With seven straight wins in World Cup qualifying under their belts, England took to the field knowing that a victory this evening would book their tickets to the Finals next year. The last time the two sides met at Wembley, the Croatians beat England 3-2, a result which ended England's chances of qualifying for the Euro 2008 Finals, and was the end of Steve McClaren's stint in charge of the senior team.
England took the lead in the 8th minute of this match after Aaron Lennon was taken down by Simunic. Frank Lampard scored the awarded penalty, his second in two games. Lennon was involved in England's second goal of the night when he crossed the ball to Steven Gerrard who was at the far post to head the ball into Croatia's goal.
With Croatia having wasted a good goal scoring opportunity into the second half from Mandzukic, Lampard extended England's lead to three when Glen Johnson crossed the ball to Lampard in the box, who headed the ball into Croatia's net from 10 yards. Seven minutes later Rooney sent a high cross in from the right, and Gerrard making a lovely run into the area headed the ball into Runje's goal. The home side were on a roll, putting the game beyond the reach of their opposition.
Eduardo got a consolation goal for his side in the 73rd minute. Green had made two stops from the Croatians but on his second attempt, Eduardo found the net.
England's final goal of the game came when Runje cleared a back-pass but it was a poor effort, one which saw Wayne Rooney pounce upon to take England's goal tally for the night up to five.
So a very comfortable victory for England, who have now qualified for the World Cup Finals, in unusual character compared to previous qualifying campaigns, with two matches to spare. Focus will now shift to preparing the team for the Finals in South Africa. At the moment, England's team look very promising under Fabio Capello.
Green #1, Upson #5, A Cole #3, Terry #6 - Captain, Johnson #2, Gerrard #4 (Milner 81 mins - #15), Barry #11, Lampard #8, Lennon #7 (Beckham 80 mins - #17), Heskey #9 (Defoe 60 mins - #16), Rooney #10.
Subs Not Used: Foster #12, Brown #13, Bridge #14, Crouch #18. (Full Squad)
Runje #12, Simunic #3, Krizanac #4, Srna #11, Kranjcar #8, Pranjic #6, Vukojevic #15, Pokrivac #13 (Rakitic 46 mins - #7), Olic #18 (Petric 46 mins - #10), Eduardo #9 (Klasnic 74 mins - #17), Mandzukic #16.
Subs Not Used: Subasic #1, Drpic #2, Cale #5, Leko #14.
England Goals: Lampard (8 mins - pen & 59 mins), Gerrard (18 mins & 66 mins), Rooney (77 mins)
Slovenia Goal: Eduardo (73 mins)
England Caution: Terry (85 mins)
Croatia Caution: Simunic (44 mins)
Referee: Alberto Undiano Mallenco (Spain)