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Sunday, 4 September 2016
2018 FIFA World Cup UEFA Group F qualification match

Slovakia 0 England 1 [0-0]

Štadión Antona Malatinského, City Arena, Trnava
Kick-off (CEST): 6.00pm 5.00pm BST
Attendance: 18,111.

98 minutes 47:06 & 51:00 Wayne Rooney kicked off
  [0-0] Adam Lallana strike hits the post 75:24
[0-0] Theo Walcott scores; deemed offside 90

[0-1] Adam Lallana 90+5 94:42
7-yard left-footed placed shot underneath Kozáčik leg's from a Danny Rose pass
Martin Škrtel 25 24:01  
Martin Škrtel 57 56:49

Adam Lallana
Expulsion: Martin Škrtel 57 56:49
Tomáš Hubočan
90+6 95:?
Commentator: Clive Tyldesley with Glenn Hoddle

Match Summary

Officials from Serbia Slovakia Squad


England Squad
Referee (black) - Milorad Mažić
43 (23 March 1973), Vrbas, FIFA-listed 2009.

Assistant Referees - Milovan Ristić, 42 (1 May 1974), Belgrad, and Dalibor Ðjurđjević, 43 (25 March 1973), Kruševac.
Fourth official -
Srđan Jovanović, 30 (9 April 1986), Belgrad, FIFA-listed 2015.


1 Goal Attempts 20
0 Attempts on Target 5
0 Hit Bar/Post 1
4 Corner Kicks Won 9
0 Offside Calls Against 3
13 Fouls Conceded 12
36% Possession 64%

Slovakia Team



FIFA (11 August 2016) 24th
EFO ranking n/a
ELO rating 28th
Colours: Made by Nike - White v-necked jerseys, white shorts, white socks.
Capt: Martin Škrtel
Marek Hamšík, 57th min.
Manager: Jón Kozák, 62 (17 April 1954), appointed 2 July 2013.
35th match, W 19 - D 8 - L 8 - F 50 - A 31.
Slovakia Lineup
1 Kozáčik, Matúš 32
252 days
27 December 1983 G FC Viktoria Plzeň, Czech Republic 22 19ᵍᵃ
2 Pekarík, Peter 29
310 days
30 October 1986 RB Hertha, Berliner SC von 1892, Germany 72 2
3 Škrtel, Martin 31
264 days
15 December 1984 CD
Fenerbahçe SK, Turkey
20th expulsion vs. England
25th min. after elbowing Kane (23:57) as the both went for the same ball.
  96th min. for tripping Harry Kane (56:40) and then stamping on his ankle.
4 Ďurica, Jón 34
269 days
10 December 1981 CD Trabzonspor Kb, Turkey 84 4
15 Hubočan, Tomáš 30
353 days
17 September 1985
Olympique de Marseille, France
96th min.
22 Pečovský, Viktor, off 56th min. 33
103 days
24 May 1983 LM MŠK Žilina 35 1
6 Greguš, Jón 25
219 days
29 January 1991 DM FC København, Denmark 9 0
17 Hamšík, Marek 29
39 days
27 July 1987 RM SSC Napoli, Italy 92 19
20 Mak, Robert, off 72nd min. 25
180 days
8 March 1991 RAM FK Zenit, Russia 31 7
18 Švento, Dusan, off 78th min. 31
34 days
1 August 1985 LAM SK Slavia Praha 43 1
21 Ďuriš, Michal 28
95 days
1 June 1988
in Uherské Hradiště, Cz'slovakia
CF FC Viktoria Plzeň, Czech Republic 30 4
Slovakia Substitutes
5 Gyömbér, Norbert, on 56th min. (55:03) for Pečovský 24
63 days
3 July 1992 CD Delfino Pescara 1936, Italy 16 0
7 Kubík, František, on 72nd min. (71:08) for Mak 27
174 days
14 March 1989 CF Šk Slovan Bratislava 2 0
8 Kiss, Filip, on 78th min. (77:49) for Švento 25
327 days
13 October 1990 LAM FK Haugesand, Norway 9 0
result: Slovakia 0 England 1
unused substitutes: 9-Jakub Považanec, 10-Robért Pich, 11-Jakub Sylvestr, 12-Ján Novota, 14-Lukáš Pauschek, 16-Lukáš Štetina, 23-Martin Dúbravka.
Coach Jón Kozak played for Czechoslovakia against England in the November 1978 friendly defeat.
4-5(3-2)-1 Kozáčik -
Pekarík, Škrtel, Ďurica, Hubočan -
(Gyömbér), Greguš, Hamšík -
Mak, Švento
(Kiss) -
Averages (Starting XI): Age 30 years 95 days Appearances/Goals 50.1 3.9
oldest opposing XI in 2016-17 most experienced opposing XI in 2016-17

England Team



FIFA (11 August 2016) 13th
EFO ranking Group 4
ELO rating 11th
Colours: The Nike 2016 away uniform - Red v-necked jerseys with crimson sleeves with royal blue collared trim/side stripe, red shorts with royal blue side trim, blue socks.
Capt: Wayne Rooney
(20th (22) captaincy (14))
Manager: Samuel Allardyce, 61 (19 October 1954), appointed 22 July 2016,
only match, W 1 - D 0 - L 0 - F 1 - A 0.
Team chosen Friday, 2 September 2016
statistically, Allardyce becomes the best England manager
England Lineup
1 Hart, C. Joseph J. 29
138 days
19 April 1987 G Torino FC, Italy,
on loan from Manchester City FC
64 44ᵍᵃ
the first Torino player to represent England
2 Walker, Kyle A. 26
99 days
28 May 1990 RB Tottenham Hotspur FC 20 0
the 174th player to reach the 20-app milestone
Rose, Daniel L. 26
64 days
2 July 1990 LB Tottenham Hotspur FC 8 0
4 Dier, Eric J.E. 22
233 days
15 January 1994 LM Tottenham Hotspur FC 12 2
5 Cahill, Gary J. 30
260 days
19 December 1985 RCD Chelsea FC 48 3
6 Stones, John 22
99 days
28 May 1994 LCD Manchester City FC 11 0
the 48th City player to represent England
7 Sterling, Raheem S., off 71st min 21
271 days
8 December 1994
in Kingston, Jamaica
LAM Manchester City FC 27 2
8 Henderson, Jordan B., off 64th min. 26
79 days
17 June 1990 CM Liverpool FC 28 1
9 Kane, Harry E., off 82nd min. 23
38 days
28 July 1993 CF Tottenham Hotspur FC 17 5
10 Rooney, Wayne M. 30
316 days
24 October 1985 RM Manchester United FC 116 52
most gls
Lallana, Adam D. 28
117 days
10 May 1988 RAM
Liverpool FC
9th min. for excessive celebration following his goal
England Substitutes
20 Alli, Bamidele J., on 64th min. (63:26) for Henderson 20
146 days
11 April 1996 CM Tottenham Hotspur FC 13 7 1
14 Walcott, Theo J., on 71st min. (70:13) for Sterling 27
172 days
16 March 1989 RAM Arsenal FC 44 28 8
15 Sturridge, Daniel A., on 82nd min. (81:09) for Kane 27
3 days
1 September 1989 CF Liverpool FC 22 14 6 (1)
result: Slovakia 0 England 1
unused substitutes: 12-Chris Smalling, 13-Tom Heaton, 16-Phil Jagielka, 17-Nathaniel Clyne, 18-Danny Drinkwater, 19-Jamie Vardy, 21-Michail Antonio, 22-Alex McCarthy.
team notes: Wayne Rooney now has the most appearances as an England outfield player.
records: Allardyce's victory makes him the ninth successive England manager to win their first game in charge.
They have now gone thirty qualification matches unbeaten (W23 D7), victorious in their last thirteen.
4-3-2-1 Hart -
Walker, Cahill, Stones, Rose -
Dier, Henderson
(Alli), Rooney -
Lallana, Sterling
(Walcott) -
Averages (Starting XI): Age 26 years 58 days Appearances/Goals 34.4 5.9


    Match Report by Mike Payne

A new era, a new regime and a fresh start, that was where most of the pre-match talk was focused.  New manager, Sam Allardyce, did not change too much in way of personnel for his first game in charge, and for a long spell it looked as though not much else had changed either.  Almost certainly, the so called experts will tend to focus on the negatives after this performance, and yes there were plenty of things for the manager to improve on, but overall it was a very satisfying win, and a lesson for all in not giving up.

England started brightly and looked to take the game to their hosts.  They forced Slovakia back on their heels and continued on the front foot for most of the first-half.  Wayne Rooney was given a free role and he was playing quite deep, picking the ball up from the back players and trying to find a decisive forward pass.  There were little moments of danger for the Slovakian defence, with Adam Lallana and Danny Rose working a good move down the left before over-hitting a cross, and then Lallana made a fine interception before a curious cross seemed to freeze in mid-air and Raheem Sterling almost beat the flapping goalkeeper to the ball.  On 21 minutes Kyle Walker's good cross was met at the near post by clubmate Harry Kane, well actually it wasn't because Kane missed the ball and the defence cleared.  That was the clearest chance to date though and England's patient build up was gradually creating chances.  Jordan Henderson almost released Sterling, but the winger's control let him down at the vital moment.

Martin Skrtel was booked for a foul on Kane in the 24th minute and Rooney's free-kick was cleared for a corner.  After a scrappy midpoint of the half Slovakia fashioned what proved to be their only chance of the game.  A mistake by Rose, his only one of the night, allowed Michal Duris to fire in a low, hard cross and Dusan Svento came within a whisker of touching the ball home.  That turned out to be Joe Hart's most anxious moment as England switched play straight down to the other end and good play by Lallana and Kane left Sterling with a chance, but the winger's shot just cleared the wrong side of the far post.

By this time the game was opening up a little.  Kane's shot was deflected for yet another corner and a burst by Rose so nearly saw him on the end of a fine pass from Rooney.  Skrtel was very lucky not to earn a second yellow card for another foul on Kane and the half ended with England dominating possession, totally on top, but lacking the final thrust in attack.  It was all very reminiscent of the game in the European Championships when these sides shared a goalless draw.

The second half was even more one-way traffic as England continued to dominate and probe for an opening.  Again the half started brightly for England and they did manage to get the ball into the net, although the whistle had already gone for a foul by John Stones.  England had to guard against a swift break from Slovakia but both Stones and Gary Cahill held the middle well and their full-backs also looked solid in defence with Walker and Rose very quick in recovery if they were beaten.  If there was to be any criticism then it was because of the rather pedestrian build up, which gave Slovakia time to file back into their defensive set-up.  On 49 minutes Walker saw a centre blocked but the ball ran for Henderson who fired a shot just over.  The near misses increased, although it must be said that there were no really clearcut chances.  Skrtel transgressed against Kane once more, without further punishment, and the former Liverpool man was walking a very thin line with the referee.  Allardyce then brought on Deli Alli and Slovakia also made a change.

In the 57th minute the referee finally lost his patience with Skrtel, who not only fouled Kane again, but this time stood on his ankle for good measure.  That was definitely worthy of a straight red and the home captain was sent off.  For a spell the ten men raised their game and Rose made one fine headed clearance from a breakaway.  At the other end, Lallana, always in the thick of things, messed up a cross and also shot over as England tried to press home their numerical advantage.

Alli was already making a difference, and he so nearly touched home a Rooney free-kick, and he again went close immediately afterwards.  Croatia were now desperately hanging on to what they hoped would be a hard-won point.  Tackles and blocks had an air of desperation, but to their credit they kept battling to frustrate England.  Sterling went off to be replaced by Theo Walcott and on 75 minutes Lallana came oh so close to winning it.  An excellent move opened up the defence for once and Lallana's shot crashed against the inside of the near post and bounced away.  Walcott tried a follow-up, but miscued, and then Lallana saw another shot well saved by Matus Kozacik.  It was a real flurry of chances, and England were creating more and more, although time was fast running out for them.

Kane came off and Daniel Sturridge was sent on with ten minutes to go and it was all England at this stage.  Walcott's centre almost found Sturridge, Lallana hit a fine shot just wide after superb play by Stones, and Walcott was offside as he tried to convert a lovely pass from Rooney.  With a minute to go Sturridge curled a shot in, but that was easily saved, and then Walcott found the net, before being disappointed to see a linesman's flag up again.

You had to hand it to Slovakia who defended for all they were worth, and just as you thought they would get an unlikely point England broke the deadlock.  It was actually the fifth minute of added time when Rose once again battled his way down the left.  He had a little luck in stumbling through a couple of tackles, but the Tottenham man kept going and eventually pulled the ball back to Lallana, who kept his cool admirably to side-step the lunging defenders to fire in a left-foot shot through the goalkeeper's legs and into the net.

Lallana had finally broken his England goalscoring duck, and what a time to do it, his dance of joy in front of the England fans was fully justified!  At the other end of the spectrum though, the home defenders collapsed on to the ground in sheer exhaustion and disappointment.  As soon as Slovakia kicked off again the final whistle blew, it was that close!

All credit to England for keeping going, and for not giving up.  The team thoroughly deserved their win, and although the critics and the doom-mongers will no doubt find plenty to moan about, the fact that this win in a difficult place was achieved, should give everyone the encouragement for the rest of the games coming up.  There were some good performances too, most notably from Rose, Stones, Cahill, Rooney, Lallana and Alli, when he came on, so there was plenty to enthuse over.


Source Notes

BBC Sport

Mike Payne - football historian and contributor