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885 vs. United States
886 vs. Algeria

888 vs. Germany

Wednesday, 23 June 2010
2010 FIFA World Cup Finals First Phase Group C, Match Five

Slovenia 0 England 1 [0-1]

Nelson Mandela Bay Stadium, North End, Die Baai, Oos-Kaap, South Africa
Attendance: 36,893; Kick-off: 4.00pm SAST, 3.00pm BST; 
Live on BBC One (UK) - Commentator: Guy Mowbray

England - Jermain Defoe (five-yard volley 22 22:00) Match Summary
Slovenia Squad
England Squad
Results 2005-2010 Slovenia - Bojan Jokić (40 39:51), Valter Birsa (79 78:46), Zlatko Dedič (81 80:28)
England - Glen Johnson (48

Slovenia kicked-off. 93 minutes (45 & 48).


Match Summary

Officials from Germany




Referee (yellow) - Wolfgang Stark
40 (20 November 1969), Landshut, FIFA-listed 1999.

Assistant Referees - Jan-Hendrik Salver, 41 (1 March 1969), and Mike Pickel, 35 (8 April 1975).

Fourth official - Joel Aguilar, El Salvador.
Fifth Official/Reserve Assistant Referee - William Torres, El Salvador
Match Commissioner - Thierry Kamach, CTA
General Co-ordinator - Stefano Pucci, Italy

12 Goal Attempts 14
9 Attempts on Target 11
0 Hit Bar/Post 1
2 Corner Kicks Won 11
1 Offside Calls Against 1
15 Fouls Conceded 19
35% Possession 65%

Slovenia Team



FIFA (26th May 2010) 25th
EFO ranking Group n/a

ELO rating 39th
Colours: Made by Nike - White crew neck jerseys with dark green collar/Mount Triglav outline chest band, white shorts with dark green trim, white socks;
Capt: Robert Koren Manager: Matjaz Kek, 48 (9 September 1961) appointed 3 January 2007,
35th match, W 14 - D 6 - L 15 - F ? - A ?
Slovenia Lineup
1 Handanovič, Samir 25 14 July 1984 G Udinese Calcio, Italy 42 0
2 Brečko, Mišo 26 1 May 1984 LB 1.FC Köln 01/07, Germany 34 0
13 Jokić, Bojan 24 17 May 1986 RB FC Sochaux-Montbéliard, France 36 1
Jokić cautioned in the 40th minute for Unsporting Behaviour for slicing down Glen Johnson on the touchline.
4 Šuler, Marko 27 9 March 1983 CD KAA Gent, Belgium 20 2
5 Cesar, Boštjan 27 9 July 1982 CD Grenoble Foot 38, France 45 3
17 Kirm, Andraz, off 79th min. 25 6 September 1984 RM Wisła Kraków SA, Poland 28 3
18 Radosavljevič, Aleksander 31 25 April 1979 CM PAE Athlitiki Enosi Larissas 1964, Cyprus 18 1
8 Koren, Robert 29 20 September 1980 CM West Bromwich Albion FC, England 49 5
9 Ljubijankič, Zlatan, off 62nd min. 26 15 December 1983 F KAA Gent, Belgium 20 5
10 Birsa, Valter 23 7 August 1986 LM AJ Auxerroise, France 37 3
Birsa cautioned in the 80th minute for Ungentlemanly Conduct for kicking the ball away following a handball decision against him.
11 Novakovič, Milivoje 31 18 May 1979 F 1.FC Köln 01/07, Germany 41 16
Slovenia Substitutes
scoreline: Slovenia 0 England 1
14 Dedič, Zlatko, on 62nd min. for Ljubijankič 25 5 October 1984 F VfL Bochum 1848 F, Germany 27 3
Dedič cautioned in the 81st minute for Unsporting Behaviour for a foul on Lampard.
23 Matavž, Tim, on 79th min. for Kirm 21 13 January 1989 F FC Groningen, Netherlands 2 0
result: Slovenia 0 England 1
unused substitutes: 3-Elvedin Dzinić, 6-Branko Ilič, 7-Nejc Pečnik (injured), 12-Jasmin Handanović, 15-Rene Krhin, 16-Aleksander Šeliga, 19-Suad Fileković, 20-Andrej Komac, 21-Dalibor Stevanović, 22-Matej Mavrič.
4-4-2  Handanovič -
Šuler, Cesar, Brečko -
Kirm (Matavž), Radosavljevič, Koren, Birsa -
Novakovič, Ljubijankič

Averages (Starting XI):

Age 26.7 Appearances/Goals 33.6 3.5


England Team



FIFA (26th May 2010) 8th
EFO ranking Group 3

ELO rating 5th
Colours: The 2010 away uniform - Red crew neck jerseys with darker red sleeves and white cuffs, white shorts with red side trim, red socks with white footings.
Capt: Steven Gerrard, eleventh captaincy. Manager: Fabio Capello, 64 (18 June 1946), appointed 14 December 2007, effective 7 January 2008, 
27th match, W 19 - D 4 - L 4 - F 63 - A 21.
England Lineup
1 James, David B. 39 1 August 1970 G Portsmouth FC 52 42ᵍᵃ
2 Johnson, Glen M. 25 23 August 1984 RB Liverpool FC 25 1
Johnson cautioned in the 48th minute for Ungentlemanly Conduct for supposedly diving.
3 Cole, Ashley 29 20 December 1980 LB Chelsea FC 81 0
4 Gerrard, Steven G. 30 30 May 1980 LM Liverpool FC 83 17
15 Upson, Matthew J. 31 18 April 1979 CD West Ham United FC 20 1
6 Terry, John G. 29 7 December 1980 CD Chelsea FC 63 6
Milner, James P. 24 4 January 1986 RM Aston Villa FC 10 0
8 Lampard, Frank J. 32 20 June 1978 CM

Chelsea FC

81 19
Defoe, Jermain C., off 86th min. 27 7 October 1982 F Tottenham Hotspur FC 42 12
10 Rooney, Wayne M., sub off 72nd min. 24 24 October 1985 F

Manchester United FC

63 24
14 Barry, Gareth 29 23 February 1981 CM Manchester City FC 38 2
England Substitutes
scoreline: Slovenia 0 England 1
11 Cole, Joseph J., on 72nd min. for Rooney 28 8 November 1981 M Chelsea FC 55 10
21 Heskey, Emile W.I., on 86th min. for Defoe 32 11 January 1978 F Aston Villa FC 61 7
result: Slovenia 0 England 1
unused substitutes: 5-Michael Dawson, 9-Peter Crouch, 12-Robert Green, 13-Stephen Warnock, 17-Shaun Wright-Phillips, 22-Michael Carrick, 23-Joe Hart.
team notes: Coach Fabio Capello played for Italy against England in June (scoring one) and November 1973 (scoring another), and in May and November 1976.
4-4-2 James -
Johnson, Terry, Upson, A.Cole -
Milner, Barry, Lampard, Gerrard -
(Heskey), Rooney (J.Cole).

Averages (Starting XI):

Age 28.9 Appearances/Goals 50.7 7.5


    Match Report by Mike Payne

At last, England's World Cup challenge is seriously up and running!  This was a much better performance from Fabio Capello's men, and after all the trials and tribulations of the past week it is really satisfying to report a good England display for a change.  We were all hoping that our lads would rise to the challenge and it is fair to say that they certainly did that.

Right from the first whistle there was more urgency and more determination and although there was still a slight nervousness about England's opening play, there was no doubt that they were all up for this one.  The three changes from the Algeria game all made significant early contributions.  Matthew Upson looked assured alongside John Terry, James Milner looked much sharper than he did against the United States and Jermaine Defoe was a livewire alongside Wayne Rooney.  Rooney himself, although still a little under par, looked much more like his old self with some strong runs and good touches.  Capello's tactics seemed right for the job although eyebrows were still raised with him continuing to play Steven Gerrard on the left.  The difference with the display of the England captain this time came in the fact that he did not wander from his position quite so often.

The fact that Slovenia's man of the match was their goalkeeper Samir Handanović says it all really and if there was one criticism of England's display it was that the game was not put to bed early on.  But credit Handanović for that as he made a series of excellent saves.

After 20 minutes it was clear that England needed a goal, just to settle those nerves.  They had had the better of the early attacks and you sensed that some momentum was building up.  A free-kick from Frank Lampard was well held by Handaković and twice Rooney's runs created corners.  The goal England craved finally arrived on 23 minutes, and it was a beauty.  Glen Johnson, Lampard and Gareth Barry combined cleverly to feed Milner on the right.  The Aston Villa player wasted no time and curled in a sublime cross into the penalty area.  Defoe, as he has done all season for Tottenham, anticipated the pass brilliantly and 'just like Lineker' he nipped in front of the defender to rifle the ball home.  Superb cross, superb finish and just what the fans wanted to see.

After that goal England settled down well and the passing became crisper, more accurate and stretched the Slovenians to breaking point.  It looks odds on a second goal would follow, that it didn't happen was down to some superb goalkeeping, poor finishing and just a little bit of bad luck.  Another brilliant Milner cross was again heading for Defoe but this time Handaković palmed away.  The ball dropped for Lampard and the Chelsea player might have done better from 18 yards, but shot over.  Then another chance as Defoe's shot is again blocked before finding Rooney, the Manchester United striker laid off a perfect ball into the path of Gerrard but Handaković made a tremendous save down to his left.  Robert Green must have winced ruefully as the ball squirmed over the keeper and rolled towards the net.  This time though the keeper recovered.  Gerrard will kick himself for not blasting that one as his attempted placement gave the keeper a glimmer of a chance, which he took.  Still, it was all very encouraging.

At the other end there was little to worry David James, who again looked composed and assured in goal.  Upson was doing the job required of him and John Terry was in prime form, despite the hoo ha of the week previous.

The only thing missing from the first half performance was another goal, and after just a few seconds of the second half it almost came.  Rooney took a quick corner and the ball was cleared, but then headed back into the danger area where Defoe was all alone.  He instinctively flicked his foot at the ball only to see it go wide of a gaping goal.  Had he realised how much time he had then the outcome could have been different.

James made two important catches as Slovenia tried to find a way back into the match but then on 57 minutes Terry saw a fine header palmed away by the impressive Handaković.  The keeper then made his best save of the game to prevent Rooney scoring the goal he longs for.  At first it looked a bad miss as Rooney's shot struck a post, but replays showed a magnificent fingertip touch from Handaković.  If that had gone in then the whole country would have rejoiced.

With 20 minutes left and England in command, but still only 1-0 ahead, the nerves started to kick in slightly.  Rooney went close, twice, and then a long shot from the dangerous Birsa was saved by James.  The England team never do things the easy way and as the clocked ticked away the worry was there that England would concede a late goal.  The England players had put a lot of effort into the first 75 minutes and one or two were looking a little jaded.  Slovenia sensed this and in one amazing moment the England spirit on the night was shown in full.  A brilliant block by Terry from a Novaković shot was quickly followed by another by Glen Johnson from the same player.  The ball ran loose to Birsa and the England defenders threw themselves at the ball to force the player to shoot wide.  It would have been a travesty if Slovenia had equalised but after Capello made some changes, bringing on Joe Cole for Rooney, who looked like he had taken a knock, and then Emile Heskey for Defoe, the England players closed the game out expertly. 

The cheer that went up in England, when the referee blew the final whistle, could probably be heard by the players in South Africa, such was the joy back home.  Now, thanks to the United States late goal against Algeria we face old adversaries Germany.  At least we will know what to expect on Sunday.

Source Notes

BBC Sport
NZS website
Mike Payne - football historian and contributor