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England see off Slovenia test

September 5, 2009

A penalty from Frank Lampard and a Jermain Defoe strike has helped England overcome a sticky test at Wembley against Slovenia.

With an important World Cup qualifier coming up on Wednesday against Croatia, Fabio Capello would use this game as preparation for his players ahead of the match that could see England qualify for next year’s World Cup in South Africa. England dominated the first half with John Terry and Wayne Rooney both hitting the woodwork from set pieces. Indeed it was Rooney who made the biggest contribution to England’s first goal, albeit with a little help from the referee. Rooney was ‘bundled’ over by Slovenia’s ex-West Brom centre-half Bostjan Cesar, although replays showed Rooney went down far too easily. In fact it was Cesar who came out worse from the challenge, having to be dragged off the field and replaced by a substitute. Frank Lampard tucked away the spot kick with ease and confidence on the half-hour mark.

Slovenia had limited chances in the first half, although Milivoje Novakovic should have done better from 6 yards after 20 minutes.

Capello made 4 changes at half time, with James Milner, Aaron Lennon, Jermain Defoe, and Michael Carrick all coming on at the expense of Gerrard, Wright-Phillips, Heskey, and Lampard respectively. Defoe, who’s been in fantastic scoring form for club and country recently, doubled the home side’s lead just after the hour mark with an expertly placed drive from the edge of the box. Despite England continuing to be the better side, substitute Zlatan Ljubijankic pulled a goal back for the visitors after 85 minutes, but it proved to be no more than a consolation for the side that travel to Poland in the week.

A decent workout for Capello’s men, who face a much sterner test on Wednesday. Croatia will be without playmaker Luka Modric for the trip to Wembley, surely a disadvantage for them.

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2 Comments leave one →
  1. September 5, 2009 8:53 pm

    thought the match raised more questions than it should, decent workout but unconvincing. too bad really, england were doing well prior to this match.

    oh, and welcome back.

  2. George permalink
    September 5, 2009 10:09 pm

    Yeah, I agree. But I think we’d rather they played bad in this match than on Wednesday.

    Glad to be back!

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