Tottenham’s Jermain Defoe scored the only goal of the game on 22 minutes and following that awful performance against Algeria last Friday which saw England draw 0-0 it was a delight to see England perform better despite the immense pressure for an improved performance.
However despite England dominating 61% of the possession and creating more chances on goal than Slovenia, this performance really wasn’t the kind that wins World Cups.
England should have destroyed Slovenia a country that has a population of just 1.9million compared to the England population of 52million, none of the Slovenian players play regularly in demanding tough big leagues like the Premiership where all of England’s well paid stars do. Germany will clearly be thinking ‘This one’s in the bag’.
Slovenia keeper Samir Handanovic was outstanding he kept England at bay with fine saves from Defoe and Steven Gerrard and cleverly blocked John Terry’s header before brilliantly turning Wayne Rooney’s shot on to a post after the half time interlude.
The final phase of the game was a nervous backs to the wall effort by England who were left clinging on and relieved when the final whistle went rather than cock-a-hoop that they had just dominated tiny Slovenia, or at least should have done!
England’s only mission was however to secure the victory even if it was a sloppy performance it did at least improve on the dreadful Algerian debacle, but then anything would have!
Defoe was sharp at least and Joe Cole did get a run out but Cappello’s insistence that Emile Heskey get chance after chance (he replaced Defoe after 86 mins) stills baffles every England fan year in year out.
Now their attention will turn to the clash against old adversaries Germany, who beat Ghana to finish top of Group D on Sunday 27 June 2010. The kick off is at 1930 GMT