European Championship Qualifying

Slovenia 2-3 England

By Phil McNultyChief football writer in Ljubljana
Wayne Rooney
Wayne Rooney had not scored for club or country since 4 April before his late winner

England captain Wayne Rooney scored a late winner against Slovenia to keep his team firmly on track for Euro 2016.

Rooney's late strike, and two spectacular goals from Jack Wilshere, mean England have won all six of their Euro 2016 Group E qualifiers so far.

But their unblemished record was under threat when a catalogue of defensive errors saw veteran striker Milivoje Novakovic put Slovenia ahead just before half-time in Ljubljana.

Wilshere responded with two magnificent strikes for his first goals in 28 England appearances - but England had to suffer the anxiety of Nejc Petnik's headed equaliser before Rooney settled a thrilling affair four minutes from time.

England's captain had wasted a succession of earlier chances but made no mistake as he raced clear to score his 48th goal for his country, putting him level with Gary Lineker and one behind record holder Sir Bobby Charlton.

It was an England display that will have given manager Roy Hodgson much pain before the pleasure of victory, some slick passing and lively attacking being mixed with dreadful defending that would invite greater punishment should it be repeated against a higher calibre of opposition than Slovenia.

Slovenia v England

Hodgson said beforehand he was not concerned about the manner of the performance so long as it brought the win - but there were aspects of this display that will surely worry England's manager.

The main plus points were the performance of Wilshere, looking dynamic and scoring the goals that had previously eluded him at this level, and the win that makes England's advance on next summer's Euros in France now look little more than a formality.

Hodgson kept faith with Raheem Sterling despite his ongoing contract wrangle with Liverpool and the jeers aimed at him during the goalless draw with the Republic of Ireland.

And he should have rewarded his manager inside three minutes when Rooney was dispossessed and the ball fell perfectly to Sterling. He only had Slovenian keeper Samir Handanovic to beat but lifted a tame finish over the top.

The miss apart, Sterling was a lively performer - but it was Rooney who came closest to putting England ahead with a low shot that was destined for the bottom corner until Handanovic stretched out and got a crucial touch to turn it just wide.

England's leading goalscorers
Sir Bobby Charlton10649
Gary Lineker8048
Wayne Rooney10548
Jimmy Greaves5744
Michael Owen8940

For all England's supremacy, Slovenia were a threat on the break. It brought their goal just before half-time but not without a huge helping of assistance from England.

Phil Jones started England's downfall with a dreadful throw-in and Gary Cahill and Chris Smalling compounded the problem by needlessly stepping up to play offside, allowing Josip Illicic to set Novakovic free to run on and beat Joe Hart.

Hodgson's half-time answer was a novel one, removing the hapless Jones to send on Adam Lallana, and putting midfielder Jordan Henderson at right-back while Nathaniel Clyne stayed on the bench.

Lallana played a part as England drew level 12 minutes after the restart, scrapping for possession in the area before Wilshere ran on to the loose ball and sent a searing 20-yard shot high past Handanovic.

Slovenia v England

Rooney then wasted two chances as his finishing let him down and it was left to Wilshere to be the main man again as England produced the move of the match to go ahead with 17 minutes left.

Henderson and Andros Townsend linked well on the right and Lallana delivered a clever flick that allowed Wilshere to take a touch to tee himself up before crashing another thunderous left-foot finish high past Handanovic.

England looked to be in control but once again eased off and were punished, Pecnik rising above Kieran Gibbs at the far post to direct a header down and beyond Hart.

As the home fans started to celebrate a point, Slovenia may have relaxed fatally to allow Rooney to edge closer to his place in England history with that late winner.

England's results in 2014-15
14 June 2015Slovenia (A)W 3-2Euro 2016 qualifier
7 June 2015Republic of Ireland (A)D 0-0Friendly
31 March 2015Italy (A)D 1-1Friendly
27 March 2015Lithuania (H)W 4-0Euro 2016 qualifier
18 November, 2014Scotland (A)W 3-1Friendly
15 November 2014Slovenia (H)W 3-1Euro 2016 qualifier
12 October 2014Estonia (A)W 1-0Euro 2016 qualifier
9 October 2014San Marino (H)W 5-0Euro 2016 qualifier
8 September 2014Switzerland (A)W 2-0Euro 2016 qualifier
3 September 2014Norway (H)W 1-0Friendly
Wayne Rooney
Wayne Rooney is now level with Gary Lineker on England's all-time goalscoring list with 48

England manager Roy Hodgson:

"Wayne Rooney's performance said a lot about him as a man. He took a nasty blow from an elbow that could have decked many a player and could have caused him to lose his discipline but he was up to concentrate on his job and his role in the team.

"One or two chances had gone begging but he got the chance for the winner and put it away with aplomb. It shows we can rely on that man. I would have liked him to have got a hat-trick so all the talk about the record could have gone away."



Formation 4-3-2-1

  • 1Handanovic
  • 2BreckoBooked at 57mins
  • 6Ilic
  • 5Cesar
  • 13Jokic
  • 7IlicicSubstituted forBirsaat 61'minutes
  • 22Mertelj
  • 8KurticSubstituted forLazarevicat 79'minutes
  • 20KamplBooked at 90mins
  • 17KirmSubstituted forPecnikat 72'minutes
  • 11Novakovic


  • 3Andjelkovic
  • 4Samardzic
  • 9Beric
  • 10Birsa
  • 12Oblak
  • 14Lazarevic
  • 16Vidmar
  • 18Rotman
  • 19Pecnik
  • 21Milec
  • 23Verbic


Formation 4-3-3

  • 1Hart
  • 2JonesSubstituted forLallanaat 45'minutes
  • 5Cahill
  • 6Smalling
  • 3Gibbs
  • 4Henderson
  • 7Wilshere
  • 8DelphSubstituted forClyneat 85'minutes
  • 11TownsendSubstituted forWalcottat 74'minutes
  • 10Rooney
  • 9Sterling


  • 12Bertrand
  • 13Green
  • 14Walcott
  • 15Jagielka
  • 16Milner
  • 17Lallana
  • 18Austin
  • 19Cleverley
  • 20Barkley
  • 21Vardy
  • 22Clyne
  • 23Heaton
Alberto Undiano Mallenco

Match Stats

Home TeamSloveniaAway TeamEngland
Shots on Target

Live Text

  1. Post update

    Match ends, Slovenia 2, England 3.

  2. Full Time

    Second Half ends, Slovenia 2, England 3.

  3. Booking

    Kevin Kampl (Slovenia) is shown the yellow card.

  4. Post update

    Wayne Rooney (England) wins a free kick on the right wing.

  5. Post update

    Foul by Kevin Kampl (Slovenia).

  6. Goal!

    Goal! Slovenia 2, England 3. Wayne Rooney (England) right footed shot from the centre of the box to the bottom left corner.

  7. Substitution

    Substitution, England. Nathaniel Clyne replaces Fabian Delph.

  8. Goal!

    Goal! Slovenia 2, England 2. Nejc Pecnik (Slovenia) header from the centre of the box to the bottom right corner. Assisted by Bojan Jokic with a cross.

  9. Post update

    Foul by Raheem Sterling (England).

  10. Post update

    Nejc Pecnik (Slovenia) wins a free kick in the defensive half.

  11. Post update

    Foul by Chris Smalling (England).

  12. Post update

    Milivoje Novakovic (Slovenia) wins a free kick in the attacking half.

  13. Substitution

    Substitution, Slovenia. Dejan Lazarevic replaces Jasmin Kurtic.

  14. Post update

    Foul by Fabian Delph (England).

  15. Post update

    Ales Mertelj (Slovenia) wins a free kick in the defensive half.

  16. Post update

    Attempt blocked. Wayne Rooney (England) right footed shot from outside the box is blocked.

  17. Post update

    Wayne Rooney (England) wins a free kick in the attacking half.

  18. Post update

    Foul by Bostjan Cesar (Slovenia).

  19. Post update

    Offside, Slovenia. Kevin Kampl tries a through ball, but Milivoje Novakovic is caught offside.

  20. Substitution

    Substitution, England. Theo Walcott replaces Andros Townsend.

Scores, Results & Fixtures

Sunday 14th June 2015

  • SloveniaSlovenia2EnglandEngland3
  • UkraineUkraine3LuxembourgLuxembourg0
  • EstoniaEstonia2San MarinoSan Marino0
  • LiechtensteinLiechtenstein1MoldovaMoldova1
  • Football Union of RussiaFootball Union of Russia0AustriaAustria1
  • BelarusBelarus0SpainSpain1
  • SlovakiaSlovakia2North MacedoniaNorth Macedonia1
  • LithuaniaLithuania1SwitzerlandSwitzerland2
  • SwedenSweden3MontenegroMontenegro1

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