The Slovenia Times

Football: England too Strong on Home Territory


The striker struck in the 65th and 72nd minutes to push England out of a hole, after Jordan Henderson gave Slovenia the lead with an own goal in the 57th minute.

Wayne Rooney tied the scores with a penalty in the 59th, before Welbeck completed the comeback for the home team in front of a sell-out crowd of 82,000 at Wembley.

The four goals in the second half came after an unexciting first period in which both sides struggled to create scoring looks.

Slovenia did not look phased in the opening minutes against the favoured Three Lions, which had not been troubled to date in the qualifiers, winning all three matches without allowing a goal.

Despite dominating in possession from the opening whistle, the home team did have much space to operate against a closed Slovenian defence.

Raheem Sterling was the first to fire a shot on goal in the 18th minute, but his shot on the ground from 20 metres out went wide right. Six minutes later Rooney cracked a half volley wide right from the edge of the box.

Slovenia had its first chance in the 28th minute, when striker Milivoje Novaković latched on to a near-post corner but sent it into the side netting.

Following the break, Rooney was wide with a header from a nearly identical situation, before Slovenia found a stroke of luck as Andraž Kirm's pass from a free kick was turned in by Henderson following an aerial battle with Aleš Mertelj.

Slovenia's lead was short-lived, however, as England pushed forward and Rooney broke a 20 metre run into the box only to be brought down by a clumsy challenge from Slovenian captain Boštjan Cesar.

Rooney converted the penalty even though Slovenian goalkeeper Samir Handanović managed to get a hand on the shot into the left corner.

The goal appeared to give a spark to England who continued to control the midfield and were rewarded only six minutes later when Welbeck slotted home from eight metres out after Slovenia failed to clear a save by Handanović.

The striker then sealed the win after finding space in the box follwing a perfectly timed one-two with Sterling to slide the ball past Handanović.

Slovenia will return to qualifying action after the winter break to take on minnows San Marino in March.


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