Montenegro vs. England  2 - 2

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Euro 2012 qualifying: Montenegro 2 England 2

8 October 2011 04:07

England qualified for Euro 2012 despite giving away a two-goal lead in their 2-2 draw with Montenegro on Friday.

The visitors in Podgorica led through early goals from Ashley Young and Darren Bent, but conceded just before half-time.

Wayne Rooney received a needless sending off that will rule him out of the opening match of next year's tournament in Poland and Ukraine, before Montenegro picked up a late equaliser.

England debutant Phil Jones almost opened the scoring in the third minute, taking on two players before firing in a cross that popped out of Mladen Bozovic's hands and over the bar.

Bozovic was in action soon after, awkwardly getting down to block Theo Walcott's volley from the edge of the area.

Walcott was involved in England's opener, finding space on the right wing before picking out Young at the far post to nod home.

England increased their lead on the half-hour mark when former Aston Villa teammates Young and Bent combined on the counter attack for the visitors' second.

But Montenegro halved the deficit on the stroke of half-time as Elsad Zverotic was afforded too much space in the area and volleyed the ball towards goal, before a deflection off Gary Cahill saw it into the corner of the net.

Rooney let his temper get the better off him on 73 minutes when he swung a boot in anger in the direction of Miodrag Dzudovic, the offense resulting in a straight red card for the Manchester United striker.

And Montenegro made their extra-man advantage count in second-half injury time, as Stefan Savic's deep cross found Andrija Delibasic who headed past Joe Hart to earn the hosts a draw.

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Milner confident in Euro berth

5 October 2011 16:18

England midfielder James Milner is confident his country can get the point they need to secure qualification for Euro 2012.

Fabio Capello's side need a draw against Montenegro on Friday to confirm their place at next year's tournament in Poland and Ukraine.

Milner, however, is wary of a Montenegro side that sit second behind England in qualification Group G.

"We've had some good performances and some poorer ones," Milner said. "What it boils down to is that it is in our own hands going into the last (game). We need at least a point and that's all you can ask for really."

"They'll obviously have to come out at us because they need to win the game. And it'll be a tough game."

"We saw them at Wembley, they are a good side, well organised, but we're confident we can go out there and get a good result."

Milner's teammate Scott Parker played down suggestions that England will play for a draw and indicated that Capello's side will look to attack from the outset.

We want three points," Parker said. "I don't think the situation on Friday is really any different. We are going there to try and win the game and qualify for the Championships."

"I think we have a very, very attacking team. The front players, the attacking players in our side are very, very quick and when you go away from home I suppose teams may come at you more which obviously gives you an opportunity to hit them on the break."

"There always seems to be a little bit more space really. I wouldn't be surprised if that was a massive factor on how well we are playing away from home."

"At home it is a little bit different. Teams come to Wembley and they get behind the ball and it becomes a bit more harder to break down."