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Monday, 4 September 2017
World Cup 2018 UEFA Group F qualification match

England 2 Slovakia 1 [1-1]

The National Stadium connected by EE, Wembley, Brent, Greater London
Kick-off (BST): 7.45pm.
Attendance: 67,823.

94 minutes 46:09 & 48:10 Slovakia kicked-off. Match Summary
England Squad
Slovakia Squad
[1-1] Eric Dier 37 36:44
 7-yard flick in from a Rashford corner
[2-1] Marcus Rashford 59 58:30
 powerful 20-yard strike into bottom corner
[0-1] Stanislav Lobotka 3 2:33
7-yard shot following a Nemec lay-off
Milan Škriniar 70 69:14
Eric Dier 73 72:16
Commentator: Clive Tyldesley with Glenn Hoddle

Match Summary

Officials from Fance




Referee (black) - Clément Turpin
 35, (16 May 1982), Oulins, FIFA-listed 2010.

Assistant Referees - Nicolas Danos, 36 (27 September 1980), and Cyril Gringore, 44 (2 October 1972), Riom.

Fourth official - Ruddy Buquet, 40 (29 January 1977), Amiens, FIFA-listed 2011.

24 Goal Attempts 5
10 Attempts on Target 2
0 Hit Bar/Post 0
9 Corner Kicks Won 1
1 Offside Calls Against 1
15 Fouls Conceded 9
52% Possession 48%

England Team



FIFA (10 August 2017) 13th
EFO ranking Group 4
ELO rating 9th
Colours: The Nike 2016 home uniform - White v-necked jerseys with light blue sleeves and ice blue collared trim/side stripe and white cuffs, white shorts with ice blue side trim, red socks.
Capt: Jordan Henderson, fourth captaincy Manager: Gareth Southgate, 47 (3 September 1970), appointed caretaker manager on 24 September 2016, appointed as permanent manager on 30 November 2016.
tenth match, W 5 - D 3 - L 2 - F 19 - A 9.
England Lineup
1 Hart, C. Joseph J. 30 19 April 1987 G West Ham United FC, on loan from Manchester City FC 73 48 GA
2 Walker, Kyle A. 27 28 May 1990 RB Manchester City FC 29 0
3 Bertrand, Ryan D. 28 5 August 1989 LB Southampton FC 16 1
4 Henderson, Jordan B. 27 17 June 1990 RAM Liverpool FC 34 0
5 Cahill, Gary J. 31 19 December 1985 CD Chelsea FC 57 4
6 Jones, Philip A. 25 21 February 1992 CD Manchester United FC 23 0
7 Rashford, Marcus, off 84th min. 19 31 October 1997 RM/LM Manchester United FC 11 2
8 Dier, Eric J.E. 23 15 January 1994 LAM Tottenham Hotspur FC 20 3
Dier cautioned in the 73rd min. for a foul, after he swiped at Ďuriš on the halfway line.
9 Kane, Harry E. 24 28 July 1993 CF Tottenham Hotspur FC 21 10
10 Alli, Bamidele J., off 90th+3 min. 21 11 April 1996 AM Tottenham Hotspur FC 21 2
11 Oxlade-Chamberlain, Alexander M.D., off 83rd min. 24 15 August 1993 LM/RM Liverpool FC 29 6
England Substitutes
scoreline: England 2 Slovakia 1
22 Sterling, Raheem S., on 83rd min. (82:22) for Oxlade-Chamberlain 22 8 December 1994
in Jamaica
LM Manchester City FC 34 2
20 Welbeck, Daniel N.T.M., on 84th min. (83:02) for Rashford 26 26 November 1990 F Arsenal FC 36 15
18 Livermore, Jake C.L., on 90th+3 min. (92:49) for Alli 27 14 November 1989 DM West Bromwich Albion FC 5 0
result: England 2 Slovakia 1

unused substitutes:

12-Chris Smalling, 13-Jack Butland, 14-Aaron Cresswell, 15-Michael Keane, 16-John Stones, 17-Nathanial Chalobah, 19-Daniel Sturridge, 21-Jamie Vardy, 23-Tom Heaton.

team notes:

Manager Gareth Southgate started in both European qualifiers against Slovakia in the 2002-04 campaign. Both ended in 2-1 victories.
4-4-1-1 Hart -
Walker, Cahill, Jones, Bertrand -
(Welbeck), Henderson, Dier, Oxlade-Chamberlain (Sterling) -
(Livermore) -
notes: Oxlade-Chamberlain and Rashford exchanged wings half-way through the first half.

Averages (Starting XI):

Age 25.4 Appearances/Goals 30.4 2.4

Slovakia Team



FIFA (10 August 2017) 22nd
EFO ranking n/a
ELO rating 28th
Colours: Made by Nike - Pale blue v-necked jerseys with dark blue sleeves/side trim and pale blue collar trim, pale blue shorts with dark blue side trim, pale blue socks.
Capt: Martin Škrtel Manager: Ján Kozák, 63 (17 April 1954), appointed 2 July 2013.
43rd match, W 24 - D 9 - L 10 - F 64 - A 36.
Slovakia Lineup
23 Dúbravka, Martin 28 5 January 1979 G AC Sparta Praha, Czech Republic 6 9 GA
2 Pekarík, Peter 30 30 October 1986 RB Hertha, Berliner SC von 1892 eV, Germany 77 2
3 Škrtel, Martin 32 15 December 1984 CD Fenerbahçe SK, Turkey 91 6
4 Ďurica, Ján 35 10 December 1981 CD Trabzonspor Kb, Turkey 89 4
15 Hubočan, Tomáš 31 17 September 1985 LB Olympique de Marseille, France 54 0
14 Škriniar, Milan 22 11 February 1995 DM FC Internazionale Milano SpA, Italy 11 0
Škriniar cautioned in the 70th min. for a foul, after he brought down Alli outside the penalty area. SUSPENDED
7 Weiss, Vladimír, off 68th min. 27 30 November 1989 RM Al-Gharafa SC, Qatar 62 7
20 Mak, Róbert 26 8 March 1991 LM Panthessalonicean AC Constantinopolitans, Greece, on loan from FK Zenit, Russia 32 7
17 Hamšík, Marek, off 79th min. 30 27 July 1987 AM SSC Napoli SpA, Italy 99 21
22 Lobotka, Stanislav 22 25 November 1994 DM RC Celta de Vigo SAD, Spain 3 1
11 Nemec, Adam, off 69th min. 32 2 September 1985 CF FC Dinamo București, Romania 30 10
Slovakia Substitutes
scoreline: England 2 Slovakia 1
10 Rusnák, Albert, on 68th min. (67:53) for Weiss 23 7 July 1994 M Real Salt Lake City, USA 5 0
21 Ďuriš, Michal, on 69th min. (68:05) for Nemec 29 1 June 1988 F FC Orenburg, Russia 36 4
8 Duda, Ondreja, on 79th min. (78:29) for Hamšík 22 5 December 1994 AM Hertha, Berliner SC von 1892 eV, Germany 17 2
result: England 2 Slovakia 1

unused substitutes:

1-Ján Novota, 5-Norbert Gyömbér, 6-Ján Greguš, 8-Ondreja Duda, 9-Jaroslav Mihalík, 12-Martin Poláček, 13-Patrik Hrošovský, 16-Róbert Mazáň, 18-Eric Sabo, 19-Juraj Kucka.

team notes:

Coach Ján Kozak played for Czechoslovakia against England in the November 1978 friendly defeat.
4-2-3-1 Dúbravka -
Pekarík, Škrtel, Ďurica, Hubočan
Škriniar, Lobotka -
(Rusnák), Hamšík (Duda), Mak -

Averages (Starting XI):

Age 28.6 Appearances/Goals 50.4 5.2


    Match Report by Mike Payne

After a somewhat laboured display in Malta, England arrived at Wembley determined to win over their sceptical fans with a positive performance against their nearest rivals in their World Cup group, Slovakia.  What everyone needed was an early goal to settle the nerves, and we got one, although unfortunately, it wasn't scored by England.

With only two and a half minutes of the game gone, Phil Jones headed clear a cross from the right and Marcus Rashford attempted to dribble the ball away to try and make a break.  The youngster was caught in possession though, and  a lovely chipped pass from Adam Nemec found Stanislav Labotka clear of the defence to shoot past the advancing Joe Hart.  It was not at all what the crowd, or the team, wanted but it was a well-taken goal and it highlighted Slovakia's bright and positive start.  The visitors tactics surprised England as they continued to play on the front foot.  They certainly weren't going to sit back and defend for ninety minutes.  England had a lot of work to do and they gradually knuckled down to their task.

Rashford attempted to redeem his mistake with a good run and shot, saved by Martin Dubravka, but for a spell it was the Slovakia team that held possession well with some good crisp passing.  England were struggling to come to terms with conceding that early goal.  Finally, on 15 minutes, Harry Kane forced a corner, and there was a fierce scramble as Slovakia struggled to clear the danger.  Two minutes later a better England move down the right saw Rashford tee up Dele Alli, but the final shot was deflected wide for another fruitless corner.

Gradually England clawed their way back into the game and Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain made a promising break on 20 minutes.  However, the crowd groaned as his final shot went way over the top.  Shortly after that miss, Alli's header from Kyle Walker's deep cross was easily gathered by Dubravka.  All the time, the Slovakian midfield, strong throughout, set England's defenders a number of tasks, and the visitors were always dangerous, but without threatening Hart.

England continued to search for a way back and on 25 minutes a good ball into the middle by Jordan Henderson was again met by Alli's head, but again the header was weak.  Several corners were won over the next few minutes but as so often before nothing fruitful came of them.  England were improving as the game progressed but the final pass was never quite there for them, whilst at the back Hart was having a quiet game with the defence coping with the few Slovakian attacks.  Rashford had another attempt on 34 minutes but that went wide and a few more corners came and went.  Then on 37 minutes Kane might have gone down in the box when he was clipped by a defender, but instead settled for yet another corner.  This time, lo and behold, the corner brought a rich reward!

Rashford took the kick and played it low, towards the near post, at pace, Eric Dier stole a march on the dozing Slovakian defenders and flicked the ball towards goal.  Not only that but it flew into the top corner giving the keeper no chance and gave England a deserved equaliser.  England, at last, had made a corner kick pay off!

The goal certainly lifted the mood of the stadium, and the team came close to taking the lead before the break.  In the 42nd minute Ryan Bertrand latched on to a loose ball and shot hard from close range.  Dubravka fisted that one clear but a minute later the keeper produced the best save of the night when he tipped Rashford's fine shot around a post at full stretch.  There was still time for a bit of a let-off at the other end as Slovakia pushed forward again.  Gary Cahill lunged in to the back of Vladimir Weiss, but the forward rolled the challenge well and was clear on goal about forty yards out.  As he sped towards the box Walker came from nowhere, using his superb pace, to dislodge the ball away from Weiss's feet.  Replays suggested that Walker was a mite lucky to get away with the challenge as it appeared he caught the legs of Weiss, although to be fair, Walker had made a legitimate challenge for the ball.  That incident signalled the end of an entertaining half, but England would look to improve after the break.

England, by and large, had finished the first half strongly and they continued with that pattern after the restart.  On 47 minutes a fine piece of inter-passing between Rashford and Alli saw the latter's shot blocked but then run free to Henderson.  Unfortunately the skipper scuffed his follow-up shot wide of the far post.  Five minutes later Rashford forced another good save from Dubravka after more excellent build up play, and then the keeper saved again from a fierce shot by Oxlade-Chamberlain, getting everything behind the ball as he dived to catch.

Just as you thought England would forge ahead, Slovakia came back with a near miss of their own.  In the 55th minute good interplay down the left ended with a weak cross by Robert Mak, but England failed to clear properly and the ball ran for Marik Hamsik to try another cross.  This time it was an excellent one and it cleared Jones before being chested down by Nemec.  The forward hit a point-blank shot at goal but Hart stood tall to make a very good save, pushing the ball away for a corner.  Martin Skirtel headed over from the kick and the danger was over.

Immediately, England were back on the attack.  Kane rode two challenges to fire in a cross-shot which Dubravka managed to push out, but Alli could not bring the ball under control and it went out for a goalkick.  On 58 minutes, with the game hotting up, Alli had another try, but this time shot hopelessly high, wide and not so handsome.  Seconds later though, England finally forced their noses ahead, and this time it was a fine goal.  Alli intercepted a pass inside, Gary Cahill passed it on to Henderson, who, in turn, found Rashford.  One touch made him some space, and the second saw him drill a super shot wide of the keeper and into the far corner.  No-one deserved the goal more than the Manchester United youngster as he showed great character to come back from his earlier error.  He certainly atoned for it with his goal.

On 65 minutes chances fell at both ends as the game opened up, with Alli seeing another effort saved and then Tomas Hubocan hit a shot into the ground and wide following a free-kick.  For a period of play after that England sat very deep allowing Slovakia to come on to them, which seemed a dangerous ploy, although to be fair the England players defended well and pressed the Slovakian players at every opportunity, thus denying them space.  Substitutes came on for Slovakia and then Dier committed one foul too many to gain a booking.  With ten minutes left, good covering from Jones averted a dangerous situation and the defender had had a very steady game.

Gareth Southgate brought on Raheem Sterling and Danny Welbeck for Oxlade-Chamberlain and Rashford with eight minutes to go.  In those remaining minutes though Slovakia could not generate the necessary surge to try and force a late equaliser, and that was mainly down to England's good defending.  Jake Livermore came on for Alli in the closing seconds but he barely had a touch before the final whistle sounded.  Three vital points for England and they have all but booked their place in the finals next year, now having a five point gap from Slovakia in second spot.

Source Notes

BBC Sport
Mike Payne - football historian and contributor