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England Team: 1 Hart 2 Walker 3 Baines 4 Gerrard 5 Cahill 6 Jagielka 7 Townsend 8 Lampard 9 Sturridge 10 Rooney 11 Welbeck
England Subs: 12 Smalling 13 Ruddy 14 Gibbs 15 Jones 16 Carrick 17 Milner 18 Barkley 19 Wilshere 20 Defoe 21 Lambert 22 Forster
Montenegro team: Poleksic, Pavicevic, Jovanovic, Volkov, Kecojevic, Jovetic, Damjanovic, Zverotic, Drincic, Savic, Boskovic
Montenegro subs: Blazic, Novakovic, Krkotic, Igumanovic, Janjusevic, Kasalica, Vesovic, Vukcevic, Dembasic, Beqiraj
It was a glorious yet somewhat comical win for England as they triumphed 4-1 over one of their main group rivals, Montenegro. Andros Townsend made his England debut in what was an extremely important match for the home nation. England got off to a good start with some good attacking pressure, trying to force a mistake from Montenegro. Montenegro didn’t really look like they could get into the game which gave England the opportunity to dominate the possession for most of the first half. Townsend always looked quite dangerous which stayed the case throughout the match. He won England a free-kick in quite a dangerous area after just 15 fifteen minutes of the game being played. Leighton Baines was the taker but the Montenegro keeper came and punched away. This seemed to shock Montenegro into action as they began a quick counter which was halted for a foul on Gary Cahill. News then began to filter through that Ukraine had scored against Poland which took them to top of the group as England were drawing 0-0. Not much happened in the first half after that until the 44th minute when Daniel Sturridge cut in from the right and saw his effort take a deflection which left Poleksic helpless, luckily for Montenegro, the deflection took it just wide. England didn’t want the half to end as they picked up their form but they were indeed held to a 0-0 draw at half time, having dominated the match. England came out for the second half with no changes made. The first major incident in the half came after 47 minutes when Welbeck’s shot was saved by Poleksic who was unlucky as the ball fell straight to Wayne Rooney who put the ball in the back of the net from six yards out. The game suddenly spurred into life with Hart making a good save from a header after 55 minutes to keep it at 1-0. England doubled their lead seven minutes later as a cut-back from Welbeck was turned in for an own-goal by Boskovic. Just two minutes later, Manchester City’s Stefan Jovetic struck the crossbar from a long shot which had every England fan’s heart in their mouths. England stupidly ignored the warning signs and Montenegro capitalised after 71 minutes, Jovetic’s shot prodded in by Damjanovic, the score now 2-1. England looked slightly nervous but it Townsend didn’t show it as he struck a beauty in off the post after 77 minutes, England 3-1 Montenegro. England added to their goal tally in the 90th minute when Kecojevic brought down Daniel Sturridge in the box. The Liverpool striker took the penalty himself and scored. Full time, England 4-1 Montenegro. Overall, a good performance by Roy Hodgson’s Three Lions who put themselves back at the top of their group with one match left in World Cup 2014 qualifying.
Townsend’s debut goal