Tuesday, 26 March 2013


The Montenegro - England clash was one that has been highly anticipated especially as it was acompained with a lot of mind games between the two managers. And also the players of both teams.
England who had just enjoyed a fresh 8 - 0 demolistion of San Marino on Friday were made to taste the bitter pills of reality when they face a highly motivated and supported Montenegro side away from home.

Wayne Rooney gave England a dream start as he banished the ghosts of his red card from his last visit as he headed home Steven Gerrard's corner with just six minutes on the clock and Roy Hodgson's side dominated the opening 45 minutes.
But the second half was a completely different affair, with the hosts in the ascendency and they grabbed a fully deserved leveller in the 77th minute when half-time substitute Dejan Damjanovic forced home at the third attempt.
Hodgson made six changes with skipper Gerrard, Glen Johnson, Ashley Cole, Michael Carrick, James Milner and Danny Welbeck all returning after being rested for the 8-0 demolition of San Marino, with Kyle Walker, Leighton Baines, Frank Lampard, Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain, Ashley Young and Jermain Defoe the men to make way.
England were swiftly out of the blocks and forced Montenegro onto the back foot from the off with Rooney inches away from finding the net with only three minutes on the clock when his chip over the back-pedalling Mladen Bozovic struck the post.
Johnson then stung Bozovic's fingers with a searing drive from outside the box, with Hodgson's men taking the lead from the resulting corner as Rooney was allowed far too much space to head home Gerrard's delivery from seven yards out.
Joe Hart was a virtual spectator for most of the first half, with Joleon Lescott and Chris Smalling providing an excellent barrier to deal with everything Stevan Jovetic and Mirko Vucinic had to offer.
Welbeck had strong claims for a penalty rejected as half-time approached as he burst into the area from another Tom Cleverley pass only to have his heels clipped by Stefan Savic, with referee Jonas Eriksson adding further insult by booking the United forward for diving.
But the second half was a completely different affair, with the introduction of Damjanovic at the interval giving Montenegro a new impetus with Jovetic flashing a header into the side netting early on and Basa seeing his effort deflected wide soon after.
Vucinic then fired over the bar from a promising position after a poor header from Lescott before Hart survived a worrying moment as he allowed another effort from the Montenegro captain to slip though his hands and through his legs before falling on the ball.
But it seemed inevitable that England would eventually be breached and the leveller came with 13 minutes remaining when Damjanovic saw his header from a corner superbly saved by Hart, with Welbeck blocking his follow-up before the substitute fired home at the third attempt.
England twice went close to snatching what would have been an underserved victory, with Gerrard powering a volley straight at Bozovic, before the goalkeeper allowed a late free-kick to slip through his fingers only to see it go wide of the post.
        The English supporters will no doubt be happy to have left  Podgorica with a point and also unharmed because at some point in the game the home fans showed signs of doing nasty things.
England will need to find their feet on time and forget their easy victory of San Marino if they are to have a straight qualification to Brazil 2014.

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