In one of the most boring World Cup Qualifiers in recent memory, England clinched a place in Russia in the least exciting way possible thanks to a 1-0 win with Slovenia at Wembley. The Three Lions needed a victory to guarantee their qualification for the World Cup but were very, very, very, very poor, and only in the 94th minute they were able to get a goal thanks to a Kyle Walker assist.
England fans were complaining the team was boring in recent matches, so the players made sure the fans would... have even more reason to complain. Gareth Southgate’s side had almost all of the possession but couldn’t create anything other than a few half-chances on set pieces, and Slovenia keeper Jan Oblak only made two good saves, one from a Jordan Henderson strike early in the first half and another from a Marcus Rashford free kick before halftime.
England lacked creativity and urgency, and it really didn’t seem like they wanted to get a win or a place in the World Cup. Things had to change in the second half.
Things didn’t change much to start the final period, but as time went on England finally had some urgency in their play and really troubled the Slovenian defense. Sterling and Kane would have scored if not for goal-line clearances, and England looked set to get a goal in the final minutes.
Instead of getting a goal in the final minutes, England had to deal with quite a bit of pressure from Slovenia who needed a win to stay alive in their qualification campaign, but they finally got the winner when Kyle Walker played a gorgeous ball to Harry Kane, who poked home the opener and gave the Three Lions the victory.
The win sends England to Russia, but there’s very little excitement about this team’s chances in next year’s tournament.
England: Hart; Walker, Stones, Cahill, Bertrand; Henderson, Dier; Chamberlain (Lingard), Sterling (Keane), Rashford; Kane
Goal: Kane (90’+3)
Slovenia: Oblak; Struna, Mevlja, Cesar, Jokic; Krhin, Rotman (Matavz); Bezjak (Repas), Ilicic, Verbic; Sporar (Birsa)