England needed a win on Wednesday. England got a win on Wednesday, narrowly avoiding the criticism and backlash of entire country (for now, at least).
Jermain Defoe, back in the starting lineup, proved to be the difference with his goal, putting home a cross from James Milner in the 23rd minute. The slim 1-0 advantage was enough for The Three Lions, who out-played Slovenia for much of the match and earned the three points they so desperately needed to advance to the Round of 16 in South Africa.
It was England's first win of the 2010 World Cup, following a pair of disappointing draws against the U.S. and Algeria. England finished with five points, good for second place in Group C, and will now face the winner of Group D, either Germany, Ghana or Serbia, on Sunday in the Knockout Round.
With the loss, Slovenia was eliminated.