Roy Hodgson’s side made it six wins from six qualifying matches but fell behind to Milivoje Novakovič’s fifth strike of the campaign on 37 minutes. Jack Wilshere drove in his first international goal to equalise after the break, and the Arsenal FC man again found the net 17 minutes from time. There was then late drama as substitute Nejc Pečnik levelled for the hosts before Wayne Rooney struck the winner.
England went close three times, twice through Raheem Sterling and once through Rooney, before, as they did in November’s 3-1 home win, conceding against the run of play. Novakovič it was who landed the first blow, the 36-year-old exchanging passes with Josip Iličić before taking advantage of England’s lack of defensive shape to calmly fire past Joe Hart for his 30th international goal.
The hosts packed their defence after the break, but 12 minutes after the restart England struck back. A run from Adam Lallana, half-time substitute for the injured Phil Jones, was halted in the area, yet the ball was only cleared as far as Wilshere, whose drive from just outside the box brushed goalkeeper Samir Handanovič’s fingers before finding the top corner.
With the hosts rattled, Rooney then missed two chances in two minutes, but England went ahead when Lallana flicked a lay-off to Wilshere, who crashed in an unstoppable effort from outside the area. The visitors pushed to kill the game off, but Pečnik conjured a header from Bojan Jokić’s cross to level things up on 84 minutes.
However, there was a sting in the tail for the hosts two minutes later as Jordan Henderson’s pass was diverted into Rooney’s path, and the Manchester United FC forward kept his composure to send Handanovič the wrong way and bring himself level with Gary Lineker on 48 England goals, just one behind Sir Bobby Charlton’s record of 49.
England 2015 Fixtures
Euro 2016 Qualifying:
05 Sept: San Marino vs England – Buy England Tickets
08 Sept: England vs Switzerland – Buy England Tickets
09 Oct: England vs Estonia – Buy England Tickets
12 Oct: Lithuania vs England – Buy England Tickets