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Kane Clinches WC Berth For England

2018 World Cup Qualifier

Result: England 1-0 Slovenia

Date: 05 October 2017

Venue: Wembley Stadium

England booked their place at the 2018 FIFA World Cup in Russia on Thursday night as Harry Kane’s late strike gave them an unconvincing 1-0 win over Slovenia at Wembley Stadium..

The hosts dominated the early possession, but Slovenia occasionally posed problems on the break. Nevertheless, neither side seriously threatened to score in the opening minutes.

In the 26th minute, Jordan Henderson drew an alert save from Jan Oblak as he looked to bend the ball into the net at the Atlético Madrid goalkeeper’s left post.

Rene Krhin committed several fouls in the first half and was eventually punished 37 minutes in as he was shown the game’s first yellow card following a foul on Henderson.

Seven minutes later, John Stones became the first England player in the book as he was yellow carded for a late challenge on Miha Mevlja.

However, Mevlja found himself in the book too shortly afterwards as he was handed the same punishment for a stoppage time foul on Marcus Rashford.

The teams went into the break deadlocked at 0-0 with the Wembley crowd far from having witnessed the spectacle they’d have hoped for.

Slovenia started the second half brightly as a Bojan Jokić header in the 48th minute forced Joe Hart into a save.

In the 63rd minute, Sterling set up a glorious chance for Marcus Rashford to score, playing him through on goal. The Manchester United youngster chipped the ball over Oblak, but it was cleared before it could cross the line.

Two minutes later, Sterling fired in a shot, seeking a goal of his own — but a magnificent block from Boštjan Cesar kept the scores level.

In the 84th minute, Josip Iličić played a delightful ball through for Tim Matavž. Hart rushed out to the forward’s feet and smothered him, preventing what could have been Slovenia’s winner.

Aljaž Struna’s 86th minute yellow card looked set to be the last key moment of the game, but deep into stoppage time, there was a twist: Kyle Walker found Harry Kane from the right and the Tottenham striker’s touch put the ball in the net for the winner.

Two minutes later, Valter Birsa picked up one last booking for the visitors — and this time, it really was the final key event of the night.

Gareth Southgate will perhaps be disappointed in his side’s performance — but nevertheless, they delivered the goods, sealing their spot at international football’s greatest showpiece for the sixth time in a row.

 

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