England held in Slovenia

England were sloppy in their World Cup qualifier against Slovenia, and were lucky to earn a 0-0 draw at the Stozice Stadium in Ljubljana in Tuesday.

  • Slovenia 0 England 0
  • Hart and Oblak star in goal
  • Verbic hits the post

Match Summary

Slovenia should have opened the scoring early in the first half when Eric Dier's back pass saw Roman Bezjak go one-on-one with Joe Hart, who made the save, before Benjamin Verbic hit the post on the follow-up.

Hart and his opposite number, Atletico Madrid's Jan Oblak, were both busy throughout the evening making a number of crucial saves to keep the deadlock intact, meaning that England remain top of Group F on seven points, with Slovenia on five.

Full Report

England started brightly and were threatening goal in the opening minutes, with Dele Alli and Daniel Sturridge combining well on a few occasions as the latter let loose a few efforts and Jan Oblak's goal.

But it was Slovenia who had the first real chance of the match after 11 minutes when Eric Dier's blind back-pass was picked off by Roman Bezjak to go one-on-one with Joe Hart.

The Torino goalkeeper made an excellent initial save before the ball fell to Benjamin Verbic, who hit the post before Bezjak fired wide, and the English breathed a sigh of relief.

England had a late chance on 41 minutes when Jordan Henderson lofted one in towards Gary Cahill, but the Chelsea defender couldn't get proper contact and Oblak was able to come out and gather.

Josip Ilicic carved out a chance within the first minutes of the second half when some neat footwork took him past Henderson and a one-two sent saw him reach the byline and cut it back into the box, but luckily for England Theo Walcott was there to mop up for a corner.

Hart was called into another heroic save from the resulting corner, with Jasmin Kurtic getting a deflection at the near post that needed a dramatic save to keep it out of the top corner.

Andros Townsend came on for Walcott in the 63rd minute and made an instant impact when he cut inside onto his left foot and sent a rasping effort narrowly wide of goal, with Oblak helping it on it's way to concede the corner.

But England seemed determined to be the creators of their own downfall, with Henderson the guilty party this time as yet another blind pass back to Hart was intercepted by Ilicic, but once again Hart came to the rescue with a save at the near post.

The English then had two opportunities in the 76th and 78th minutes, the first coming when Danny Rose got down the left flank, cut in onto his right foot, and scuffed it wide; the second fell to Sturridge when he made a run in behind, but Oblak was there to make the save.

The 72nd minute saw Wayne Rooney enter the fray in place of Alli, and in the 80th minute he looked for the bottom corner and curled his effort narrowly wide; and three minutes later he set up Manchester United teammate Jesse Lingard, who forced Oblak into a save.

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