Emgland 4 Montenegro 1

By Paul Lagan
Last updated : 11 October 2013

While Chelsea had two men in England's vital 4-1 win over Montenegro in tonight's World Cup Qualifier, it was north London rivals Spurs's Andros Townsend who stole the show.
The winger, making his debut for the Three Lions was a constant thorn in the side of Montenegro and, just when England were pegged back to 2-1, scored a spectacular long-range effort to ease the worries of the England fans.
Frank Lampard and Gary Cahill did all that was asked of them but the kudos we to to Andros.
The home side took the lead in the second half through Wayne Rooney, and an own goal by Branko Boskovic looked to have assured England three points. But plucky Montenegro pulled one back through Dejan Damjanovic.
But then came Townsend's screamer.
A Daniel Sturridge penalty deep into to added time made it 4-1, and in truth, it was a justified scoreline.
England went for the jugular straight from the kick-off.
Two minutes in and Danny Welbeck had the first chance on the Montenegro goal but the Manchester United striker skied the ball high and wide over the opposition's crossbar.
His club mate Wayne Rooney was next up as England pitied on the early ossuary.
His 8th minute effort from just outside Montenegro's penalty are took a slight deflection and inched just wide of goalkeeper Vukasin Poleksic's left upright for a corner.
Welbeck should have done better two minutes later but lost confidence and control of the ball, once again clearing the visitors's crossbar.
Some excellent set-up play on the right, involving Andros Townsend, Daniel Sturridge and Lampard, saw Steven Gerard, do what others have done so far, lump the ball over the goal.
Brilliant byline work from Leighton Baines, fed Welbeck on 23 minutes.This time he kept the ball down, but Poleksic was equal to the task and parried the ball for a corner.
A minute later and Montenegro had a breakaway. Joe Hart had a half-hearted cleanse that fell to Elsad Zverotic just inside the England half. He tried his luck with a long -range effort which sailed over his crossbar.
Sturridge caught the over the crossbar feeling on 26 minutes when his 20-yard left footer went, you guessed it high over the crossbar.
Chelsea duo Lampard and Gary Cahill had very little to do in the opening exchanges, with Cahill a virtual spectator.
A miss control from Ivan Jovetic allowed Rooney to attack on goal. But he was quickly blocked by Milan Jovanovic.
Poleksic was in action on 32 minutes, tipping away a fine curling right-footer from skipper Gerrard.
Rooney missed a sitter six minutes from the end of the first half, when Poleksic failed to hold onto a Townsend piledriver.
Rooney, at a slight angle to the right of the goal, and with the goalkeeper floundering to get into position, conspired to miss an open goal, slicing the ball into the side netting instead.
Fans thought Welbeck had scored two minutes later but his off target shot took a deflection for a corner. From the resultant kick, Sturridge took a majestic first touch to control the ball, but a rubbish second touch to shank it over the bar.
The Liverpool striker then tried a back-heel from a Rooney byline cross but the ball was again intercepted with a last ditch tackle by Valdimir Volkov.
There were no changes in personnel at half-time.
The breakthrough came within two minutes of the restart.
Rooney had the simplest of chances to ram home a sweet left foote from close range. After Poleksic failed to hold a Welbeck strike. But the goal came after good work by Townsend who cut the opposition apart on the right with his pace. It was his byline cutback which set up Welbeck.
Rooney's goal was his 37th for the Three Lions.
Two yellow cards in quick succession for Savo Pavicevic and Volkov reflected Montenegro's growing frustration.
England right back Kyle Walker entered Alberto Mllenco's book on 54 minutes for a foul.
From the resultant free-kick, on the right, Dejan Damjanovic produced a smart glancing header from eight yards out. Hart responded by producing the best save of the night, diving acrobatically to his left to deflect the ball around his left post.
Goal number two came on 62 minutesand had a piee of the surreal about it.
Sturridge did well on the left, back-heeling into the path of overlapping Welbeck the striker cut the ball back just inside the Montenegro area where luckless Branko Boskovic mistimed his interception and sliced the ball into his own net from 12 yards, leaving hapless Poleksic stranded.
But the plucky visitors would not be undone and seconds later Jovetic rattled Hart's crossbar with a ferocious strike from 25-yards out.
Lampard's night ended prematurely when he was replaced by Michael Carrick.
England should have had a third on 69 minutes but Rooney cutbackfell just behind Gerrard and he could only screw a shot wide.
Poleksic was then called into action, beating away a Welbeck shot while Jovanovic cleared off the line as England cut open their opponents.
But with the score 2-0 there was always the chance of a breakaway chance and it came with 19 minutes of the tie to go. A speculative shot from substitute Fatos Beqiraj zipped off the boot of Damjanovic and arrowed into the right-hand corner of Hart's goal to peg England back to just a goal lead.
Any suggestions that England would get jittery were dispelled in spectacular fashion with 13 minutes left on the clock.
Spurs winger Townsend found himself free with the ball. He did what all good wide men do and raced towards the opposition's area.
He then let fly with a screamer of a right-footer from 25-yards which beat Poleksic for pace but not his right post and the ball zipped off that and into the net.
Sturridge was cut down deep into injury time in the Montegrgo aa and the ref had the simplest of decisions to point to the spot.
Sturridge dispatched the spot kick with consummate ease to complete a very satisfactory night for England who now top the group and face Poland on Tuesday at Wembley.
A win then and England are off to Rio in next summer's World Cup.

 

 

 

 

 


Teams: England: 1 Hart 2 Walker 3 Baines 4 Gerrard 5 Cahill 6 Jagielka 7 Townsend 8 Lampard 9 Sturridge 10 Rooney 11 Welbeck
Subs: 12 Smalling, 13 Ruddy, 14 Gibbs, 15 Jones, 16 Carrick, 17 Milner, 18 Barkley, 19 Wilshere, 20 Defoe, 21 Lambert, 22 Forster

Montenegro: Poleksic, Pavicevic, Jovanovic, Kecojevic, Jovetic, Damjanovic, Zverotic, Drincic, Savic, Boskovic
Subs: Blazic, Novakovic, Krkotic, Igumanovic, Janjusevic, Kasalica, Vesovic, Vukcevic, Dembasic, Beqiraj

Referee: Alberto Undiano Mallenco (Spain)


Ends

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