FT: Montenegro 1 England 1

Stay with us for a full match report and all the best reaction from Podgorica.

That was a real Jekyll and Hyde performance from England. Excellent in the first half and dismal in the second. 1-1 was a fair result and leaves Montenegro two points clear at the top of the group.

The corner comes to nothing and referee Eriksson brings the match to an end.

SO CLOSE FOR ENGLAND!!! Gerrard's free-kick is on target and Bozovic fumbles it narrowly wide of the post.

Free-kick to England in a decent position after Dzudovic fells Welbeck.

Three additional minutes will be played.

Superb drive from Gerrard from the edge of the box, but it is straight to Bozovic.

Good move from England ends with a precise Gerrard shot, but it is blocked by a defender before Bozovic fists away.

Rooney finds Young in space on the left of the box, but Montenegro's defence crowd him out.

Two corners in quick succession for Montenegro, with Hart fisting the latter clear. Hodgson looks pensive on the touchline.

OVER THE BAR!! Hart is forced to tip over after Gerrard's driven clearance smacks against Vucinic's shin and loops back towards goal.

Vucinic fires well over the bar. Let-off for England there.

Carrick brings down Jovetic in a dangerous area just outside the penalty box.

Good effort from Gerrard from range has Bozovic scrambling across his line but the ball curls wide at the last moment.

England just can't get a grip on this game now. They could end up with nothing despite bossing the first 45.

Hodgson's response to the leveller was to send on Ashley Young for Tom Cleverley.

Smoke from the home fans' flares drifts all over the pitch.

It has been coming, pretty much since half-time. Substitute Damjanovic forces a great save from Hart from the corner, he then sees his follow up blocked by Welbeck before finally finding the net at the third attempt.


OFF THE POST!!! From the resulting corner, England are all at sea and the ball deflects off Gerrard before hitting the post.

GOOD SAVE!!! Hart is in action again, plunging to his right to push away Jovetic's sweet shot.

JUST WIDE!!! Another good chance for Montenegro as Vucinic's measured shot from outside the box beats the dive of Joe Hart but flies narrowly wide of the post.

England go close on a rare foray forward as Milner's drilled cross is acrobatically cleared by Dzudovic.

Hart then nearly has a Rob Green moment as he fumbled Vucinic's routine shot as it bounces down and between his legs, but is able to dive back and gather.

Hart delays a goal-kick to remove one of numerous missiles which have been hurled onto the playing surface tonight.

Hart fists clear and Cleverley completes the job, before a communication breakdown between Jovetic and Vucinic.

Johnson attempts to guide the ball out, but only gives away the corner.

Rooney gets his effort on target but it lacks real power and Bozovic is across to gather behind his wall.

Free-kick to England in a good position as Basa brings down Welbeck just outside the area.

Montenegro break from the corner and England are outnumbered but escape again. Jovetic's attempted pass to Vucinic bobbles wildly and Hart is able to gather.

Gerrard's resulting free-kick is poor, but England earn a corner from the hashed clearance.

Volkov goes into the book for a lunging tackle on Milner.

Another change for Montenegro, with Vukcevic making way for Milos Krkotic.

Vucinic fires in a shot from range which takes a deflection and Hart gathers with relative ease.

After an excellent opening 45 minutes, England have been very poor for the last 15.

Another chance for Vucinic as Lescott's poor header finds him some 12 yards out but he fires over the bar.

It has been one-way traffic for much of this half, with England having lost all of their assurance and swagger from the first half. Montenegro are very much in the ascendancy at present.

Savic sets up Vucinic with a challenge which turns into a through-ball down the flank, but England escape once again as Milner gets back to clear.

Gerrard flights an England free-kick into the box but it is easily gathered by Bozovic. Montenegro go back on the attack and Jovetic scuffs wide from a promising position at the far post.

Zvertotic's kick is fisted away by Hart and the pressure on England eases for now.

Montenegro go close again, with Basa's header deflected wide for another corner.

Corner to Montenegro as Cole blocks from Jovetic.

Lescott's backpass to Hart bounces awkwardly and the goalkeeper slices clear, before Smalling does the same as he attempts to finish the job.

Shocking pass from Vukcevic, straight out of play in his own half.

Gerrard takes, with goalkeeper Bozovic gathering well under pressure from Lescott.

Rooney fires in a shot from range, which is deflected wide to Milner, whose attempted cross is put behind for a corner.

JUST WIDE!! Jovetic climbs at the far post to head Savic's hanging cross into the side-netting. Montenegro have started very strongly and England's heads seem to be still in the dressing room.

Jovetic and Vucinic combine with a quick free-kick and England sleeping, but Milner gets back to clear.

Testing cross from Zverotic is cut out by Carrick, before Hart gathers the following cross with ease.

Montenegro kick off the second period.

Montenegro are making a change at the interval, with Dejan Damjanovic coming on for Mitar Novakovic.

The two teams are back out on the pitch ahead of the second half. More of the same, please, England.

Referee Eriksson brings the half to an end. Very good from England, starting strongly and taking an early lead, with very few alarms at the back.

Vucinic looks to get away from Lescott but is penalised for pulling back the England defender.

One additional minute will be played.

Another good corner from Gerrard towards Smalling, but Vladimir Bozovic gets to it first, before going to ground briefly.

Very ambitious from Gerrard as he goes for goal, but it is deflected behind for another corner.

Free-kick for England some 35-40 yards out as Savic slides in on Cleverley.

Savic's teasing cross is headed away powerfully by Smalling, who has been very solid alongside Lescott tonight.

Big call from referee Eriksson as Welbeck tumbles under Savic's challenge as he bursts into the box, with the England man booked for going to ground.

Hart looks to pick out Welbeck with a long ball downfield but only finds touch.

Nice play from England, with Cleveley involved again, which ends when Rooney attempts to roll a pass into the feet of the onrushing Gerrard on the edge of the area, but it is just too strong.

Johnson attempts to thread a pass through to Milner but Bozovic is off his line to gather.

Testing corner from Vukcevic, but Hart is equal to it and gathers under pressure at his far post before immediately releasing Rooney.

Vucinic wins a corner after a challenge from Lescott.

Good play from Cleverley and Welbeck as they combine to cut through the Montenegro defence down the left flank, before the striker's attempted ball across the box to Rooney is cut out, with Cleverley screaming for a return on the edge of the area.

Now Montenegro enjoy a decent spell of possession, but they're not really threatening the England defence or Joe Hart.

Vladimir Bozovic's attempted clearance flies out for a throw, giving England another chance to keep passing and probing, which is not always easy on a tricky surface.

Johnson is cautioned for bringing down Jovetic as he looks to break down the left.

Good pressure from England with Milner and Gerrard seeing efforts blocked in quick succession.

Referee Eriksson goes back and books Novakovic for his lunge on Cole at the start of that move.

Good advantage played as Cole is sent tumbling as England attack. Gerrard and Welbeck combine to feed Milner, who drives the ball low across the face of goal but it's too strong for Rooney to convert at the far post.

Welbeck gets away from Savic and looks to be in behind the defence, but his touch is heavy and allows Basa to slide in.

England go straight down the other end of the field and Rooney's clipped cross to the far post is just too high for the leaping Welbeck.

Some neat play from Montenegro, who are looking more of a threat now, is ended by Ashley Cole.

Poor play from Gerrard puts England under pressure, but Lescott stands firm in defence and the ball is played back to Hart.

Savic goes long looking for Jovetic, but Hart is off his line quickly to clear.

Vukcevic goes very, very deep with his corner and Basa's header drifts harmlessy out.

Short pass from Carrick to Welbeck is pinched by Vukcevic and puts England on the back foot, with Lescott forced to concede a corner.

Milner's poor header gives the ball away but the Manchester City man works hard to win it back from Volkov.

Vucinic fires in a shot from range which is easily blocked by Lescott and Smalling, with Volkov's attempted cross then cleared.

Milner advances into the penalty area on the right and fizzes a low shot across the face of goal and narrowly wide. The defence gave him far too much space there as they backed off.

First real shot in anger from Montenegro, with Jovetic firing a speculative long-range effort which lacks power well wide of Hart's goal.

Terrible ball out of defence from Dzudovic goes straight to Welbeck, but his attempted pass through to Milner is cut out by Basa.

Jovetic tangles with Cole deep in England territory with the free-kick going in favour of the visitors.

Johnson gets forward down the right and swings over a cross but Dzudovic volleys clear.

Decent spell of possession for the home side ends when Volkov goes to ground on the edge of the England box with Smalling in attendance, but referee Eriksson is not interested.

Poor from Gerrard in midfield and Vukcevic steals possession, but nothing comes of the eventual Montenegro attack.

Jovetic looks to play a ball into the England box but Cole and Lescott combine to clear without any alarm.

All too easy for England as Montenegro's defence afford Rooney far too much space to convert a routine header from Gerrard's corner. Perfect start for the visitors.

GOAL!!! Rooney scores from the resulting corner.

Gerrard's corner is easily cleared back to the England captain, who then feeds Glen Johnson, who unleashes a powerful 25-yard effort which the keeper has to tip over.

Corner for England as Gerrard's pass towards Rooney is headed behind.

England continue to press and Welbeck attempts a shot from just inside the area but is quickly closed down.

Early touch for Joe Hart as he ventures outside of his area to clear after an over-hit through-ball from Montenegro.

OFF THE POST!!! Rooney breaks from the halfway line and as Bozovic slips and back-pedals, the United man attempts to lob him and strikes the woodwork. Inches away.

England look for Welbeck early on, but Savic plays the ball back to keeper Bozovic and he clears into touch near halfway.

And we're off, with England getting the contest started, wearing their traditional white.

Quick handshake between Hodgson and Brnovic before the action gets under way.

Both anthems respected by the supporters, which is also always welcome. Kick-off is right around the corner.

Good to see every member of the England team singing the national anthem.

There's a good following of England fans who have made the trip to Montenegro to cheer on Roy Hodgson's side.

Brief handshake between Gerrard and his opposite number Vucinic in the tunnel and the teams make their way out onto the field for the pre-match formalities.

Quick stat from Opta before we get under way: Danny Welbeck has scored with all five of his shots on target in international football for England.

The two teams are in the tunnel and ready to head out into the frenzied atmosphere.

Thanks to everyone who has been in touch tonight - sorry I've not managed to get all your words of wisdom into the commentary. Kick-off is now just over five minutes away so don't go anywhere...

If you fancy a flutter on tonight's action then our friends at Sky Bet have a host of markets available. The headlines are Montenegro available at 16/5, the draw is on offer at 12/5 and England are a 10/11 shot.

Peter Robinson, ex-pat Aston Villa fan from Chicago, says: "Going for a tight match 1-1 at half time, Rooney to score the winner late on." I reckon that could be a pretty good shout.

There's a lot of love out there for Leighton Baines tonight, who has been replaced by Ashley Cole in the starting XI. Jamie from New Zealand writes: "What has Baines got to do to become England's number one left back? He has become a far superior player to Ashley Cole."

Tonight's referee is Jonas Eriksson from Sweden.

Brnovic suggested that England were a long-ball team and that they were running scared by making pre-match excuses about the state of the pitch. He also claimed that if Hodgon's men 'park the bus, then he has two Ferraris to find a way through.

Certainly a passionate atmosphere in Podgorica tonight, with the home supporters likely to have been whipped up further by coach Coach Branko Brnovic at yesterday's press conference.

Montenegro: M Bozovic, Basa, Savic, Volkov, Djudovic, Zverotic, Vukcevic, V Bozovic, Novakovic, Jovetic, Vucinic.

We've had so much feedback already, I'd best remind you of the England starting XI: Hart; Johnson, Smalling, Lescott, Cole; Gerrard, Carrick; Milner, Rooney, Cleverley; Welbeck.

More from Twitter, as Adam from County Durham writes: "3-0 win with Welbeck to score anytime ... good reaction to the taunting given from Montenegro."

Shaun Standing adds: "Dont get how Roy can ignore the shift Baines put in against San Marino. Should win this though. 3-1 England I think."

Paul Bolland says: "Like the choice of Welbeck up top. Hard worker and strong on the ball, with a lot of talent behind him in Rooney, Cleverley and Gerrard. Good team, fancy 2-0 Engand."

Chris Miller writes: "If Matt B had seen Defoe's recent form for Spurs, he wouldn't be questioning decision. Liv/Inter 2 of his worst games for us."

Chris Green from Huddersfield writes: "I'm really looking forward to this evening's game. This will be a very tough game for England but I'm sure they'll win if they perform up to their capabilities. My prediction: Montenegro 1-3 England."

Quick reminder of the state of play in Group H heading into tonight's game. Montenegro lead the way with 13 points from five games, with England two behind. Victory would see Hodgson's men top the pile, but defeat would leave them five adrift and facing up to the prospect of a play-off to reach Brazil 2014.

Andy from Warrington says: "I'm concerned by the centre-back pairing of Lescott & Smalling. Montenegro will provide a much tougher challenge than San Marino. Disappointed to see Baines dropped to the bench too he was great on Friday. I predict a tough 1-1 draw."

England head coach Roy Hodgson has made six changes with skipper Steven Gerrard, Glen Johnson, Ashley Cole, Michael Carrick, James Milner and Danny Welbeck all returning to the starting line-up after being rested for the 8-0 demolition of San Marino. They replace Kyle Walker, Leighton Baines, Frank Lampard, Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain, Ashley Young and Jermain Defoe.

Danny Callaghan writes: "I have to say, from where I'm sitting in New York, it looks a pretty uninspiring line up I'm afraid."

Matt Boosey says: "Don't get dropping #Defoe for #Welbeck. He may play with #Rooney at #MUFC but #Defoe's scoring record is better. #odd #eng." Could be a new #hashtag record there, Matt.

Justin, an ex-pat in Brisbane, reckons: "We might just nick it at the death 2-1 with Wazza and Gerrard on the score sheet!! C'mon ENGLAND!!!"

And Edward from Yorkshire says: "England have this on paper, but away on a cold night will take its toll what looks an unbalanced side, I'm predicting 2-2."

Derrick in California claims: "I predicted this line-up and am quite confident England will win 3-0. Rooney to score first. Karma!!"

Samuel Margo has been in touch via Twitter to say: "I reckon England will win 3-1. Rooney will score at least one."


Nick in Canada is first to get in touch, with a blunt: "Don't know if we have the talent to turn on the style." What about Friday's 8-0 romp against European powerhouse San Marino, Nick?

Have your say on tonight's match by dropping me a line to rob.parrish@bskyb.com or via Twitter @skysportsrobp and I'll publish a selection of the best in the run-up to kick-off at 8pm.

So what do you make of Roy Hodgson's starting XI for this evening's game? What are your score predictions for tonight? Will England turn on the style, or will it be another evening of struggle?

England: Hart; Johnson, Smalling, Lescott, Cole; Gerrard, Carrick; Milner, Rooney, Cleverley; Welbeck.

Good evening and welcome to our live and interactive text commentary on tonight's crucial World Cup qualifier.


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