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971 vs. Slovenia
Tuesday, 11 October 2016
World Cup 2018 UEFA Group F qualification match

Slovenia 0 England 0 [0-0]

Stadion Stožice, Bezigrad, Ljubljana
Kick-off(CEST): 6.45pm, 7.45pm BST
Attendance: 13,274.

95 minutes 45:01 & 50:10 England kicked-off. Match Summary
Slovenia Squad
England Squad

Valter Birsa
37 36:35
Rok Kronaveter 87 86:27

Aljaž Struna 89 88:23
Eric Dier 20 19:59
Daniel Sturridge
31 30:34

Gary Cahill
88 87:22
Jesse Lingard
89 88:22
Commentator: Clive Tyldesley with Glenn Hoddle

Match Summary

Officials from Germany




Referee (yellow) - Deniz Aytekin
38, (21 July 1978), Nürnberg, FIFA-listed 2011.

Assistant Referees - Guido Kleve, 39 (17 October 1976), Nordhorn, and Thorsten Schiffner, 41 (14 May 1975), Konstanz.

Fourth official - Felix Zwayer, 35 (19 May 1981), West-Berlin, FIFA-listed 2012.

13 Goal Attempts 12
3 Attempts on Target 3
1 Hit Bar/Post 0
4 Corner Kicks Won 8
  Offside Calls Against  
15 Fouls Conceded 11
33% Possession 67%

Slovenia Team



FIFA (15 Sept 2016) 67th
EFO ranking n/a
ELO rating 54th
Colours: Made by Nike - Upper light blue v-necked jerseys with Mount Triglav graphic above a white netting pattern, white shorts, white socks.
Capt: Boštjan Cesar
Bojan Jokić, 69th min.
Manager: Srečko Katanec, 53 (16 July 1963 in Yugoslavia), appointed 31 December 2012, took charge 4 January 2013.
35th match, W 14 - D 5 - L 16 -
Slovenia Lineup
1 Oblak, Jan 23 7 January 1993 G Club Atlético de Madrid SAD, Spain 11 7 GA
23 Struna, Aljaž 26 4 August 1990 RB Carpi FC 1909 Srl, Italy, on loan from US Cittŕ di Palermo, Italy 6 0
13 Jokić, Bojan 30 17 May 1986 LB Villareal CF SAD, Spain 82 1
4 Samardžić, Miral 29 17 February 1987 CD Hénán Jiŕnyč FC, China 12 0
5 Cesar, Boštjan, injured off 68th min. 34 9 July 1982 CD AC Chievo Verona SrL, Italy 94 10
6 Khrin, Rene, off 84th min. 26 21 May 1990 DM Granada CF SAD, Spain 28 2
7 Iličić, Josip 28 29 January 1988 AM ACF Fiorentina SpA, Italy 41 2
8 Kurtić, Jasmin 27 10 January 1989 M Atalanta BC SpA, Italy 36 1
14 Bezjak, Roman 27 21 February 1989 F SV Darmstadt 1898 eV, Germany 15 1
10 Birsa, Valter, off 59th min. 30 7 August 1986 M AC Chievo Verona SrL, Italy 83 6
21 Verbič, Benjamin 22 27 November 1993 M FC Křbenhavn, Denmark 7 0
Slovenia Substitutes
scoreline: Slovenia 0 England 0
18 Kronaveter, Rok, on 59th min (58:35) for Birsa 29 7 December 1986 M SDNK Olimpija Ljubljana 3 1
17 Mevlja, Meha, on 69th min. (68:03) for Cesar 26 12 June 1990 D FC Rostov, Russia 3 0
22 Omladić, Nik, on 84th min. (83:35) for Krhin 27 21 August 1989 M Braunschweiger TSV Eintracht von 1895 eV, Germany 2 0
result: Slovenia 0 England 0

unused substitutes:

2-Nejc Skubic, 3-Boban Jović, 9-Matic Črnic, 11-Milivoje Novaković, 12-Vid Belec, 15-Dejan Trajkovski, 16-Jan Koprivec, 19-Miha Zajc, 20-Aleks Pihler.

team notes:

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.
Boštjan Cesar extends his Slovenian record appearance tally.
4-1-4-1 Oblak -
Jokic, Cesar
(Mevlja), Samrdžić, Struna -
(Omladić) -
Verbic, Birsa
(Kronaveter), Kurtic, Bezjak -

Averages (Starting XI):

Age 27.5 Appearances/Goals 37.7 2.1

England Team



FIFA (15 Sept 2016) 12th
EFO ranking Group 4
ELO rating 9th to 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: Jordan Henderson, first captaincy.
Wayne Rooney, 73rd min.
Manager: Gareth Southgate, 46 (3 September 1970), appointed caretaker manager on 24 September 2016.
second match, W 1 - D 1 - L 0 - F 2 - A 0.
England Lineup
1 Hart, C. Joseph J. 29 19 April 1987 G Torino FC SpA, Italy,
on loan from Manchester City FC
66 44 GA
2 Walker, Kyle A. 26 28 May 1990 RB Tottenham Hotspur FC 26 0
3 Rose, Daniel L. 26 2 July 1990 LB Tottenham Hotspur FC 10 0
4 Henderson, Jordan B. 26 17 June 1990 RM Liverpool FC 30 0
5 Cahill, Gary J. 30 19 December 1985 CD Chelsea FC 50 3
6 Stones, John 22 28 May 1994 CD Manchester City FC 13 0
7 Walcott, Theo J., off 62nd min. 27 16 March 1989 RAM Arsenal FC 46 8
8 Dier, Eric J.E. 22 15 January 1994 LM Tottenham Hotspur FC 13 2
9 Sturridge, Daniel A., off 82nd min. 27 1 September 1989 CF Liverpool FC 24 7
10 Alli, Bamidele J., off 73rd min. 20 11 April 1996 CM Tottenham Hotspur FC 15 2
11 Lingard, Jesse E. 23 15 December 1992 LAM Manchester United FC 2 0
England Substitutes
scoreline: Slovenia 0 England 0
21 Townsend, Andros D., on 62nd min. (61:38) for Walcott 25 16 July 1991 RM Crystal Palace FC 12 3
18 Rooney, Wayne M., on 73rd min. (72:35) for Alli 30 24 October 1985 CM Manchester United FC 118 53
20 Rashford, Marcus, on 82nd min. (81:09) for Sturridge 18 31 October 1997 RAM Manchester United FC 5 1
result: Slovenia 0 England 0

unused substitutes:

12-Chris Smalling, 13-Fraser Forster, 14-Kieran Gibbs, 15-Michail Antonio, 16-Michael Keane, 17-Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain, 19-Jamie Vardy, 22-Jordan Pickford.
4-2-3-1 Hart -
Walker, Cahill, Stones,
Rose -
Henderson, Dier -
(Townsend), Alli (Rooney), Lingard -

Averages (Starting XI):

Age 25.3 Appearances/Goals 26.8 2.0


    Match Report by Mike Payne

England were certainly indebted to Joe Hart for this very hard won point in Ljubljana against a spirited Slovenia side.  The home team had a definite plan to stop England and employed a pressing game that forced errors from the visitors.

England actually began well and in the first couple of minutes two half-chances were created.  First, when John Stones put a pass through for Daniel Sturridge, with the Liverpool striker not quite making full use of the position he was in.  Then Deli Alli also put Sturridge in, but the striker's first touch gave the goalkeeper, Jan Oblak the chance to get a hand to the ball and divert it for a corner.  A goal then would have made it very interesting, but alas it wasn't to be.  As Slovenia began to work themselves into the game Valter Birsa shot over after England failed to clear the danger.  The match was being played at a fast pace and the home team were looking to break quickly.  England's back four had to be alert and sharp on a number of occasions.

After Sturridge shot over from long range England almost gave their opponents a goal in the 10th minute.  Eric Dier played a dreadful back pass and Josip Illicic intercepted and ran at England's goal.  Thankfully Hart raced from his line and managed to spread himself to save with his feet.  The ball ran free and Jasmin Kurtic was so unlucky to see his curling shot strike a post before being cleared.  It was a great save by Hart, but also a lucky escape for England.  The visitors then settled down again and had a spell of possession with Stones looking really effective as he strode forward.  But there was little end product, and Dier's game took another downward turn when he was booked for a late tackle.  The Spurs man then had a better moment as he set up Theo Walcott for a good shot which flew just over.

It was a day when England produced a real mixed bag of a performance, one minute defending well, with good challenges, and then the next, giving the ball away or being caught in possession by the eager home players.  Sturridge, especially, was too lightweight at times and England were crying out for an Andy Carroll or even Harry Kane to put themselves about against the giant home defenders.  It was that sort of match.

The final action of a busy, but disappointing half came when Gary Cahill almost reached a Jordan Henderson free-kick.  As the players walked off at the interval there was much for Gareth Southgate to say, as too many players were again fairly anonymous, and that is no good at all from an England perspective.

Slovenia started the second half with all guns blazing, and England were rocking.  Illicic once again caused problems as he worked his way to the bye-line and pulled the ball back.  Luckily for England there were no home players running into the space and Walcott was there to clear the ball for a corner.  But from that corner Hart made a terrific save as a glancing header was sent goalwards, another corner.  From the second corner Hart excelled himself even more with a wonderful double save following another effort from Kurtic.  Hart somehow clawed the ball away from the top corner onto a post, and then had the presence of mind to push the ball clear of goal from the rebound.  It was a world class moment from a goalkeeper who had taken a fair bit of criticism both during and following the Euros in the summer.  This was Hart back to his best.

Slovenia belied their lowly rating in international football with a gutsy and determined performance, and they dominated that first ten minutes after the break.  But to their credit England weathered the storm and forced several corners as they fought their way back into things.  Alli tried a shot on 56 minutes but Oblak easily saved, and it was Illicic who again went close after more weak play by the England midfield.  On 62 minutes Andros Townsend came on for Walcott, after another ineffective display by the Arsenal man, and Townsend was soon in the action with a curling shot that was pushed away by Oblak.

England seemed determined to be the architects of their own demise, as once again they set up a home attack, this time with a poor back-header by Stones.  Cahill was alert and quick to see the danger though and he did well to clear the ball away.  Five minutes later, after Sturridge had a shot blocked, England were at it again.  This time skipper Henderson failed to spot the danger with yet another careless backpass.  Illicic was again the attacker through on goal, and surely this time he would make England pay.  But Hart was not to be beaten on this day as he once again made a terrific save to keep the home forward at bay.

Townsend made another strong break for England before being unceremoniously stopped by a no-nonsense defender, and then with 15 minutes to go Wayne Rooney was sent on for Alli.  Rooney's first contribution was to waste a corner, something the team had done all evening, but then Cahill found Daniel Rose with a fine pass and the full-back cut inside but dragged his shot wide of the near post.  That was as good a chance as England had fashioned in the half.

Sturridge shot tamely at goal after beating the offside trap, and then Jesse Lindgard set up Rooney, whose measured shot beat the keeper but went just wide.  What a story that would have made had the ball gone inside the post.  Kyle Walker was heavily involved in much of England's better attacking moves and he played well all evening.  With ten minutes left Southgate sent on Marcus Rashford for Sturridge and a minute later England almost stole victory when Lindgard suddenly came to life to fire in a great shot which brought the best out of Oblak.

As the home side tired some hefty challenges came in against the England players and it stifled any chance of a late burst from England, although it must be said they did finish the stronger of the two sides.  All credit to Slovenia though, they were really up for this one and they worked their socks off from the first whistle.  They could consider themselves a little unfortunate not to win and but for Hart they probably would have.  For England several players played well, but too many were not on their 'A' game, and at this level that cannot happen.

Next up are Scotland.  On paper it looks almost as easy as Malta, but don't forget, the only internationals that a Scotland side ever really want to win are the ones they play against the Auld Enemy!  It will be a very different Scotland who turn up at Wembley, that's for sure.  Rumour has it that Gordon Strachan is playing Nicola Sturgeon at centre-forward!  England you have been warned!

Source Notes

BBC Sport
Mike Payne - football historian and contributor