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962 vs. Slovenia
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Thursday, 5 October 2017
2018 FIFA World Cup UEFA Group F qualification match

England 1 Slovenia 0 [0-0]

The National Stadium connected by EE, Wembley, Brent, Greater London
Kick-off (BST): 7.45pm.
Attendance: 61,598.

England kicked-off 99½ minutes 46:22 & 53:00
[1-0] Harry Kane 90+4 93:09
 6-yard right-footed slice into centre of the goal from a Kyle Walker cross
John Stones
44 43:57
Rene Krhin 38 37:02
Miha Mevlja
45+1 45:11
  Rajko Rotman 51 50:18
Aljaž Struna
86 85:37
Valter Birsa
90+6 95:41
Commentator: Clive Tyldesley with Glenn Hoddle

Match Summary

Officials from Germany England Squad Type Slovenia Squad
Referee (pink)
Felix Zwayer
 36, (19 May 1981), West Berlin, FIFA-listed 2012.
17 Goal Attempts 6
5 Attempts on Target 2
Assistant Referees 0 Hit Bar/Post 0
Thorsten Schiffner
42 (14 May 1975), Konstanz
Marco Achmüller
37 (17 October 1979), Bad Füssing
10 Corner Kicks Won 4
Fourth official
Christian Dingert
37 (14 July 1980), Lebecksmühle, FIFA-listed 2013.

UEFA Delegate - Petr Fousek, Czech Republic
Referee Observer - Guy Goethals, Belgium
3 Offside Calls Against 2
11 Fouls Conceded 17
65% Possession 35%


England Team



FIFA (14 Sept 2017) 15th
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: Harry Kane
third, W 1 - D 1 - L 1 - F 5 - A 5.
Manager: Gareth Southgate, 47 (3 September 1970), appointed caretaker manager on 27 September 2016, appointed as permanent manager on 30 November 2016.
eleventh match, W 6 - D 3 - L 2 - F 20 - A 9.
England Lineup
1 Hart, C. Joseph J. 30
169 days
19 April 1987 G West Ham United FC, on loan from Manchester City FC 74 48ᵍᵃ
Walker, Kyle A. 27
130 days
28 May 1990 RB Manchester City FC 30 0
the 115th/116th player to reach the 30-app milestone
3 Bertrand, Ryan D. 28
61 days
5 August 1989 LB Southampton FC 17 1
4 Dier, Eric J.E. 23
263 days
15 January 1994 LDM Tottenham Hotspur FC 21 3
5 Cahill, Gary J. 31
290 days
19 December 1985 RCD Chelsea FC 58 4
6 Stones, John 23
130 days
28 May 1994 LCD Manchester City FC 19 0
44th min. after bringing down Miha Mevlja after he overran the ball.
7 Sterling, Raheem S., off 85th min. 22
301 days
8 December 1994
in Kingston, Jamaica
AM Manchester City FC 35 2
8 Henderson, Jordan B. 27
110 days
17 June 1990 RDM Liverpool FC 35 0
9 Kane, Harry E. 24
69 days
28 July 1993 CF Tottenham Hotspur FC 22 11
the 600th goal scored at Wembley Stadium
10 Rashford, Marcus 19
339 days
31 October 1997 LAM Manchester United FC 12 2
11 Oxlade-Chamberlain, Alexander M.D., off 63rd min. 24
51 days
15 August 1993 RAM Liverpool FC 30 6
the 115th/116th player to reach the 30-app milestone
England Substitutes
22 Lingard, Jesse E., on 63rd min. (62:58) for Oxlade-Chamberlain 24
294 days
15 December 1992 RM Manchester United FC 5 3 0
16 Keane, Michael V., on 85th min. (84:14) for Sterling 24
267 days
11 January 1993 CD Everton FC 3 2 0
the 67th Everton player to represent England 1
result: England 1 Slovenia 0
unused substitutes: 12-Chris Smalling, 13-Jack Butland, 14-Kieran Trippier, 15-Harry Maguire, 17-Aaron Cresswell, 18-Jermain Defoe, 19-Jake Livermore, 20-Daniel Sturridge, 21-Harry Winks, 23-Jordan Pickford.
team notes: Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain's father, Mark Chamberlain, also played for England (1982-84).

stadium records:

This is a record ninth consecutive World Cup victory at the Stadium, starting back in October 2012.
records: England qualify for the World Cup Finals with a game to spare.
England have now gone 38 qualification matches unbeaten (W29 D9).
They are also unbeaten in a record 24 competitive home matches (beginning October 2008).
Joe Hart has now appeared in 36 of England's 56 home matches at the National Stadium, equal with Wayne Rooney.
4-2-3-1 Hart -
Walker, Stones, Cahill, Bertrand -
Henderson, Dier  -
(Lingard), Sterling (Keane), Rashford -
Averages (Starting XI): Age 25 years 275 days Appearances/Goals 32.1 2.5
most experienced XI in 2017-18

Slovenia Team



FIFA (14 Sept 2017) 55th
EFO ranking
ELO rating
Colours: Made by Nike - Upper dark green v-necked jerseys with Mount Triglav graphic above a light green netting pattern and dark green side stripe, light green shorts with dark green side stripe, light green socks.
Capt: Boštjan Cesar Manager: Srečko Katanec, 54 (16 July 1963 in Yugoslavia), appointed 31 December 2012, took charge 4 January 2013.
41st match, W 16 - D 6 - L 19 -
Slovenia Lineup
1 Oblak, Jan 24
271 days
7 January 1993 G Club Atlético de Madrid, Spain 17 10ᵍᵃ
23 Struna, Aljaž 27
62 days
4 August 1990 RB US Città di Palermo, Italy
86th min. after he was pulling the shirt of Jesse Lingard and holding him back
17 Mevlja, Miha 27
115 days
12 June 1990 CD FC Zenit, Russia
45th+1 min. after he brought down Marcus Rashford as he was sprinting past him.
5 Cesar, Boštjan 35
88 days
9 July 1982 CD AC Chievo Verona, Italy 99 10
mst apps
13 Jokić, Bojan 31
141 days
17 May 1986 LB FC Ufa, Russia 86 1
14 Bezjak, Roman, off 73rd min. 28
226 days
21 February 1989 RM SV Darmstadt 1898, Germany 18 1
6 Krhin, Rene 27
137 days
21 May 1990 CM FC de Nantes, France, on loan from Granada CF, Spain
38th min. for scraping down the back of Jordan Henderson's legs. SUSPENDED
18 Rotman, Rajko, off 79th min. 28
203 days
16 March 1989 CM Göztepe SK, Turkey
51st min. after he brought down Sterling from behind, outside the centre-circle.
21 Verbič, Benjamin 23
312 days
27 November 1993 LM FC København, Denmark 14 2
7 Iličić, Josip 29
249 days
29 January 1988
in Prijedor, Yugoslavia
AM Atalanta Bergamasca Calcio, Italy 49 5
11 Šporar, Andraž, off 55th min. 23
220 days
27 Febraury 1994 CF DSC Arminia Bielefeld, Germany, on loan from FC Basel 1893, Switzerland 4 0
Slovenia Substitutes
10 Birsa, Valter, on 55th min. (54:48) for Šporar 31
59 days
7 August 1986 M AC Chievo Verona, Italy 88 7
96th min. for a late tackle on Henderson after he cleared the ball away. SUSPENDED.
19 Repas, Jan, on 73rd min. (72:26) for Bezjak 20
200 days
19 March 1997 M Stade Malherbe Caen 2 0
9 Matavž, Tim, on 79th min. (78:37) for Rotman 28
265 days
13 January 1989 F Stichting Betaald Voetbal Vitesse, Netherlands 34 10
result: England 1 Slovenia 0
unused substitutes: 2-Nejc Skubic, 3-Mitja Viler, 4-Matija Širok, 8-Jasmin Kurtić, 12-Vid Belec, 15-Antonio Mlinar Delamea, 16-Jan Koprivec, 20-Damjan Bohar, 22-Amedej Vetrih.
team notes: right-back Aljaž Struna is the younger brother of Andraž, who was a member of the 2014-15 campaign.
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.
4-4-1-1 Oblak -
Struna, Mevlja, Cesar, Jokić -
(Repas), Krhin, Rotman (Matavž), Verbič -
Iličić -
Averages (Starting XI): Age 27 years 352 days Appearances/Goals 31.6 2.1


    Match Report by Mike Payne

After some stuttering and unconvincing performances of late, England had more than the one task to achieve against Slovenia.  The first, of course, was to gain the three points that would guarantee their passage to the World Cup finals in Russia next year.  The second was to produce a more convincing display to satisfy the fans and pundits watching.  In the end one out of the two was just about acceptable.

This was a game of few chances, and very little football that warmed the soul.  England did begin brightly and both Marcus Rashford and Raheem Sterling looked lively as they attacked the box.  In the first five minutes England forced several corners but created very little from them.  Indeed, from one England corner, Slovenia actually broke away quickly and Joe Hart had to move swiftly off his line to stop Josip Illicic.  In fact Hart did clip the forward's foot but the referee gave nothing.  At the other end Harry Kane's first action saw him shoot at goal but Jan Oblak easily saved.  On the quarter hour Kyle Walker's careless header almost led to an attack for the visitors but his fellow defenders managed to avert the danger.

The game had settled into a pattern of easy, unchallenged possession for England, and they passed the ball across the back four, and back to the goalkeeper on countless occasions.  That is something that infuriates many in the crowd, who realise that patience is a virtue but hope against hope that someone will pass the ball forward occasionally.  In our Premier League, the object of the exercise is to get the ball into the danger areas and work goalscoring opportunities.  Why, therefore, do we not do that at International level?

On 19 minutes it was Slovenia who missed a golden chance as they broke away swiftly.  A cross from the left was met by Andraz Sporar, and he really should have done better from a central position.  Luckily for England he made no real contact and it was a let-off for the home side.  Seven minutes later England had their best chance to date as Henderson cut into the box and tried to curl his shot around Oblak, but the keeper did well to turn the ball round a post for a corner.  That was good to see from England's point of view, the first bit of positive play and it almost brought a goal.

At this point it was noted that England had 75% of the possession, but about 75% of that was in their own half!  On 35 minutes Sterling was fouled on the edge of the box, a free-kick perfectly set up for either Kane or Rashford to take.  But to everyone's amazement the kick was entrusted to Walker of all people.  Needless to say the ball ended up in the crowd from his woeful kick.  It is fair to say that it might be a while before he takes another kick from that sort of position.  Before half-time, John Stones was booked for a late challenge and then Miha Mevlja also went into the referee's notebook after a cynical challenge on Rashford.  The Manchester United youngster had been the one bright spark of a disappointing half for England and right on the whistle his dangerous near post cross was flicked just over by Gary Cahill.  It was difficult to analyse England's performance during the break, each player had worked hard, each player had done their job, but something was missing, something to spark the crowd.

Two minutes after the restart a deep cross to the far post saw Bojan Jokic unmarked to head back towards goal for Slovenia.  The ball struck Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain's arm as the ball landed, eventually, in Hart's arms.  The game meandered along for a while with nothing to report and then on 59 minutes Walker, again, was at fault.  Hart's throw out was not good but Walker's attempted header inside only found substitute Valter Birsa, and he could and should have done better with a clear chance.  Four minutes later and England also had a clear chance to break the deadlock.  Sterling gained possession on the halfway line and sprinted away.  He passed the ball to Rashford on his left, but this time the young striker tried to be just a little too clever in trying to chip the keeper.  Unfortunately there was not enough power in his chip and a defender had ample time to clear the danger.

Two minutes later though, England forged their best chance so far.  Rashford's fine pass down the left sent Ryan Bertrand away and when the cross came in the ball deflected to the onrushing Sterling who seemed certain to score.  He hit his shot well enough but somehow Bostjan Cesar managed to deflect the ball wide of goal.  It was an amazing piece of defending and Sterling held his head in disbelief.

Jesse Lingard was then sent on for the ineffective and out of form Oxlade-Chamberlain, and the substitute was soon in the action.  Rashford and Sterling then combined for Kane to shoot narrowly wide of the far post.  These chances make it sound exciting but in between times there was a great deal of slow, across the park passing, and the game was anything but exciting.  Stones, already booked, had an altercation with two Slovenian defenders, and the visitors had been organised and disciplined in their defending, largely frustrating England.  With ten minutes left Lingard went close, and then Hart had to save well from another substitute Tim Matavz.  Michael Keane came on for Sterling, in what was a strange substitution, from an attacking point of view, and following one England free-kick given in the Slovenia half, the ball went all the way back to Hart.  There was an audible groan from the England fans when six minutes were shown to be added, but as it turned out those groans turned to cheers three minutes into that added time.

Walker tried a low shot, which was easily saved, but the goalkeeper's throw out was then intercepted by Walker and the Manchester City full-back finally managed his best piece of work with a terrific low cross to the near post.  Kane, as ever, anticipated the move and nipped in front of the defender to toe-poke the ball home.  Oblak managed to get something on the shot but not enough to prevent it trickling over the line for Kane's 11th goal in an England shirt.  The goal gave England their right to visit Russia next summer and that is something that everyone will be pleased with.  It goes without saying though that England will have to play much better than this if they want to do anything in the World Cup finals.

Source Notes

BBC Sport

Mike Payne - football historian and contributor