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Now England have their work cut out

They came, they saw, they conquered. In the first six minutes, that is.

England got off to a brilliant start in Montenegro. They hit the post, took the lead and made the home side look more like San Marino than a team capable of qualifying for next year's World Cup.

Roy Hodgson's side controlled the first half, but were unable to make their superiority count.

A different Montenegro came out for the second half, and in the end a relieved England came away with a point. It might have been much worse.

The Three Lions are still two points adrift of group leaders Montenegro, but Poland and Ukraine are now both four points behind England, and both have a game in hand.

Only the group winners qualify automatically, with the eight best runners-up taking their chances through the play-offs.

An accomplished England display and a poor Montenegro showing was the story of the first half, but the roles were reversed after the break and the home side piled on the pressure as they went close to nicking a win. 

Different story

Wayne Rooney hit a post after two minutes before he headed home a corner to give England the lead four minutes later. Glen Johnson was close to doubling the advantage with a long range strike, but it was a different story in the second half.

England started poorly after the break and Montenegro capitalised with an intense spell of pressure that culminated in Dejan Damjanovic's close range equaliser on 76 minutes.

Three Lions captain Steven Gerrard said: "I think we stopped playing after the break for 20 to 30 minutes and away from home you can't do that.

"We stopped passing the ball and that’s when we lost control and they deserved the equaliser. I think there was a lot of experience out there and in the first half we showed that, I felt we controlled the game.

"The problem is at 1-0 you are always vulnerable and you have to go on and get the second goal for complete control and we didn't do that then they took control and then deserved a draw."

Gerrard added: "We're still confident we can finish top of the group, we need to win our two games and we need to improve on our second half-performance and play like we did in the first.

"We need three points when we go to play Ukraine away and we need a perfect result at home."

England's remaining World Cup qualifiers:

6 September: H v Moldova

10 September: A v Ukraine

11 October: H v Montenegro

15 October: H v Poland


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