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The Tuesday Topic: England's past qualifier deciders
ROY HODGSON leads his England side out at Wembley tonight knowing victory over Poland will secure a place in next summer’s World Cup in Brazil, while defeat could set up a potentially tricky play-off against France or Sweden. The Northern Echo looks back at England’s crucial qualifying games over the years.
October 17, 1973
England 1 Poland 1 (Wembley)
England needed to beat Poland to qualify for the 1974 World Cup in West Germany, but an inspired performance by Polish keeper Jan Tomaszewski denied Alf Ramsey’s side even after Alan Clarke’s penalty had cancelled out Jan Domarski’s opener in London. The defeat ended a golden era for England and Alf Ramsey’s reign with a decade of doom to follow for the Three Lions.
England: Shilton; Madeley, McFarland, Hunter; Hughes, Bell, Currie, Channon, Chivers, Peters, Clarke.
Novemer 18, 1981
England 1 Hungary 0 (Wembley)
After almost a decade in the wilderness of International football, England – under Ron Greenwood – secured their place at the 1982 World Cup in typically scruffy fashion. Their qualifying campaign had been far from easy with defeats in Switzerland and Norway, but Paul Mariner close range finish secured their places on the plane to Spain.
England: Shilton; Thompson, Mills, Martin, Neal; McDermott, Robson, Coppell, Brooking; Keegan, Mariner.
November 11, 1987
Yugoslavia 1 England 4 (Belgrade)
Wouldn’t it be nice if Roy Hodgson’s men could replicate the job they did in Belgrade to reach Euro 1988? Whoever won this final qualifier would book their place in West Germany and England did it in convincing fashion, defeating Yugoslavia. Sir Bobby Robson’s side raced into a 4-0 lead before half time courtesy of Peter Beardsley, John Barnes (2) and Tony Adams.
England: Shilton; Adams, Butcher, Sansom, Stevens; Robson, Barnes, Webb, Steven, Beardsley, Lineker.
October 11, 1989
Poland 0 England 0 (Katowice)
Another situation when England made extremely heavy weather of sealing qualification to a major tournament. This time a place at Italia 90 was at stake, but Sir Bobby Robson’s side, lead by Bryan Robson, struggled in Katowice and had it not been for Peter Shilton’s heroics in goal, the Three Lions would have followed in the footsteps of Alf Ramsey’s side of coming up short against the Poles.
England: Shilton; Stevens, Butcher, Walker, Pearce; Robson, Waddle, McMahon, Rocastle; Beardsley, Lineker.
November 13, 1991
Poland 1 England 1 (Poznan)
It was a case of déjà vu for England under Graham Taylor, who knew like in Katowice two years ago, a draw would be enough to send them through to Euro 92. Taylor handed Geoff Thomas and Andy Gray starts in the centre of midfield, but the latter’s England career lasted only 45 minutes. An upset was on when Gary Mabbutt deflected Roman Szewczyk’s shot past Chris Woods, but once again England left it late when Gary Lineker’s equaliser sent them through.
England: Woods; Dixon, Walker, Mabbutt, Pearce; Gray, Sinton, Platt, Rocastle, Thomas, Lineker.
October 11, 1997
Italy 0 England 0 (Rome)
England only needed a draw to qualify for France 98, but they had the tough task of travelling to Rome to face a team who had already beaten them at Wembley thanks to Gianfranco Zola’s strike earlier in the qualifying stage. However, England managed to come away from the Eternal City with exactly what they needed and Glenn Hoddle was praised for England tactical approach which meant they were able to hold Italy and seal automatic qualification.
England: Seaman; Adams, Campbell, Southgate, Le Saux; Beckham, Ince, Gascoigne, Batty; Sheringham, Wright.
October 6, 2001
England 2 Greece 2 (Old Trafford)
In the final step of David Beckham’s conversion from villain to hero, the former Manchester United midfielder booked England’s place at the 2002 World Cup in Japan with one of his trademark free-kicks in stoppage time. Only a month earlier, Sven Goran Eriksson’s men had dismantled Germany on home soil, but the Three Lions made heavy weather of their final group match against Greece going behind twice to goals from Angelos Charisteas and Themis Nikolaidis. Teddy Sheringham got England’s first.
England: Martyn; G Neville, Keown, Ferdinand, A Cole; Beckham, Gerrard, Scholes, Barmby; Fowler, Heskey.
October 11, 2003
Turkey 0 England 0 (Istanbul)
It could have all gone so horribly wrong for Eriksson’s men in Istanbul, but despite pre-match distractions involving the threat of a player strike in the wake of Rio Ferdinand’s ban for missing a drugs test the FA banning fans from travelling, the Three Lions got the result they needed, which was largely thanks to the performance of Sol Campbell and John Terry at the back. Panic over, England once again made it on the plane to another major tournament.
England: James; G Neville, Campbell, Terry, A Cole; Butt, Scholes, Gerrard, Beckham; Rooney, Heskey.
November 21, 2007
England 2 Croatia 3 (Wembley)
How could anyone forget this rain-soaked night at Wembley? Steve McClaren’s Lions needed only a draw against Croatia to book their place at Euro 2008, but the England manager’s decision to field rookie goalkeeper Scott Carson came back to haunt him when he gifted the visitors three goals. Replies from Frank Lampard and Peter Crouch weren’t enough and McClaren, who was infamously duded the ‘Wally with the Brolly’, was immediately sacked by the FA the following day.
England: Carson; Richards, Lescott, Campbell, Bridge; Barry; Gerrard, Lampard, J Cole, Wright-Phillips; Crouch.
October 7, 2011
Montenegro 2 England 2 (Podgorica)
As had proved to be the case so many times before, England needed a draw to qualify for Euro 2012. And as they had done so many times before, the Three Lions had to do it the hard way. Goals from Ashley Young and Darren Bent got England on their way, but a mistake from Wayne Rooney allowed Montenegro back into the game and his subsequent red card meant England had to hold on for a draw after Andrija Delibasic late header drew his side level.
England: Hart; Jones, Cahill, Terry, A Cole; Barry, Parker, Young Walcott; Rooney, Bent.
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