England 1-0 Slovenia: Three Lions Qualify for Second Round

June 23, 2010 - Port Elizabeth, South Africa - Football - Slovenia v England FIFA World Cup South Africa 2010 - Group C - Nelson Mandela Bay Stadium, Port Elizabeth, South Africa - 23/6/10..Jermain Defoe celebrates after scoring England's first goal.

Jermain Defoe is the hero in England today after he scored the only goal of the game that helped England move into the second round of the 2010 World Cup.

In a game that England dominated, despite some good chances by Slovenia to equalize, Defoe’s goal was what separated the sides and enabled England to finish in second place in the group. England will now play on Sunday at 10am ET against either Germany, Serbia or Ghana.

Man of the match, for me, was England defender John Terry who put in a herculean effort to prevent Slovenia from scoring. And in one part of the game, you could see him diving through mid-air, low to the ground, to try to prevent a shot by Slovenia finding its way into the back of the net.

While this wasn’t a glamorous England performance, it was enough to win the three points for England and to take the pressure off, if ever so slightly.

In terms of Capello’s tactics, he got them right for the first time in the game. England were stable at the back and they were much better in midfield where Frank Lampard, Steven Gerrard and Wayne Rooney all linked well together.

When Rooney was substituted in the second half, there was no temper from the Liverpudlian. Instead, he walked off, keeping his dissatisfaction in check and allowed Joe Cole to come on in his place.

In the game, England had a goal disallowed for offside. And another shot that hit the post. But overall, they did what was necessary and can now be buoyed by the confidence to do well in the second round.

Congratulations to England.

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