Montenegro vs. England, 2014 World Cup qualifying: Final score 1-1, Montenegro storm back to claim point

Michael Regan

England comfortably took the lead in the first half, but Montenegro rallied in the second and in the end were unfortunate to only come away with one point.

England suffered a nightmare second half against Montenegro as their early lead was cancelled out, with the Three Lions fortunate to get anything out of the game in the end.

Wayne Rooney showed a glimpse of his danger after just three minutes as he spotted Vladimir Bozovic off his line and drove a lob into the far corner, but though the keeper was beaten, the post was not, and the woodwork denied Rooney the goal.

The Manchester United striker was not ruing the miss for long, however - shortly afterwards a rasping Glen Johnson drive was tipped around the post by Bozovic, and Steven Gerrard fired the resultant corner in for Rooney, who escaped his marker to head England into an early lead.

England were dominant against a lacklustre home side, although they forced few more clear chances. James Milner came close with a low drive, and Rooney almost teed up Danny Welbeck for a back post header, but though the hosts were offering little, England could not take advantage of their dominance.

As so often proves the case, that came back to haunt them. England's start to the second half was initially confident, but nerves began to tell, doubt began to seep in, and eventually all hell broke loose as Mirko Vucinic and Stevan Jovetic burst into life. First Jovetic went close after rising above James Milner with a back-post header from a free-kick, before Marko Basa nodded a corner wide. A promising start for Montenegro was soon to turn into a siege on the England goal.

Mirko Vucinic tested Hart with a pair of long-range efforts as the England defence stood impotent, before the Manchester City keeper almost made a horrific error, somehow managing to nutmeg himself in dealing with another effort from Vucinic. Hart then dealt well with a Jovetic half-volley, before Montenegro hit the post from the resultant corner. Eventually, England could not hold on, and yet another corner eventually saw the ball scrambled into the net by Dejan Damjanovic.

As the game drew to a close, Montenegrin pressure began to dissipate and England had a couple of opportunities to win. Steven Gerrard went the closest with a long half-volley, but though his strike was sweet, his aim was not true enough, and Bozovic saved comfortably to give the hosts a point when they probably should have had three.

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