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Tuesday, 26 March 2013
World Cup 2014 UEFA Group H qualification match

Montenegro 1 England 1 [0-1]
 

Stadion Pod Goricom, Centar, Podgorica
Attendance: 11,300;
Kick-off: 9.00pm CET, 8.00pm GMT;
Live on ITV HD (UK) - Commentator: Clive Tyldesley

England - Wayne Rooney (header 6 5:41)
Montenegro - Dejan Damjanović (scrap 76 75:39)
Match Summary
Montenegro Squad

England Squad
Results 2010-2015 Montenegro - Mitar Novaković (27 26:50), Vladimir Volkov (63 62:49), Miodrag Dzudović (90+2 91:45), Miloš Krkotić (90+3 92:34).
England - Glen Johnson (30 29:28), Danny Welbeck (42 41:18)

England kicked-off. 94 minutes (46:10 & 48:25).

 

Match Summary

 

Officials from Sweden

Montenegro

Type

England

Referee (black) - Jonas Eriksson
38 (28 March 1974), Luleá, FIFA listed 2002.

Assistant Referees - Klasenius Matias and Daniel Vernmark.

Fourth official - Stefan Johannesson, 41 (22 November 1971), Stocksund, FIFA listed 2003.

Commisioner - Fernand Mesa, Belgium.

Oberver - Miroslav Liba, Czech Republic.

12 Goal Attempts 9
5 Attempts on Target 5
1 Hit Bar/Post 2
10 Corner Kicks Won 6
4 Offside Calls Against 1
16 Fouls Conceded 11
44.6% Possession 55.4%

Montenegro Team

 

Rank:

FIFA (14th Mar 2013) 28th
ELO rating 47th
Colours: Made by Legea - Red shirts with yellow collar/shoulder panels/hem, red shorts with yellow trim, red socks with yellow tops.
Capt: Mirko Vučin, 24th captaincy Coach: Branislav Brnović, 45 (8 August 1967), appointed 8 September 2011.
13th match, W 6 - D 4 - L 3 - F 22 - A 13.
Montenegro Lineup
1 Bozović, Mladen 28 1 August 1984 G Videoton FC, Hungary 31 0
21 Savić, Stefan 22 8 January 1991 D ACF Fiorentina SpA, Italy 21 2
3 Baša, Marko 30 29 December 1982 D LOSC Lille Métropole, France 22 1
20 Dzudović, Miodrag 33 6 September 1979 D PFC Spartak Nalchik, Russia 24 1
Dzudović cautioned in the 92nd min. for Foul for a trip on Danny Welbeck outside the penalty area.
5 Volkov, Vladimir 26 6 June 1986 M FK Partizan, Serbia 8 0
Volkov cautioned in the 63rd min. for Foul for a harsh and clumsy challenge on James Milner on the touchline.
19 Bozović, Vladimir, off 75th min. 31 13 November 1981 D FC Mordovia Saransk, Russia 32 0
7 Vukčević, Simon, off 63rd min. 27 29 January 1986 M FC Karpaty Lviv, Ukraine 41 2
8 Jovetić, Stevan 23 2 November 1989 F ACF Fiorentina SpA, Italy 26 10
9 Vučin, Mirko 29 1 October 1983 F Juventus FC, Italy 33 14
17 Zverotić, Elsad 27 31 October 1986 M Berner SC Young Boys 1898, Switzerland 38 4
13 Novaković, Mitar, off 46th min. 31 27 September 1981 M FC Amkar Perm, Russia 24 0
Novaković cautioned in the 27th min. for Foul. for a very late tackle on Ashley Cole, bringing the England defender crashing down.
Montenegro Substitutes
14 Damjanović, Dejan, on 46th min. for Novaković 31 27 July 1981 F FC Seoul, Korea Republic 18 4
22 Krkotić, Miloš, on 63rd min (62:02) for Vukčević 25 29 September 1987 M FC Dacia Chişinău, Moldova 1 0
Krkotić cautioned in the 93rd min. for Dissent as part of the wall that was failing to retreat ahead of an England free-kick.
10 Delibašić, Andrija, on 75th min (74:14) for Bozović 31 24 April 1981 F Rayo Vallecano de Madrid SAD, Spain 20 6

unused substitutes:

4-Milan Jovanović, 6-Ivan Kecojević, 11-Fatos Bećiraj, 12-Srdjan Blaz, 16-Blazo Igumanović, 18-Filip Kasalica, 23-Vukašin Poleksić.
   
4-2-3-1 Bozović -
Savić, Dzudović
, Baša, Bozović (Delibašić) -
Zverotić
, Novaković (Damjanović) -
Vukčević (Krkotić), Jovetić, Volkov -
Vučin

Averages (Starting XI):

Age 27.9 Appearances/Goals 27.3 3.1

 

England Team

 

Rank:

FIFA (14th Mar 2013) 4th
ELO rating 6th
Colours: The 2012 home uniform - White shirts with red piping on collar, white shorts, white socks with two-tone red band.
Capt: Steven Gerrard, 27th captaincy. Coach: Roy Hodgson, 65, appointed 1 May 2012,
15th match, W 9 - D 5 - L 1 - F 34 - A 12.
England Lineup
1 Hart, C. Joseph J. 25 19 April 1987 G Manchester City FC 30 22 GA
2 Johnson, Glen M. 28 23 August 1984 RB Liverpool FC 46 1
Johnson cautioned in the 30th min. for Foul. for a sliding tackle on the touchline that saw nonme of the ball but all of Stevan Jovetić.
3 Cole, Ashley 32 20 December 1980 LB Chelsea FC 101 0
4 Gerrard, Steven G. 32 30 May 1980 M Liverpool FC 102 19
5 Lescott, Joleon P. 30 16 August 1982 CD Manchester City FC 26 1
6 Smalling, Christopher L. 23 22 November 1989 CD Manchester United FC 6 0
7 Milner, James P. 27 4 January 1986 M Manchester City FC 36 1
8 Carrick, Michael 31 28 July 1981 M Manchester United FC 27 0
9 Welbeck, Daniel N.T.M. 22 26 November 1990 F Manchester United FC 16 5
Welbeck cautioned in the 42nd min. for Simulation. He ran with the ball into the penalty area, he was clipped by a defender and went down.
10 Rooney, Wayne M. 27 24 October 1985 F Manchester United FC 81 35
11 Cleverley, Thomas W., off 77th min. 23 12 August 1989 M Manchester United FC 9 0
England Substitutes
20 Young, Ashley S., on 77th min. (76:39) for Cleverley 27 9 July 1985 M Manchester United FC 28 7

unused substitutes:

12-Kyle Walker, 13-Ben Foster, 14-Leighton Baines, 15-Steven Caulker, 16-Frank Lampard, 17-Scott Parker, 18-Leon Osman, 19-Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain, 21-Jermain Defoe, 22-Daniel Sturridge, 23-Fraser Forster.
   
4-2-3-1 Hart -
Johnson, Smalling, Lescott, Cole -
Gerrard, Carrick -
Milner, Rooney, Cleverley
(Young) -
Welbeck

Averages (Starting XI):

Age 27.3 Appearances/Goals 43.6 5.4

 

    Match Report by Mike Payne

England started this important fixture very brightly and caught their opponents out by immediately going on the front foot and putting pressure on Montenegro.  After just two minutes, a long through ball from Glen Johnson sent Wayne Rooney scampering down the right with England's first real attack.  Rooney spotted the goalkeeper off his line and tried an audacious and brilliant chip that struck the far upright before being cleared.  It was a superb effort, so unlucky, as it deserved a goal.  But, not to be denied, Rooney then put away his next chance with aplomb.  It had been an excellent opening by the visitors and it was emphasised by an early goal for England.

A corner from the left taken by Steven Gerrard found the head of Rooney, who cleverly lost his marker, the header was firm and accurate and the goal was the perfect tonic for a dominant England. 

England were winning the midfield battle completely with Michael Carrick and Tom Cleverley getting through some sterling work.  Gerrard and James Milner complimented this duo and to be honest Montenegro had no real answer to the pressure.  A second goal at this stage would have probably sewn up the three points and on 15 minutes Milner went close to making it 2-0 with a cross-shot from a good position that went just wide of the far post.

At the other end, the pre-match worries over England's inexperienced defensive partnership of Joleon Lescott and Chris Smalling proved unfounded as both players showed a maturity beyond their years, to bite into tackles and to make some fine interceptions.  Joe Hart was not troubled in the first half and on 24 minutes it was England who almost increased their lead.  Danny Welbeck, lively throughout, picked up the ball from a clearance deep in his own half and then set off on a long run into the heart of the home defence.  He found Rooney on the left and when the cross came in the ball was only a whisker too high for Welbeck to head home.  Shortly after that good attack, Milner again fired in a cross-shot and this time Rooney was inches away from making a vital connection.  It was all going so well and Montenegro's frustration was manifesting itself into some rather robust late challenges.

Just before the half hour mark another good England attack saw a couple of efforts blocked with Gerrard's being the best of those.  Hart had still not had a save to make and England were in control, all they needed was that second goal.

On 41 minutes Welbeck made another determined break into the box and this time he fell under a challenge from Stefan Savic.  It looked a certain penalty, but incredibly the referee deemed that Welbeck had 'dived' and promptly booked him for simulation.  Subsequent replays later showed that Welbeck was extremely unlucky, not only to get booked but also to be denied a penalty.  Once again it was a case of England not getting their just desserts in an away game.  A goal then and almost certainly they would have been able to go on to victory.  As it was the half-time break was to prove unsettling for England.

The Montenegro manager must have read his team the riot act at the interval because after the break they came out with a new enthusiasm and fire in their approach.  For a while England could not regain possession or advance out of their half as Montenegro put the pressure back on them.  Suddenly the visitors were hustled out of their confident stride, passes went astray and the ascendency was with the home team, backed by their loud and vociferous crowd.  Two minutes into the half Stevan Jovetic had a header at the far post and the ball struck the side netting with Hart scrambling across his goal.  That was Montenegro's best chance so far and it led to a series of corners, which England struggled to clear properly.  On 59 minutes Lescott's only mistake of the night almost led to an equaliser.  He tried to head clear a corner but only succeeded in setting up Mirko Vucinic for a clear sight of goal.  To England's relief the number nine wildly shot over the crossbar.

England tried to claw themselves back into the play and Gerrard curled in a good free-kick, but then a fine break by Montenegro had England backpeddling and exposed.  But again the finish was not good and Jovetic wasted the chance.  Welbeck was then fouled on the edge of the box as England attacked again and Rooney's curling free-kick was well saved by Mladen Bozovic.  At the other end Hart fumbled one attempted catch and the ball very nearly squirmed in off the inside of his leg, only for him to recover quickly and save.  The England fans, of which there were many, had their hearts in their mouths at this point because it did look ominous for the visitors as the pressure intensified.  Vucinic shot wide from another good position and then Hart made a good save to push Jovetic's shot around a post.  From the corner the ball struck Gerrard and bounced off a post to go out for another corner.  England were living dangerously and from the next corner the deserved equaliser came.

The ball came into the area and there was a free header which Hart parried well, but could only push it straight back out to the danger area.  Several times the ball ping-ponged about with nobody able to make a positive clearance. It proved fatal as substitute Dejan Damjanovic finally made the crucial touch that forced the ball over the line to send the home fans into delirium.

Roy Hodgson decided to bring on Ashley Young at this point for Cleverley, and if there was a criticism, then maybe Hodgson might have made a couple more changes at this time, or maybe even a little earlier, in an attempt to wrestle back the initiative.  To be fair though, England did finish the stronger of the two sides as they again started to drive forward.  Gerrard hit a fine shot just wide and two minutes into injury time another Gerrard effort was rather fortuitously pushed over the bar by Bozovic.  That was the last chance of the game and if that had gone in then maybe the unfair heavy criticism England received from the media after the game may have been avoided.  And there were some impressive individual performances too, with Smalling, Lescott, Carrick, Cleverley, Milner, Welbeck and Rooney the pick of the England side.

Sometimes you have to acknowledge the opposition in these matches and Montenegro certainly raised their game in the second half.  England, meanwhile, did falter after the break, having dominated the first half, but overall the point was deserved and may prove vital in the final analysis.

Source Notes

BBC Sport
TheFA.com
FSGC.co.me
FIFA.com
RateTheRef.com
Mike Payne - football historian and contributor

____________________

CG