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FIFA World Cup European Qualifying

Stadion Pod Goricom (ATT 12,000) 26th March 2013 - Kick off 20:00 Ref: J Eriksson

Montenegro Montenegro vs England England

Montenegro 1

D Damjanovic (77)

ft

England 1

W Rooney (6)

World Cup: England have to hold on for point away to Montenegro in Group H

By Rob Parrish - Follow me on Twitter @skysportsrobp.   Last Updated: 27/03/13 5:52am

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England produced a real Jekyll and Hyde performance in their World Cup qualifier against Montenegro as they had to settle for a 1-1 draw in Podgorica.

Wayne Rooney gave England a dream start, banishing 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 of the Group H contest 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.

"We stopped playing after the break for 20 or 30 minutes and, away from home, you just can't afford to do that."
Steven Gerrard

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 a neat Tom Cleverley pass only to have his heels clipped by Stefan Savic, with referee Jonas Eriksson adding further insult by booking the Manchester 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 out of 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 forced the ball 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.

After the match, skipper Gerrard admitted England paid the penalty for lacking the killer instinct to kill off Montenegro.

"We're still confident we can finish top of the group. We need to win all our games, we certainly need to improve on that second-half performance, and play like we did first half.

"I think there was a lot of experience out there and I think during the first half we showed that. We controlled the game.

"The problem is at 1-0 you're always vulnerable. You've got to go on and get the second goal to get complete control and we never did that.

"We stopped playing after the break for 20 or 30 minutes and, away from home, you just can't afford to do that.

"We stopped passing the ball, and that's when we lost control, and I think they deserved the equaliser."

MontenegroTeam StatisticsEngland
1Goals1
01st Half Goals1
5Shots on Target5
7Shots off Target4
7Blocked Shots5
10Corners6
16Fouls11
4Offsides1
4Yellow Cards2
0Red Cards0
74.5Passing Success78
14Tackles14
71.4Tackles Success57.1
44.6Possession55.4
44.9Territorial Advantage55.1
314Total Passes395
24Total Crosses23
155Lost Balls161
57Recoveries54
421st Half Poss.58
47.82nd Half Poss.52.2

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Tables

FIFA World Cup European Qualifying Group A

FIFA World Cup European Qualifying
Pos Team P Pts
1 Belgium 10 26
2 Croatia 10 17
3 Serbia 10 14
4 Scotland 10 11
5 Wales 10 10
6 Macedonia 10 7

FIFA World Cup European Qualifying Group B

FIFA World Cup European Qualifying
Pos Team P Pts
1 Italy 10 22
2 Denmark 10 16
3 Czech Republic 10 15
4 Bulgaria 10 13
5 Armenia 10 13
6 Malta 10 3

FIFA World Cup European Qualifying Group C

FIFA World Cup European Qualifying
Pos Team P Pts
1 Germany 10 28
2 Sweden 10 20
3 Austria 10 17
4 Republic of Ireland 10 14
5 Kazakhstan 10 5
6 Faroe Islands 10 1

FIFA World Cup European Qualifying Group D

FIFA World Cup European Qualifying
Pos Team P Pts
1 Netherlands 10 28
2 Romania 10 19
3 Hungary 10 17
4 Turkey 10 16
5 Estonia 10 7
6 Andorra 10 0

FIFA World Cup European Qualifying Group E

FIFA World Cup European Qualifying
Pos Team P Pts
1 Switzerland 10 24
2 Iceland 10 17
3 Slovenia 10 15
4 Norway 10 12
5 Albania 10 11
6 Cyprus 10 5

FIFA World Cup European Qualifying Group F

FIFA World Cup European Qualifying
Pos Team P Pts
1 Russia 10 22
2 Portugal 10 21
3 Israel 10 14
4 Azerbaijan 10 9
5 Northern Ireland 10 7
6 Luxembourg 10 6

FIFA World Cup European Qualifying Group G

FIFA World Cup European Qualifying
Pos Team P Pts
1 Bosnia and Herzegovina 10 25
2 Greece 10 25
3 Slovakia 10 13
4 Lithuania 10 11
5 Latvia 10 8
6 Liechtenstein 10 2

FIFA World Cup European Qualifying Group H

FIFA World Cup European Qualifying
Pos Team P Pts
1 England 10 22
2 Ukraine 10 21
3 Montenegro 10 15
4 Poland 10 13
5 Moldova 10 11
6 San Marino 10 0

FIFA World Cup European Qualifying Group I

FIFA World Cup European Qualifying
Pos Team P Pts
1 Spain 8 20
2 France 8 17
3 Finland 8 9
4 Georgia 8 5
5 Belarus 8 4

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