Job half done as England beat Montenegro 4-1




In what was a very nervous first-half last night for an England team that could not find the back of the net despite Wayne Rooney hitting the post with a shot that any other day would have been a certain goal.

Things picked up for the “Three Lions” when three minutes after the break a Danny Welbeck shot was parried by the keeper into the path of Manchester United striker Rooney who managed to bundle the ball home to open the scoring.

A few moments later Montenegrin midfielder Branko Boskovic put the ball in his own net to give England a 2-0 lead, and you could feel the tension around Wembley ease as the crowd realized that England had the cushion they needed in order to secure the win.

The respite was short lived however as tiny Montenegro refused to give with an instinctive prod from Dejan Damjanovic scoring a goal and putting them right back into the match.

England knowing that the job was not done went back on the attack with the most impressive player for me Tottenham’s Andros Townsend scoring a terrific 25-yard swerving stunner to give England back their two-goal lead.

Liverpool’s Daniel Sturridge scored England’s fourth goal from the penalty spot in extra-time after being fouled by Ivan Kecojevic in the box.

The 4-1 win keeps England on top of Group H, but they still require a win against Poland on Tuesday in order to seal a spot in next summer’s World Cup in Brazil.

England manager Roy Hodgson was happy with last night’s win, but knows that nothing is certain if they do not beat Poland on the 15th surely remembering a similar situation back in October 1973 when England needed to beat Poland at Wembley in order to qualify for the 1974 World Cup in West Germany only to be denied by Polish goalkeeper Jan Tomaszewski.

After the match the England manager Hodgson said: “The job’s half done,” he insisted. “If we want to qualify direct we need to win against Poland on Tuesday night. That won’t be easy.

“That game will be very difficult. I watched them (Poland), in the first half they played very well against Ukraine [a 1-0 defeat on Friday]. They had the best goalscoring opportunities.

“If they play as well against us on Tuesday as they did against Ukraine in the first half then it will be a tough game, but I always back the players. I trust them.

“We are still unbeaten in this qualifying group. We are capable of going unbeaten in the 10th [game] and with the backing we got from the fans and playing at Wembley I have got to back them. I would be foolish not to.”

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