World Cup 2010
Match Reports

England 2-1 Slovenia
Wembley, London, England - Saturday 5 September 2009

This friendly was the first encounter between these two teams, as FIFA kicked-off their Fairplay Days which runs 5-9 September.

England were lucky not go to a man down inside the first few minutes of play. Looking to become England's number 1 goalkeeper, Robert Green, handled the ball outside his area, an error which was fortunately missed by the Swedish referee. Green then came racing out of his goal, several minutes later, to get the ball from Novakovic, diving at the Slovenian's feet. Novakovic chose to go around Green, rather than fall to the ground, and fired a shot at the goal which went over the bar.

While Slovenia had the better opening period, England had several opportunities in the first half to take the lead through Rooney and Lampard. It was a combination of these two players who did put the home side ahead in the 31st minute, albeit unwittingly. In a very harsh decision by the referee he awarded England a penalty when Rooney and Cesar were vying for possession. Both players ended up on the ground and it certainly did not seem worthy of pointing to the penalty spot. Jonas Eriksson thought otherwise. With Cesar having left the field with an injury, which appeared to have occured in the tussle with Rooney, Frank Lampard struck the penalty into the bottom left corner.

In the 35th minute, and with Slovenia having been forced to make an early subsitution for the injured Cesar, a Lampard corner was headed across the goal by Upson. The ball was picked up by Rooney whose shot from inside the six-yard box hit the bar.

Into the second half, and having made four subsitutions at the interval, Capello's team extended their lead in the 63rd minute. Aaron Lennon passed the ball to Defoe who put the ball through two defenders from 20 yards to beat Handanovic. This was Defoe's third goal in two games for England.

Rooney had a shot saved on the line by a Slovenian defender with 18 minutes remaining. Lennon had made a run down the right and crossed the ball the Manchester United forward, but Rooney was denied by Mavric. Despite being two goals ahead, Slovenia's 85th minute goal, upset Capello as it was apparently conceeded due to lack of concentration. Slovenia got the ball inbetween Johnson and Terry with Ljubijankic getting the final touch with his head to beat Robert Green.

Now on to the big match on Wednesday when England play a World Cup qualifier against Croatia. A win at Wembley will send England to South Africa next summer.


Green #1, Upson #5 (Lescott 64 mins - #13), Terry #6 - Captain, A Cole #3, Johnson #2, Barry #11, Lampard #8 (Carrick 46 mins - #16), Gerrard #4 (Milner 46 mins - #21), Wright-Phillips #7 (Lennon 46 mins - #20), Rooney #10 (C Cole 80 mins - #25), Heskey #9 (Defoe 46 mins - #23).
Subs Not Used: Foster #12, Brown #14, Bridge #15, Beckham #17, Cahill #18, Young #19, Robinson #22, Crouch #24. (Full Squad)

Handanovic #1, Cesar #5 (Mavric 34 mins - #6), Suler #4, Jokic #13, Brecko #2, Koren #8, Radosavljevic #18 (Krhin 77 mins - #15), Kirm #17 (Stevanovic 78 mins - #7), Birsa #10 (Komac 65 mins - #3), Novakovic #11 (Ljubijankic 55 mins - #9), Dedic #14 (Pecnik 71 mins - #19).
Subs Not Used: Seliga #12, Zlogar #16, Ilic #20, Dzinic #21.

Match Details

England Goals: Lampard (31 mins - pen), Defoe (63 mins)
Slovenia Goal: Ljubijankic (85 mins)

Slovenia Cautions: Kirm (19 mins), Cesar (31 mins), Brecko (73 mins)

Referee: Jonas Eriksson (Sweden)

Attendance: 67,232