<—END OF LOAD TAG—>
 
  • Date: Sat 05 September 2009
  • Venue: Wembley
  • Ref: Eriksson, J
  • Attendance: 67,232
England

England

Lampard (31) P

Defoe (63)

2 - 1
Slovenia

Slovenia

Ljubijankic (85)

England vs Slovenia

Team Lineups

England

Robert Green
Glen Johnson, G
Matthew Upson (Joleon Lescott, 63)
John Terry
Ashley Cole, A
Shaun Wright-Phillips (Aaron Lennon, 46)
Frank Lampard (Michael Carrick, 46)
Gareth Barry
Steven Gerrard (James Milner, 46)
Wayne Rooney (Carlton Cole, C, 80)
Emile Heskey (Jermain Defoe, 46)

Slovenia

Jasmin Handanovic, J
Miso Brecko
Marko Suler
Bostjan Cesar (Matej Mavric-Rozic, 34)
Bojan Jokic
Aleksander Radosavljevic (Rene Krhin, 77)
Robert Koren
Andraz Kirm (Dalibor Stevanovic, 78)
Zlatko Dedic (Nejc Pecnik, 71)
Valter Birsa (Andrej Komac, 65)
Milivoje Novakovic (Zlatan Ljubijankic, 55)

Match Report
England produced a stuttering display as they warmed up for Wednesday's World Cup qualfier against Croatia with an unimpressive 2-1 victory over Slovenia in a low-key friendly international at Wembley. The match raised plenty of questions for Fabio Capello as the likes of Robert Green, Matthew Upson, Shaun Wright-Phillips and particularly Glen Johnson did little to enhance their international reputations. However, Jermain Defoe continued his excellent start to the season with another goal while Aaron Lennon and Wayne Rooney looked particularly lively. Tottenham striker Defoe came on as a half-time substitute for Emile Heskey and scored England's second goal with a clinical strike after being set up by Lennon. But Johnson was shown up by Slovenia at regular intervals and the Liverpool man was at fault for the visitors' late goal. Slovenia started brightly and Green was lucky to escape when he handled the ball outside his area. Milijove Novakovic then rounded the West Ham United shot-stopper but could only turn the ball onto the roof of the net after being forced wide. John Terry headed a corner against the bar before England took the lead 14 minutes before the interval with the softest of penalties. Rooney appeared to be fouling Bostjan Cesar as the two men tried to get on the end of Steven Gerrard's cross but the referee thought otherwise and pointed to the spot to Slovenia's fury. Undeterred, Frank Lampard made no mistake with his penalty to give England a somewhat fortunate lead. The goal preceded England's best spell of the match and Rooney should have doubled their advantage only to fire against the post from three yards out when it seemed easier to score. Gerrard then shot narrowly wide from 25 yards out but England lost their way at the start of the second period after a host of changes by Capello at half-time. It was a turgid affair until Defoe's precise 63rd-minute strike briefly enlivened proceedings. Rooney was denied again with 19 minutes remaining when he turned Lennon's cross goalwards only for Matej Mavricrozic to kick the ball off the line. With five minutes left and the match drifting to a conclusion, Johnson was embarrassed by Nejc Pecnik whose cross was headed home by Zlatan Ljubijankic. England held on to their narrow advantage but they will need to step up their game if they are to beat Croatia in Wednesday's World Cup qualifier.
Live Text Commentary
Full time
 

Full Time: ENGLAND 2-1 SLOVENIA

90

It's a win for England but they were made to look decidedly ordinary at times by a lively Slovenia side.

90

Defoe relieves the pressure with a probing run. The Tottenham man's looked very lively since he came on.

90

It's Slovenia who are finishing the stronger side as they sniff the chance for an unlikely equaliser.

88

Cole creates a chance for himself with a good bit of skill but the West Ham striker's shot is eventually blocked.

87

The goal is no more than Slovenia deserve and it showed up two of the summer's biggest movers - Johnson and Lescott.

85
Goal
 

ENGLAND 2-1 SLOVENIA. Johnson is all at sea again as he's easily beaten on the byline by Pecnik and, when the ball is crossed in, LJUBIJANKIC gets ahead of Lescott and heads it past Green.

82

Milner's been nondescript since he came on but at least he whips in a pinpoint cross to remind everyone that he is on the pitch.

80
Substitution
 

The final change of the game as Rooney makes way for Carlton Cole.

80

The match is drifting towards a conclusion as these friendlies have a tendency to do.

78
Substitution
 

... while Dalibor Stevanovic comes on for Andraz Kirm.

77
Substitution
 

Time for more changes as Aleksander Radosavljevic is replaced by Rene Krhin...

77

Despite the scoreline, England's display will have given Capello some cause for concern. Defensively they've been very poor at times.

75

An unmarked Pecnik flicks a header narrowly wide as the England defence goes to sleep.

73
Yellow Card
 

Brecko becomes the third Slovenia player to be booked.

73

Lennon cuts the Slovenia defence to shreds and sets up a goal for Rooney on a plate. However, the former Everton man's effort is superbly cleared off the line.

71
Substitution
 

Another change by Slovenia as Zlatko Dedic is replaced by Nejc Pecnik.

69

Green, Johnson and Wright-Phillips have struggled at times and Capello must be concerned with their current form.

67

England haven't been particularly impressive but it looks as though it's going to be another comfortable victory.

65
Substitution
 

Slovenia bring on Andrej Komac for Valter Birsa.

64
Substitution
 

Another change by Capello as Upson is replaced by Joleon Lescott.

63
Goal
 

ENGLAND 2-0 SLOVENIA. It's a goal by a man in form. Lennon feeds DEFOE who finds a yard of space and curls a shot past the flat-footed Handanovic.

61

The match is far tighter now than in the first 45 minutes with chances at a premium.

59

Green punches the set-piece delivery away from danger.

57

Terry tumbles into Zlatko Dedic after being caught out for pace and concedes the free-kick.

55
Substitution
 

Slovenia make a change as Zlatan Ljubijankic comes on for Novakovic.

54

Slovenia look good enough to secure a play-off place from their World Cup group, they've been tidy in this game.

52

Defoe latches on to Johnson's accurate cross but again a Slovenia defender is first to the ball and funnels it out for a corner.

51

England have looked dangerous from set-pieces but this one comes to nothing.

49

Lennon wins an early corner as England look to double their lead.

48

No changes by Slovenia at half-time.

46
Substitution
 

and James Milner comes on for Lampard.

46
Substitution
 

Heskey makes way for Defoe...

46
Substitution
 

Aaron Lennon replaces Wright-Phillips...

46
Substitution
 

Michael Carrick comes on for Gerrard...

Second half
 

England get the second half underway. Capello's made a raft of changes in a Sven-like fashion.

Half time
 

Half Time: ENGLAND 1-0 SLOVENIA.

43

The match is drifting towards half-time with England somewhat fortunate to be ahead.

41

Slovenia refuse to be rattled though and continue to make it an attractive and open encounter.

39

It's all England now as Rooney drifts out wide to the right and crosses for Heskey to flick a header off-target.

37

Better by Gerrard whose 25-yard drive whistles narrowly past the post.

35

It should be 2-0 as Rooney contrives to hit the post with his shot from all of three yards out.

34
Substitution
 

Cesar is unable to continue and is replaced by Matej Mavric.

34

Hopefully the goal will settle England down. Slovenia are still down to ten men as Cesar is receiving treatment behind the goal.

32

England are very fortunate to be ahead. It must be one of the softest penalties of all time.

31
Goal
 

ENGLAND 1-0 SLOVENIA. No matter, LAMPARD slams home the penalty.

30
Yellow Card
 

Cesar is also booked for the challenge to add to the injustice.

30

If anything Rooney appeared to be fouling his marker, Bostjan Cesar, who is forced to hobble off the pitch.

30

Rooney falls over as he challenges for a Gerrard cross. The referee awards a penalty to widespread disbelief.

28

Johnson gets to the byline and whips in a low cross that is cleared for another corner.

28

Gerrard heads the ball straight to a man in green.

28

Johnson surges onto the attack again. Maybe he'd be better concentrating on his defensive duties.

26

Wright-Phillips goes down a blind alley as England struggle to break down an impressive Slovenia side.

24

Slovenia have targeted Johnson as England's weak link as they attack down the left flank yet again.

23

John Terry gets his head to the corner and powers his effort onto the crossbar with Handanovic beaten. Better by England.

21

Rooney lifts the home fans with a good bit of play. He cuts inside a defender and seems certain to score only for his shot to be blocked for a corner.

20

It's not been a great start by England's Liverpool players as Gerrard's intended pass to a team-mate is woeful and goes straight out of play.

19
Yellow Card
 

Andraz Kirm is the first player to be booked for a nasty challenge on Heskey.

19

Slovenia have created the better openings in the early stages and should really be ahead. Johnson is being shown up for what he is. A poor defender.

18

Johnson's defensive frailities are to the fore though as Slovenia surge down his vacant flank again. This time Green is able to claim Bojan Jokic's poor cross.

17

Glen Johnson sees Rooney go on a run but the Manchester United man is unable to turn the low ball towards goal.

15

Jasmin Handanovic elects to punch the corner away from danger again.

14

Gerrard shows a good burst of pace but his intended low cross for Heskey is cut out.

12

Rooney challenges Jasmin Handanovic for Wright-Phillips' looping cross. The Slovenians are unhappy with Rooney but the spat soon peters out.

11

The goalkeeper position remains a worry for England. Green doesn't appear to have the quality required, but who else is there?

9

That was a real scare for England who have shown some nervousness in defence already.

7

It's almost 1-0 to Slovenia as Milivoje Novakovic rounds Green only to then lift his shot from a tight angle on to the roof of the net.

5

Jasmin Handanovic punches the free-kick away from danger but England are already camped inside the Slovenia half.

4

Heskey is hacked down by Aleksander Radosavljevic on the edge of the area. The Slovenia man somehow escapes a booking.

3

Green comes out to claim the ball and appears to handle it outside his area. The West Ham man gets away with it though.

3

Steven Gerrard finds Ashley Cole rampaging down the left but Slovenia are able to deal with the popular Chelsea man's cross.

2

England soon win the ball back and string a few passes together as they bid to improve on the patchy display in last month's 2-2 draw with Netherlands.

1
Kickoff
 

Slovenia, in an all-green strip, get the match underway.

Awaiting Kickoff
 

Slovenia will be no pushovers though. They are third in World Cup qualifying group three and qualified for Euro 2000 and the World Cup finals in South Korea and Japan two years later.

Awaiting Kickoff
 

Shaun Wright-Phillips starts while Wayne Rooney is joined in attack by Emile Heskey so there's no place for the in-form Jermain Defoe.

Awaiting Kickoff
 

Fabio Capello has named a strong starting line-up with Robert Green in goal and Matthew Upson partnering John Terry at the heart of the defence in Rio Ferdinand's absence.

Awaiting Kickoff
 

England face Slovenia at Wembley in a friendly international four days before a far more important clash, the World Cup qualifier against Croatia.