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.
Defoe

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

SLO

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)

SUBS

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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