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962 vs. Slovenia

Sunday, 14 June 2015
2016 UEFA European Championship Group E qualification match

Slovenia 2 England 3 [1-0]

Slovenia is the 75th nation visited by England

Stadion Stožice, Bezigrad, Ljubljana
Kick-off (CEST): 6.01pm 5.01pm BST
Attendance: 15,796 (sold-out);

93 minutes 45:16 & 48:00 England kicked-off
[1-0] Milivoje Novaković 37 36:56
15-yard placed shot after running onto a Iličić thro' ball left of the oncoming Hart

[2-2] Nejc Pečnik header 84 83:33

 beat Gibbs to a 10-yard header to the right of the goal from a Jokić cross
[1-1] Jack Wilshere 57 56:10
right-footed 20-yard strike into top corner after Lallana was tripped in the area
[1-2] Jack Wilshere 73 72:47
right-footed 25-yard strike out of keeper's right reach from a Adam Lallana backflick

[2-3] Wayne Rooney 86 85:30
18-yard right-footed placed shot left of goal as keeper fell right, from a Theo Walcott lay-off
Match Summary
Slovenia Squad
England Squad
Branko Ilić 57 56:40
Kevin Kampl
90+2 91:41
Commentator: Clive Tyldesley with Andy Townsend (Townsend's last)

Match Summary

Officials from Spain




Referee (dark blue) - Alberto Undiano Mallenco
41 (8 October 1973), Pamplona, FIFA listed 2004.

Assistant Referees - Raúl Cabañero Martínez, 33 (29 August 1981),Murcia, and Ángel Nevado Rodríguez, 33 (17 November 1981), Badajoz.
Fourth official -
Javier Aguilar Rodríguez (1973).

Additional Assistant Referees -
Carlos Clos Gómez, 41 (30 June 1972), Zaragoza & Juan Martínez Munuera, 34 (13 July 1982), Benidorm.
UEFA Referee Observer - Murat Ilgaz
, Turkey
UEFA Delegate - Per Svärd
, Sweden

7 Goal Attempts 22
3 Attempts on Target 6
0 Hit Bar/Post 0
1 Corner Kicks Won 3
5 Offside Calls Against 3
12 Fouls Conceded 15
42% Possession 58%

Slovenia Team



FIFA (4 June 2015) 48th
EFO ranking n/a
ELO rating 53rd
Colours: Made by Nike - White v-necked jerseys with Mount Triglav graphic outlined in green/blue across front with a visualised echo, white shorts, white socks.
Capt: Boštjan Cesar Manager: Srečko Katanec, 51 (16 July 1963 in Yugoslavia), appointed 31 December 2012, took charge 4 January 2013.
21st match, W 9 - D 0 - L 12 -
Slovenia Lineup
1 Handanović, Samir 30
335 days
14 July 1984 G FC Internazionale Milano, Italy 76 83 GA
2 Brečko, Mišo 31
44 days
1 May 1984 RB 1.FC Köln 01/07, Germany 75 0
5 Cesar, Boštjan 32
340 days
9 July 1982 CD AC Chievo Verona, Italy 83 6
most apps
6 Ilić, Branko 32
128 days
6 February 1983 CD
FK Partizan, Serbia
56th minute following Wilshere's equalising goal
13 Jokić, Bojan 29
28 days
17 May 1986 LB Villareal CF , Spain 69 1
7 Iličić, Josip, off 61st min. 27
136 days
29 January 1988
in Prijedor, Yugoslavia
RM AC Fiorentina, Italy 29 2
22 Mertelj, Aleš 28
84 days
22 March 1987 RDM NK Maribor 16 0
8 Kurtić, Jasmin, off 79th min. 26
155 days
10 January 1989 LDM AC Fiorentina, Italy 25 1
17 Kirm, Andraž 30
281 days
6 September 1984 LM AC Omonia Nicosia, Cyprus 38 6
20 Kampl, Kevin 24
248 days
9 October 1990
in Solingen, West Germany
AM BV Borussia 09 Dortmund, Germany
92nd minute for disputing with the referee's decision that he had fouled Rooney
11 Novaković, Milivoje 36
27 days
18 May 1979 CF Nagoya Grampus Eight, Japan 69 30
Slovenia Substitutes
scoreline: Slovenia 1 England 1
10 Birsa, Valter, on 61st min (60:23) for Iličić 28
311 days
7 August 1986 RM AC Chievo Verona, Italy 72 5
19 Pečnik, Nejc, on 72nd min. (71:07) for Kirm 29
162 days
3 January 1986 LM JEF United Ichihara Chiba, Japan 28 5
scoreline: Slovenia 1 England 2
14 Lazarević, Dejan, on 79th min. (78:08) for Kurtic 25
119 days
15 February 1990 DM US Sassuolo Calcio, Italy 16 1
result: Slovenia 2 England 3
unused substitutes: 3-Siniša Anđelković, 4-Miral Samardžić, 9-Robert Berić,12-Jan Oblak, 16-Nejc Vidmar, 18-Rajko Rotman, 21-Martin Milec, 23-Benjamin Verbič.
Coach Srečko Katanec played twice against England for Yugoslavia, in November 1986 and November 1987, scoring their only goal in the second match. He also managed FYR Macedonia in the 2006 matches against England.
4-2-3-1 Handanović -
Brečko, Ilić, Cesar, Jokić -
Kurtić (Lazarević) -
(Birsa), Kampl, Kirm (Pečnik) -
Averages (Starting XI): Age 30 years 0 days Appearances/Goals 50.5 4.4
oldest opposing XI in 2014-15 most experienced opposing XI in 2014-15


England Team



FIFA (4 June 2015) 15th
EFO ranking Group 3
ELO rating 10th
Colours: The Nike 2014 away uniform - Red crew necked jerseys with shadowed pinstripes, red shorts, red socks.
Capt: Wayne Rooney
(12th (22) captaincy (10))
Manager: Roy Hodgson, 67 (9 August 1947), appointed 1 May 2012,
41st match, W 23 - D 13 - L 5 - F 81 - A 32.
England Lineup
1 Hart, C. Joseph J. 28
56 days
19 April 1987 G Manchester City FC 52 37ᵍᵃ
2 Jones, Philip A., injured off 46th min. 23
113 days
21 February 1992 RB Manchester United FC 17 0
3 Gibbs, Kieran J.R. 26
261 days
26 September 1989 LB Arsenal FC 8 0
4 Henderson, Jordan B. 24
362 days
17 June 1990 RM/RB Liverpool FC 22 1
5 Cahill, Gary J. 29
177 days
19 December 1985 CD Chelsea FC 36 3
6 Smalling, Christopher L. 25
204 days
22 November 1989 CD Manchester United FC 18 0
Wilshere, Jack A.G. 23
164 days
1 January 1992 CM Arsenal FC 28 2
the 347th (214th post-war) brace scored
8 Delph, Fabian, off 84th min. 25
205 days
21 November 1989 LM Aston Villa FC 6 0
9 Sterling, Raheem S. 20
188 days
8 December 1994
in Kingston, Jamaica
LF Liverpool FC 16 1
10 Rooney, Wayne M. 29
233 days
24 October 1985 CF Manchester United FC 105 47
scored in five successive competitive matches
now scored in a record 38 matches
11 Townsend, Andros D., off 74th min. 23
333 days
16 July 1991 RF Tottenham Hotspur FC 9 3
England Substitutes
scoreline: Slovenia 1 England 0
Lallana, Adam D., on 46th min. for Jones 27
35 days
10 May 1988 LM Liverpool FC 15 8 0
scoreline: Slovenia 1 England 2
Walcott, Theo J., on 74th min. (73:50) for Townsend 26
90 days
16 March 1989 RF Arsenal FC 40 27 5
the 78th player to reach this milestone
scoreline: Slovenia 2 England 2
22 Clyne, Nathaniel E., on 84th min. (83:53) for Delph 24
70 days
5 April 1991 RB Southampton FC 5 4 0
result: Slovenia 2 England 3
unused substitutes: 12-Ryan Bertrand, 13-Rob Green, 15-Phil Jagielka, 16-James Milner, 18-Charlie Austin, 19-Tom Cleverley, 20-Ross Barkley, 21-Jamie Vardy, 23-Tom Heaton.


England have now gone 25 qualification matches unbeaten (W18 D7).
They have also gone through an entire season unbeaten for first time since 1990-91.
Rooney's record of scoring in five competitive matches in a row equals a record set by David Beckham in April 2003.
4-3-3 Hart -
(Lallana), Cahill, Smalling, Gibbs -
Henderson, Wilshere, Delph
(Clyne) -
(Walcott), Rooney, Sterling
notes: When Lallana replaced Jones, Henderson went right-back.
Clyne was then brought on as right-back, allowing Henderson to regain his midfield position.
Averages (Starting XI): Age 25 years 177 days Appearances/Goals 28.8 4.9


    Match Report by Mike Payne

After the Dustcart, comes the Lord Mayor's Show!  After the awful match in Dublin the previous weekend, we were treated to a terrific game, and a super England victory that takes them a step nearer to qualification for the European Championships next summer.  Right from the first whistle England were sharp, positive and played with a real sense of purpose.  It wouldn't be England if there wasn't a few stumbles along the way, and there were a couple during this match, but overall the win was richly deserved.

As early as the fourth minute Raheem Sterling had a wonderful chance to open the scoring, when a fine pass from Wayne Rooney gave the under pressure Liverpool youngster the perfect chance to answer his critics.  Unfortunately, in trying to lob the goalkeeper, Sterling hit the ball a fraction too hard and the ball cleared the crossbar.  To the lad's great credit the miss never affected him and he was a thorn in Slovenia's side for the whole game.  Four minutes later a terrific move of one-touch football only ended when Kieran Gibbs saw his cross deflected.  The positive start was encouraging and England dominated possession for long periods.  Another fine pass saw a good shot by Sterling deflected wide and it seemed only a matter of time before England would take the lead.

Fabian Delph's powerful running and Jordan Henderson's link-up play was perfectly complemented by a thrilling display from Jack Wilshere.  His touch and vision was excellent throughout and he was involved again when Rooney fired in a shot only to see Samir Handanovic make a wonderful one-handed save.  England were getting closer, as Andros Townsend then put in a good cross that was saved.  At the other end, only a free-kick by Milivoje Novakovic troubled Joe Hart, but the shot was an easy save.  A draw or a defeat would be of no use to Slovenia and they pressed forward when they could, But England held all the aces at this stage.  Sterling was tripped when almost through and then Townsend saw another effort saved.  The only worry was that England had had all the pressure but could not find a route to goal.  Then, on 37 minutes, the unthinkable happened.

A lapse in concentration at the back, which stemmed from a bad throw-in from Phil Jones, saw England's defence exposed as Josep Llicic was able to pass through Chris Smalling and Gary Cahill to send Novakovic on an unchallenged run at goal.  To the veteran's credit he took his chance brilliantly as Hart tried to narrow the angle, slipping the ball wide of the keeper and in off the post.  It was a bitter blow for England and for a few moments they lost their composure.  To be losing at half-time was a travesty if truth be told, but it just goes to show it is no good having oodles of possession if you don't make it pay with goals.

The break gave Roy Hodgson the chance to have a word with his players, and at the restart the manager replaced the injured Jones with Adam Lallana, pushing Henderson to right-back.  On the surface this seemed a strange move, especially with specialist right-back Nathaniel Clyne on the bench.  As it turned out though the substitute played a big part in the fightback by England.  From the restart England went onto the front foot.  A good break ended because no England player wanted to shoot, and then Henderson hit a shot well wide.  It seemed that Slovenia, at this point, were happy to hold what they had, but eventually the pressure told and on 57 minutes England finally equalised.  An attack down the right saw Lallana in the thick of the action and when the ball was half-cleared there was Wilshere, following up, to lash home a tremendous shot from the edge of the penalty area.  It was his first goal for England and emphasised a brilliant performance by the Arsenal player. 

England were now in the ascendency, and a minute later a superb run by Sterling set up Rooney for what seemed a certain goal.  Somehow the skipper contrived to miss the target when it seemed easier to score.  And then another minute into the game Townsend great pull back to Rooney presented the striker with anen easier chance.  Again Rooney was found wanting, but it was also good to see England stepping on the gas.  Surely the chances would continue to come.  Delph, Lallana and Townsend all had efforts at goal before, finally, England deservedly took the lead, and what a cracking goal it was.  A superb move down the right involving Henderson and Townsend saw the ball fed towards Lallana.  A clever back flick from the Liverpool man laid the ball into the path of Wilshere, who took one touch before unleashing an unstoppable shot to make it 2-1 to England.

Theo Walcott was immediately sent on for Townsend as England looked to exploit some tired home legs with a burst of pace.  Bostjan Cesar was extremely lucky not to receive a straight red card when he went in on Rooney with, what amounted to, a forearm smash that Mick McManus would have been proud of!  Cesar didn't even receive a yellow for that one.

England had looked good offensively in this match, but there were still doubts at the back.  The back four all looked a little shaky at times and there was no dominant figure taking control.  This was to prove costly in the 84th minute as a move down the left gave the impressive Bojan Jokic the chance to send over a wonderful cross to the far post where Nejc Pecnik outjumped the flatfooted Gibbs to head home.  It was a good header, well taken, but woeful defending by England. 

Just as it seemed that England's unblemished record in the group matches had come to an end there was time for one last twist in the tale.  On 86 minutes Henderson passed towards Walcott but it was intercepted by a defender, only for the ball to run into the path of Rooney.  The striker had missed several glorious opportunities earlier, but this time there was no mistake as he side-footed wide of the crestfallen goalkeeper for his 48th [ed:47th] England goal.  It takes Rooney level with [ed:one behind] Gary Lineker and just one [ed:two] behind Bobby Charlton's all-time record.

As there always is with England after an international, there is plenty to put right and problem areas of the team.  But you cannot fault a perfect six out of six wins and an unbeaten run that has stretched throughout the whole season.  Let us spend the summer focusing on the positives on what was an entertaining and exciting England victory.  Oh, and one other thing, please wrap Jack Wilshere up in cotton wool, because more performances like this one could make him a serious contender for England legend status.

Source Notes

BBC Sport

Mike Payne - football historian and contributor