On 38 minutes Gerrard had another chance down the left as he broke clear and he should have finished better.  Still the chances kept coming, on 42 minutes Heskey should have scored but took his eye off the ball believing he was offside, which he wasn't.  A minute later and Heskey set up Lampard who completely fluffed his shot.  Just before the break Lampard returned the compliment by setting up Heskey, but again the big forward missed a golden chance.  The England players were deservedly given a standing ovation as they went off at half-time, and they could have been out of sight if they had taken all their chances.

After the break Croatia brought on two substitutes and for ten minutes they did look a little livelier, keeping possession well and making England work hard.  But after 58 minutes England scored the goal that settled the match, and it was another cracker.  Lennon was again involved, passing to Gerrard who, in turn, found Glen Johnson down the right wing.  Some tricky footwork and a wonderful cross saw the ball met by a deft header from that man Lampard again.  Eight minutes later and England went 4-0 up as Gerrard, Barry and Rooney combined for Rooney to cross into the middle where Gerrard followed up to score with another fine header.

It was the 69th minute when Croatia had their first shot on target, Nico Kranjcar's shot easily saved by Green, and just as England were congratulating themselves on a tight defensive performance they conceded a goal.  Johnson had played really well at right-back but once again he was turned to easily by the winger attacking down the left.  The cross came in and Green made a fabulous diving save to his left to keep out  Eduardo Da Silva's header.  The ball spun loose and Green again saved well, this time from Mario Mandzukic, but unfortunately for the goalkeeper Eduardo was able to pounce on the second rebound to score from close range.  If Green was annoyed, you should have seen Capello's reaction!  He was furious.

But that one blemish on the night's entertainment was forgiven when England made it 5-1 on 76 minutes.  This time the Croatians, or more specifically goalkeeper Runje, gifted England another goal.  Runje tried to kick clear a backpass and only succeeded in giving Rooney the easiest of chances to score his ninth goal of the campaign.  It was a shame for Runje who had earlier made some fine saves.  But there was no denying England as they thoroughly deserved their win after a sparkling all round team performance, the best the new Wembley has seen so far.  A great night!

Source Notes

BBC Sport
TheFA.com
ITV.com/football
UEFA.com
RateTheRef.com
Mike Payne - football historian and contributor

____________________

CG