England have qualified for the Euro 2012 finals after a 2-2 draw in Montenegro. A match that saw England throw away a two-goal lead and have Wayne Rooney sent off, a dismissal that means Rooney will miss at least one group match at next years Euros.
England got off to a great start when they scored after only 11 minutes when Rooney released Walcott on the right, with the Arsenal winger teeing up Young to head his fourth international goal from close range. Twenty minutes later it was 2-0 England. This time Young was the provider, surging into the area and playing Bent in for a simple finish.
But the game got away from England on the stroke of half-time when Zverotić collected Fatos Beqiraj’s ball from the right, and his deflected shot off Gary Cahill wrong-footed Joe Hart in the England goal.
The late goal gave Montenegro life and belief. In the second-half Hart denied Fatos Beciraj with a low save, then Stevan Jovetic had a penalty appeal turned down following a clumsy challenge from Jones. After another effort that Beciraj went wide, England were under the cosh.
Capello took off Bent for Lampard and switched to a 4-5-1 formation as England tried to ride out the game, but then with 15 minutes to go Rooney was sent-off for kicking out at Dzudovic. It was a ridiculous red card for the United man to get.
Montenegro took advantage of the extra-man and it was not a surprise when Stefan Savić’s cross in the dying moments found Delibašić, who had been on the pitch for 11 minutes, and he headed in a historic goal to secure second spot in the group for Montenegro.
While the Rooney red card will get all the headlines, English fans cannot forget that England were outplayed for much of this game. If England are to do anything at the Euros next summer, they will need a much better performance than this one.