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All eyes were on Nelson Mandela Bay stadium for England's last chance for redemption. The Brits were facing Slovenia in a must-win situation in Group C...a loss would send them home to England in disgrace.
Slovenia went into the match leading the group, but England took the lead in the match...22 minutes in... Jermain Defoe turned home James Milner's cross from five meters with a right-foot volley in the 23rd minute. to give England five points in the group.
Showing much better form after its dismal 0-0 draw with Algeria, when the team was booed off the field, England looked much more like the team that headed into the tournament in South Africa with a chance of winning the title.
For the first 10 minutes, England again looked nervous, but the players then began to produce some flowing moves and the chances followed.
Slovenia led the Group C standings before kickoff, but was eliminated by a late American goal against Algeria.
Frank Lampard, Wayne Rooney and Glen Johnson all had goalbound shots. On the other end, goalkeeper David James had to react sharply to keep out a flick-on from Slovenia defender Bostjan Cesar.
England continued to dominate after the goal and Slovenia goalkeeper Samir Handanovic had to make two saves within a few seconds of each other to keep out shots from Defoe and Steven Gerrard.
Blunders in the Slovenia defense handed Defoe a second chance in the opening minute of the second half, but he flicked the ball wide from Gareth Barry's headed pass.
England continued to create chances after that and Handanovic blocked JohnTerry's powerful header at the near post and then finger-tipped Rooney's shot onto the post.
Slovenia almost equalized in the 68th after Barry lost possession and Terry and Johnson blocked goalbound shots from Zlatko Dedic and Milivoje Novakovic.
|All eyes were on Nelson Mandela Bay stadium for England's last chance for redemption. |
The Brits were facing Slovenia in a must-win situation in Group C...a loss would send
them home to England in disgrace.