Slovakia – England World Cup Qualifiers Match Report

It was slow-going, but England clinched a win at the death against Slovakia’s ten men in Trnava.
Any England fan hoping for a bright new dawn with Allardyce at the helm could end up disappointed on Sunday night’s evidence.

England were drab, but were also the only team pushing for a win, as Slovakia had shown up to defend. The game became especially one-sided after Martin Škrtel saw red for a needless foul on Harry Kane.

But there was no way through, until Adam Lallana finally made England’s advantage count in the 95th-minute: He brought the ball under control and stabbed a left-foot finish beneath Kozáčik after Rose’s cross had been deflected into his path.

It was one of only a handful of openings for England all evening. And nearly all came Lallana’s way: He had already struck the post with a long-range effort, and Kozáčik had done well to deny him with a few minutes left on clock.

If you weren’t watching on TV you’d have given up waiting for live goal scores updates for this match.

And if England were disappointing, Slovakia were even worse, mustering just a single shot on goal all night despite playing in front of their home crowd.

Allardyce had already told the press that he would be happy with a goalless draw, so he’ll come home content. But the worrying lack of creative inspiration that dogged England’s Euros is still hurting the team in this new era.

If there’s a glint of hope it’s in the impact made by Dele Alli and Theo Walcott when they came on, adding incisiveness where Sterling, Henderson and Rooney had been blunt.

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