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WORLD CUP: Defoe strike sends England through to last 16

A much improved England performance saw them deservedly make the knockout stages with a 1-0 win over Slovenia in Port Elizabeth. Slovenia: 0 England: 1

Venue: Nelson Mandela Bay Stadium, Port Elizabeth Crowd: 38,893 Officials Referee: Wolfgang Stark (Germany) Assistants: Jan-Hendrik Salver and Mike Pickel (both Germany) Fourth official: Joel Aguilar (El Salvador) Yellow cards:SLO - Jokic, Dedic, Birsa ENG - Johnson

Red cards: none MATCH REPORT The only goal of the game from Jermain Defoe after 22 minutes was enough to give England the victory they so badly needed after the disappointment of the opening two games.

Perhaps Fabio Capello should insist the team play in all red every time as yet again it proved a lucky kit as, playing with an increased tempo, they dominated against the smallest country in the World Cup.

Not that Slovenia didn't have their moments but last ditch tackles from Matthew Upson and John Terry in the second half ensured the narrowest of scorelines was maintained.

Stephen Gerrard and Wayne Rooney linked well and James Milner set in a series of crosses which constantly caused problems for the Slovak defence.

In fact had it not been for the Slovenian keeper Samir Handanovic, the margin of victory would have been more comfortable for England. Twice he denied Defoe and Frank Lampard and Steven Gerrard also found themselves thwarted by the Udinese stopper.

Wayne Rooney went off injured in the second half but only after an improved showing in which he hit a post and generally was a handful for the Slovenian rearguard.

The vital goal inevitably came from a teasing Milner cross which Defoe anticipated and thumped home from close range with Handanovic getting both hands to the effort but the force was too much and the ball hit the roof of the net.

With USA defeating Algeria, England finish second in Group C and they will now face the winners of Group D on Sunday in Bloemfontein. Starting Line-Ups


1. Samir Handanovic 2. Miso Brecko 4. Marko Suler 5. Bostjan Cesar 13. Bojan Jokic 10. Valter Birsa 8. Robert Koren 18. Aleksandar Radosavljevic 17. Andraz Kirm (Tim Matavz, 77) 9. Zlatan Ljubijankic (Dedic, 62) 11. Milivoje Novakovic SUBS

12. Jasmin Handanovic (GK) 3. Elvedin Dzinic 6. Branko Ilic 7. Nejc Pecnik 14. Zlatko Dedic 15. Rene Krhin 19. Suad Filekovic 20. Andrej Komac 21. Dalibor Stevanovic 22. Matej Mavric 23. Tim Matavz 16. Aleksander Seliga (GK) ENG

1. David James 2. Glen Johnson 15. Matthew Upson 6. John Terry 3. Ashley Cole 4. Steven Gerrard 8. Frank Lampard 14. Gareth Barry 16. James Milner 10. Wayne Rooney (Cole J, 72) 19. Jermain Defoe (Heskey, 85)


12. Robert Green (GK) 5. Michael Dawson 7. Aaron Lennon 9. Peter Crouch 11. Joe Cole 13. Stephen Warnock 17. Shaun Wright-Phillips 21. Emile Heskey 22. Michael Carrick 23. Joe Hart (GK)

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