Oct 11, 2013 at 8pm UK at ‚ÄčWembley Stadium
England
4-1
Montenegro
Rooney (48'), Boskovic (62' og.), Townsend (78'), Sturridge (90' pen.)
Walker (54')
FT(HT: 0-0)
Damjanovic (71')
Pavicevic (50'), Volkov (53')

Live Commentary: England 4-1 Montenegro - as it happened

Live Commentary: England 4-1 Montenegro - as it happened
© Getty Images
Relive England's 4-1 win over Montenegro with Sports Mole's live play-by-play account of the match.

England moved to within 90 minutes of qualifying for the 2014 World Cup courtesy of a 4-1 win over Montenegro at Wembley this evening.

Wayne Rooney opened the scoring in the 48th minute after a frustrating first half for the hosts, poking home a rebound after Vukasin Poleksic had denied Danny Welbeck.

The second goal was a stroke of luck for England as Branko Boskovic sliced the ball into his own net when trying to put it behind for a corner.

Stevan Jovetic hit the bar for Montenegro shortly afterwards, and Dejan Damjanovic was able to do even better than that as he diverted a cross into the far corner.

Andros Townsend restored the hosts' two-goal lead with a fine strike from range, however, and Daniel Sturridge added the fourth in injury time, dispatching a penalty having been brought down inside the box.

You can read how an entertaining 90 minutes unfolded with Sports Mole's live coverage below.


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7pmGood evening! Thank you very much for joining Sports Mole for what is a vital match in the World Cup qualifying campaigns of both England and Montenegro. Tonight's game could have a massive effect on the Group H standings and four times are still in with a chance of reaching the 2014 World Cup automatically.

7.02pmWe'll start by looking at our hosts tonight, and it is no exaggeration to say that the next two matches are among the most important that manager Roy Hodgson will have presided over for England. Captain Steven Gerrard has already said that this double-header is "right up there" with the most important games he will play in for his country, and remember his 105-cap career has encompassed a number of major tournaments.

7.04pmThe message for England is simple: win both games. The fixture list has been kind to them in that their remaining two matches are both at home, which makes them favourites to reach Brazil next year as automatic qualifiers from Group H. Everything is in their hands - maximum points will get them to the World Cup. Anything less than that and they risk handing control of the group over to any of the other three sides hot on their tails.

7.06pmThe worry for England is their record against those three teams. Roy Hodgson's side have gone through the current qualifying campaign unbeaten, but that only tells half of the story. The only sides that they have managed to beat in the current campaign are minnows San Marino and Moldova. Their matches against Montenegro, Poland and Ukraine have all ended in draws.

7.08pmThat leaves them with a points tally of 16 from their eight matches, just one ahead of Ukraine and Montenegro and three clear of Poland, who travel to Ukraine tonight in another crucial match.

7.10pmEngland do have the significant factor of goal difference in their favour as well as the current points tally. Their 25 goals scored is the largest tally in the group, while they have only shipped three goals - another best in the group. That leaves them with a very healthy goal difference of +22, seven clear of the next best.

7.12pmIn terms of form, England have established themselves as a very tough team to beat in recent times. Their four wins and four draws from eight matches in Group H isn't the greatest record, but they have not lost a competitive fixture in normal time since that defeat to Germany in the 2010 World Cup. Of course, they were knocked out of Euro 2012 on penalties by Italy and have also suffered defeats at the hands of Sweden, Holland and France in friendlies, but competitively, Hodgson's side no how to avoid defeat.

7.14pmSimply avoiding defeat will not be enough tonight, however. Nothing less than a win will suffice for England today, more to keep things under their control than the risk of missing out on the World Cup altogether - although that is a possibility. A draw would guarantee that they stay in the top two at least, although the prospect of a playoff to reach the finals will not be appealing to anyone associated with the Three Lions.

7.16pmWe won't really know how good England's result is - whatever it is - until we know the Ukraine vs. Poland outcome. They have already kicked off in that match and after about 20 minutes it remains 0-0. A draw would probably be the ideal result for England, as that could potential put them three points clear with one game left and a superior goal difference.

7.18pmMontenegro will not be taken lightly, however. They are one of the two teams currently one point behind England, and a win tonight would not only be a massive scalp, but it would put them in the top two - quite possible first. I don't expect Branko Brnovic's side to be too attacking tonight, however. They will be happy with a draw and hope that England slip up on Tuesday against Poland while they should have a straightforward three points at home to Moldova.

7.20pmMontenegro have only lost once in the group so far, although that was a heavy 4-0 defeat to Ukraine at home in June. Other than that, they have won four matches and drawn three and, unlike England, have managed to beat one of the other top four teams in the group.

7.22pmWith Group H being so tight, one concern for Montenegro will be their goal difference. Of the four teams still vying for top spot, they have the worst goal difference with +7. They have conceded eight goals, more than twice as many as England, while scoring just 15 - 10 less than Hodgson's side have managed.

7.24pmTheir recent form hasn't been too impressive. They are without a win in their last four matches, drawing three games (all of which ended 1-1, incidentally), and losing that match against Ukraine. However, looking at just their away form, they have been good on their travels recently. They have not lost in their last six games away from home, winning three and drawing three.

7.26pmThere is undoubtedly more pressure on England going into this game given the expectation that they will qualify for every major tournament, but Montenegro certainly have pressure on themselves as well. They have never qualified for a major tournament and this year is a really good chance for them to do so. A defeat tonight would end their chances of qualifying automatically, although second place in the group would still be an option.

7.28pmUnfortunately for the visitors, they have been hit by a spate of injuries for this match, with Basa, Pekovic, Bozovic and Dzudovic all ruled out. Their biggest loss, however, is their captain and top scorer Mirko Vucinic. The Juventus man will miss tonight's match through injury, leaving Montenegro without arguably their best and most influential player.

7.30pmTEAM NEWS: On the subject of availability, it's about time I brought you tonight's team news. The biggest story is the bold inclusion of Tottenham Hotspur's Andros Townsend on the wing. The youngster will make his debut tonight after a decent start to the season which has seen him become a regular at his club. Sturridge, Welbeck and Rooney all start, but there is no place for Jack Wilshere.

7.32pmENGLAND STARTING XI: Hart; Walker, Cahill, Jagielka, Baines; Gerrard, Lampard; Townsend, Rooney, Welbeck; Sturridge

7.32pmENGLAND SUBS: Smalling, Ruddy, Gibbs, Jones, Carrick, Milner, Barkley, Wilshere, Defoe, Lambert, Forster

7.34pmMONTENEGRO STARTING XI: Poleksic; Kecojevic, Savic, Jovanovic, Volkov; Pavicevic, Zverotic, Drincic, Boskovic; Damjanovic, Jovetic

7.34pmMONTENEGRO SUBS: Blazic, Novakovic, Krkotic, Igumanovic, Janjusevic, Kasalica, Vesovic, Vukcevic, Dembasic, Beqiraj

7.36pmSo, what can we make of those two sides? Well, Hodgson has made a big decision in playing Townsend, an inexperienced winger, in such a big game. It does show a level of attacking intent, however, as Townsend is a lot more likely to make something happen than James Milner would have been. Townsend has bags of energy and enthusiasm, but his decision making is still not great and it will be interesting to see how he adapts to international football.

7.38pmMore attacking intent is shown in Hodgson's choice of striker. He had five to choose from and he has picked three of them, which is quite unusual for him. Sturridge, given his recent form, and Rooney were always going to be in the starting lineup, but Hodgson has also chosen to stick with Welbeck who, to be fair, has a very good record under the current England boss.

7.40pmMidfield is another intriguing area as the duo of Gerrard and Lampard once again look to dispel the myth that they can't play together. That means that there is no place for Jack Wilshere, who is left on the bench after another tumultuous week for the Arsenal man. There has been something of a furore over his comments about only English players playing for England, but he has rightly been defended by his manager for the comments.

7.42pmIn goal, the only real choice is still Joe Hart. While it is true that he hasn't been at his brilliant best for some time now, there is still no-one in the England squad who is in the same class as him. The defence is perhaps the biggest weak spot in this England side as it is fairly inexperienced in comparison to past partnerships. There isn't a Terry or Ferdinand or Cole that has been there and done it, although Cahill is approaching that level of experience. It is a big chance for Leighton Baines tonight as he looks to fill the boots left by the injured Ashley Cole. Not a bad deputy left-back to have.

7.44pmMoving on to Montenegro, and their main dangerman will be Manchester City's Stevan Jovetic. He has not exactly hit the ground running in English football so far, partly down to niggling injuries and partly down to the sheer competition for places at the Etihad, but there is no doubt that he is the main man in this Montenegro side in Vucinic's absence.

7.46pmCity fans will also be aware of Stefan Savic, who had an eventful stay at the club. He has seen as a liability by many City fans, but there is obvious potential there. If he can go some way to fulfilling that promise, then he could be a very good defender in the future. Still, he is not there now and England will be looking at him as a potential avenue for success given the fact that a lot of these players will have played against him - and in Joe Hart's case with him - before.

7.48pmEngland will know all about Dejan Damjanovic, who scored Montenegro's goal the last time these two teams met. They also have Elsad Zverotic in their side, who is another player who knows what it is like to score against the Three Lions having netted in the 2-2 draw a couple of years ago.

7.50pmPREDICTION: Right, we're 10 minutes from kickoff at Wembley, so it is about time I made a prediction for this match! These two teams have always been quite evenly matched when they have played before, but it is about time we saw one side victorious in this fixture. I think that there is too much on the line for England to do anything other than win tonight, especially given Hodgson's attacking lineup, so I am going to go for a 2-0 home win. Rooney and Cahill to get the goals.

7.52pmI alluded to it being about time we saw a winner in this fixture, and that is because all three meetings between these two sides have ended in draws. The very first time they came face to face was three years ago in a match that ended goalless. One year later Darren Bent and Ashley Young scored as England moved into a 2-0 lead, but Montenegro hit back to rescue a 2-2 draw. Then, in the reverse fixture in the current group stage, they drew 1-1, with Rooney getting England's goal.

7.54pmOne thing England do have the edge over Montenegro in is experience. The visitors' most capped player in the squad tonight is Vukcevic with 42, and he is on the bench. England, meanwhile, have two centurions in the centre of the park in the formidable form of Gerrard and Lampard. Gerrard, incidentally, will pass the legendary Billy Wright's tally of 105 caps tonight, drawing level with the equally-legendary Sir Bobby Charlton on 106 appearances for England. That is a fine achievement for a fine player.

7.56pmThe FIFA rankings should always be taken with a pinch of salt, but for those interested in them, just 10 places separate these two teams. Montenegro are currently ranked 27th, while England are 17th. That position could be problematic for England given FIFA's idea to base the World Cup seedings on the October rankings, meaning England would be put in a group with one of the top eight countries in the world. That makes wins in these next two games even more important.

7.58pmWe have plenty more football on offer tonight here on Sports Mole, and you can find a selection of live commentaries here. Alternatively, I will be doing my best to keep you up to date with any major developments from the important games around the qualification groups, keeping a particularly close eye on that Ukraine vs. Poland match.

8pmWe're just about ready to go at Wembley as the players have sung the national anthems and all the other formalities are out of the way. All that is left is 90 minutes of crucial World Cup qualifying football.

1 minKICKOFF: Here we go then. It is exactly a full house at Wembley but those who have made the trip are making a decent noise as this match gets underway.

3 minThe first shot of the game comes from the hosts, but it is one to forget for Welbeck. He finds a little space 25 yards from goal but his resulting shot goes high and wide. Still, a bright start from England.

5 minNice link-up from Walker and Townsend down the right before the latter slips a pass to Sturridge. The Liverpool man's first-time cross towards Rooney is deflected wide for a corner, which is eventually dealt with. Baines received a great ovation when trotting over to take that corner, which is good to hear. The England fans will have been disappointed to lose Cole, but many believe that Baines is worthy of a starting spot anyway.

6 minEngland have started at a very good pace here, and it is Townsend who is responsible for most of it. He already looks to be playing exactly the same game as he does at Spurs, attacking the defence at every available opportunity.

8 minCLOSE! Gerrard gives the ball to Rooney, who is between 25-30 yards from goal but only has one thing in his mind. His shot is deflected just past the post, and England will have another corner.

10 minHodgson will be very happy with the start that his side have made to this match. He said before the game that they couldn't afford to waste any time, and they have certainly started with that philosophy. The Three Lions sometimes lack urgency, but not tonight so far. Every time they get the ball, their first thought is to go forward at pace.

11 minSturridge has his first sight of goal but, as with Welbeck's effort earlier, he will not be happy with the finish. The ball falls to the Liverpool man rather fortuitously after Rooney's flick didn't come off, but his curling effort on his weaker right foot goes quite a way over the bar.

13 minAny concerns that Townsend may have been over-awed by making his international debut in such a big game have been quelled by the start that he has made. He is always looking to make things happen and, due to that hunger to be involved, he has seen more of the ball than any other player so far. The transition between Spurs and England has been pretty seamless so far, but it is still very early days.

14 minLampard gifts the ball to Jovetic, who looks to have clear space to run in to. The problem for him is that he is on the halfway line and, before he knows it, the lightning-quick Walker catches him up and makes the tackle. Jovetic is eventually able to get a shot away, but it is an incredibly optimistic effort from range that is never troubling his club teammate Joe Hart.

16 minUPDATE: It is still goalless between Ukraine and Poland, which would be a very good result from England's point of view. Germany, meanwhile, are 1-0 up against the Republic of Ireland thanks to Sami Khedira.

18 minSturridge shows good skill with a step-over before sprinting away from Savic inside the box. The former Man City man gets back to make a very good interception on the cross, but England get the ball back and eventually work it across to Gerrard, who whips a fierce shot over.

20 minEngland are completely in control of this match at the moment and Montenegro are getting no joy at all in an attacking sense. Roy Hodgson's side are still yet to test Poleksic in the Montenegro goal, however. That visitors' keeper has only played one senior game in the last year - against Bosnia - so England will want to get him involved a little more here.

21 minHart has been a spectator so far, but he is alert when it counts there. He races off his line to clear a through ball, although Cahill did look to have the situation under control. Still, it was good goalkeeping by the City shot-stopper as he took all of the pressure off his defence.

22 minUPDATE: There has been a goal in Ukraine, and it has gone the way of the hosts. That could be a telling moment in this group. Yarmolenko was the man who scored.

23 minSAVE! Great play from Baines down the left as he wins a tussle before managing to get a pass back to Welbeck inside the box. The Manchester United man goes past a defender before trying to beat the keeper at his near post from a tight angle, but Poleksic beats it away.

25 minInterestingly, Montenegro are the only side who England have not beaten having played them more than once. They will be hoping that that changes this evening, especially with Ukraine winning.

26 minSturridge is the latest to go for goal from range but, just like Welbeck and Gerrard before him, he fires his effort over the bar. You could see what he was trying to do as he aimed for the top corner with a curling effort, but he couldn't keep it down.

28 minHart has his first shot to save of the evening as Jovetic's effort deflects off Cahill and falls nicely into the arms of the City keeper. That could have been a lot more difficult given the deflection, but Cahill did well to get out to Jovetic quickly.

30 minRooney almost capitalises on a defensive error inside the box, but in the end has to settle for a corner. The set piece is passed to Baines, who whips a cross in that Welbeck gets on the end of. He was in space and it was a decent chance for the United striker, but he mis-timed his header and in the end it came off his shoulder and went wide.

32 minEngland started this match very brightly but they have not been able to keep that tempo up in the last 15 minutes or so. Montenegro have settled and are looking quite comfortable when England are attacking now, limiting them to long-range efforts. It is probably no coincidence that Townsend has also seen less of the ball in that time too.

33 minSAVE! That is the best moment of the match so far as England patiently wait for an opening. In the end, it comes from another shot from range, although this one is a lot better than the others we have seen in this match. Baines gives it to Gerrard, who whips an effort towards the bottom corner that Poleksic does well to push wide.

35 minMontenegro are proving tough to break down at the moment as they get bodies behind the ball whenever England are in possession. The middle of the park is very congested, which means that the likes of Gerrard, Lampard and Rooney are struggling to find space to work with.

37 minEngland's latest corner is met by Cahill, but he is under heavy pressure and can't find the target with his header. That won't go down as a chance, but it is the first time that England have won one of those aerial duels direct from a corner.

38 minGreat play from Townsend as he doesn't give up on a pass down the right that Savic look to shepherd out of play. Townsend wins it fairly, however, before giving it to Rooney who, in turn, passes it on to Gerrard. The Liverpool skipper is under pressure as he hits it first time, but he will still be disappointed with his tame shot as it rolls into the arms of the keeper.

40 minCHANCE! Huge chance for England as they break very quickly. Rooney sends a lovely pass round the corner to Andros Townsend, who advances to the edge of the box before unleashing a low shot that is too hot for Poleksic to handle. Rooney has continued his run and gets onto the rebound, but he can't squeeze the ball in from a tight angle as he sends his shot into the side netting. He had two men in a better position than him if he had pulled the ball back there, but you can understand why he went for goal.

42 minThat was the best chance of the match so far and, although Rooney didn't have much of the goal to aim at, I was expecting the back of the net to ripple. There was a gap to be found and he was at pretty close range, so it has to go down as a bad miss really.

44 minCLOSE! Oh that is not far away from the opening goal at all! Sturridge advances into the box before laying the ball off to Welbeck, who goes for goal from the edge. His strike takes a deflection on its way through that leaves Poleksic rooted to the spot, but the Montenegro keeper is grateful to see it fly just wide.

45 minCHANCE! From the resulting corner the ball falls straight to Sturridge, who has time to steady himself but only manages to slice it wide. He should have done better there.

45 minCHANCE! Another chance for Sturridge as Rooney refuses to give up on what looks like a lost cause. He manages to squeeze a low cross towards the Liverpool man, whose attempted flick is bundled behind for a corner.

45 minHALF TIME: England 0-0 Montenegro

8.49pmThe referee blow for the end of a half that saw England start and finish very well, with a lull in the middle. The Three Lions have certainly been on top so far but, for all of their dominance, they have not threatened the keeper enough. It remains goalless at the break in a match that England really could do with winning.

8.51pmRoy Hodgson's men began the match at a tremendous tempo, with Andros Townsend at the heart of it all. Whether that was a ploy by Hodgson to use his unknown weapon I'm not sure, but the debutant saw a lot of the ball and really drove England forward. There was a spell of about 20-25 minutes in the middle of the half when neither team really threatened, but England will not have wanted the half to end as they began to regain control towards the end.

8.53pmRooney had England's best chance of the match when he followed in on a parried Townsend shot, but the United striker couldn't squeeze his effort in from a tight angle. He will be very disappointed at not scoring that chance despite not having much of the goal to aim at.

8.55pmUPDATE: There is more bad news for England as Ukraine have completed their victory over Poland. That 1-0 win lifts Ukraine top of the group as things stand, placing even more importance on a win for England tonight. Ukraine have San Marino in their final match so, barring an incredible shock in that match, this game has become a must-win for England now.

8.57pmSturridge had a couple of chances at the end of the half that he would have expected to do better with, while Welbeck also came close with a deflected effort. Gerrard has had a couple of efforts on goal, with the best forcing a decent save from the Montenegro keeper. England have been limited to long shots on the whole, however, which is bound to make them frustrated.

8.59pmMontenegro, meanwhile, have not threatened in an attacking sense whatsoever. Their sole purpose in the match seems to be to come away with a draw which, to be fair to them, is probably a decent tactic given where they are in the group. They would still be relying on Poland taking points off England on Tuesday, but that is perhaps more likely than Montenegro winning this match.

9pmIt doesn't make for a great spectacle, however, as Montenegro are packing the middle of the pitch whenever England are in possession. That means that England's most creative players, such as Gerrard, Lampard and Rooney, have been unable to find space to work their magic.

46 minKICKOFF: England kick us off for a huge 45 minutes of football here. World Cup qualification could hang in the balance of what happens in this second half.

47 minMontenegro launch a rare attack at the start of the half as Jovetic and Damjanovic link up, but Jagielka makes a good block on the edge of the box. England conceding a goal here would be almost unthinkable for Hodgson.

48 minGOAL! England 1-0 Montenegro (Wayne Rooney)

48 minThere is the breakthrough for England! It is great play by Townsend again as he races down the right, beating the full-back with sheer pace before pulling a low cross into the box. It travels all the way to Welbeck, who sees his shot very well saved by the keeper. The ball falls to Rooney, who takes a touch before poking it under Poleksic from close range.

50 minYELLOW CARD! The first caution of the day goes to Savo Pavicevic of Montenegro.

52 minUPDATE: Andre Schurrle has doubled Germany's lead against the Republic of Ireland. A win for the Germans would ensure their place in next year's World Cup, and it looks likely that that will be the case tonight.

53 minYELLOW CARD! A second yellow card in quick succession for Montenegro as Vladimir Volkov is harshly booked for a foul on Lampard.

54 minSturridge has a half chance inside the box but he is just eased off the ball. The home fans want a penalty, but there is no real appeal from the players.

55 minYELLOW CARD! That is a significant yellow card for Kyle Walker, who will now miss the Poland game through suspension. He was booked for a push on Jovetic.

56 minSAVE! That is a very important stop from Hart, who hasn't had much to do today. Damjanovic flicked a header on from the free kick conceded by Walker, and Hart had to make a smart stop, although it was at a nice height for him.

57 minMONTENEGRO SUB: This is an attacking change from the visitors as Pavicevic, a full-back, is replaced by Beciraj, who is a winger.

59 minYou can see that Montenegro's philosophy to this match has changed since that Rooney strike. They now need to score as their goal difference means that defeat would all-but see them out of contention from the World Cup.

60 minSAVE! Baines plays a short corner to Townsend, who is afforded plenty of space by the Montenegro defence as he advances into the box. His eventual shot is dragged low towards the near post, but the keeper gets down well to make the save.

62 minGOAL! England 2-0 Montenegro (Branko Boskovic og)

62 minOh my word, it is an absolute nightmare for Boskovic! Sturridge flicks the ball on to Welbeck, who races free down the left before pulling the ball back into a dangerous area. Boskovic attempts to push the ball behind for a corner, but he is stretching for it and can only poke it into the far corner of his own net. That is a comical own goal, though not from him I'm sure!

64 minOFF THE BAR! Montenegro nearly get back into the match immediately and in spectacular fashion. Jovetic unleashes a vicious strike from range that cannons back off the crossbar with Hart flailing at thin air. He is unlucky there as it was a superb effort.

65 minCHANCE! That is a real chance by Lampard's standards as this game begins to open up. The ball fell to the Chelsea man on the edge of the box, but he couldn't keep his half-volley down, ballooning it over the bar.

66 minENGLAND SUB: That will be Lampard's last action of the match as he is replaced by Michael Carrick. That is a shrewd move from Hodgson, who has acknowledged that the game was getting too open for his liking, Carrick will slow the tempo down and help the hosts to defend this two-goal lead.

68 minThe way this match is going I wouldn't be surprised to see another goal. Montenegro are readily committing more men forward as they look to launch an unlikely comeback, and that is opening more chances for England.

69 minCHANCE! What a chance for 3-0! Rooney times a run perfectly to latch on to a through ball but, despite being one-on-one with the keeper, he chooses to pull it back for Gerrard. The pass is behind the England skipper, however, and he is only able to dig out a shot that is deflected wide for a corner.

70 minCHANCE! From the resulting corner the ball eventually drops to Welbeck, who unleashes a powerful effort that the keeper does very well to save.

72 minGOAL! England 2-1 Montenegro (Dejan Damjanovic)

72 minThat is exactly what England didn't need. It is an instinctive finish from Damjanovic as he sticks his leg out to turn a mis-hit shot/cross into the bottom corner. There is an element of luck to the goal, but it was quick reactions from the striker, who has now scored in two consecutive matches against England.

73 minMONTENEGRO SUB: In the immediate aftermath of the goal Montenegro make a change as the experienced Simon Vukcevic comes on for Volkov. Blackburn fans will know all about the new man, who is the most-capped player currently in the Montenegro squad.

75 minJust before that Montenegro goal England had been really pushing for a third and, on a couple of occasions, had come close to getting it. Baines had a cross almost cleared off the line while Townsend also fizzed a low ball across that Sturridge just couldn't reach.

76 minSturridge shows good footwork before producing a snapshot from 25 yards that forces the keeper into a save, but it is a comfortable one. England could be getting pretty nervy right now. Do they go for a third or just look to protect their one-goal advantage?

77 minRooney is left in a little bit of space just outside the box but, just like Sturridge's effort earlier, it is a comfortable save for the keeper when the shot does eventually come in. The United man tried to curl it into the corner, but it was far too close to Poleksic.

78 minGOAL! England 3-1 Montenegro (Andros Townsend)

78 minNow that is how you mark your international debut! That is a brilliant goal from Townsend, who has given England their two-goal cushion back. He picked up the ball around 35 yards from goal before shaking off the challenge of Vukcevic and firing his shot in off the post from 25 yards out. That was on his weaker right foot, too. Great goal, and a great moment for the young man.

80 minENGLAND SUB: That will be Townsend's last action of the match as he makes way to a standing ovation. He is replaced by Jack Wilshere, who will be looking to put an eventful week behind him in these last 10 minutes.

81 minMONTENEGRO SUB: This is an interesting change from the visitors as Jovetic makes way for Filip Kasalica. Jovetic has been their best attacking player tonight, so I don't quite see the logic in that one.

83 minUPDATE: Germany have made it 3-0 against the Republic of Ireland thanks to Arsenal's Mesut Ozil. That goal came deep into stoppage time and the match has since finished, as has Wales' game against Macedonia which has seen Chris Coleman's side win 1-0.

85 minThat Townsend goal seems to have taken the sting out of the game a little, but that isn't a bad thing for England at all. Still, this one isn't over yet and a goal for Montenegro in the next few minutes would make for a very nervy ending. England are inviting a bit of pressure onto themselves at the moment.

87 minENGLAND SUB: One final change for England as captain Steven Gerrard makes way to be replaced by James Milner. This will be a proud night for Gerrard, who has equalled Sir Bobby Charlton's 106 cap mark. Wayne Rooney has taken over the armband.

89 minEngland have made things a lot more narrow now as they just look to control the ball until the referee blows his final whistle. They needed a win tonight, and it looks like they have done enough to get it.

90 minThe fourth official's board shows a minimum of three added minutes at the end of this match.

90+2 minPENALTY TO ENGLAND!

90+3 minGOAL! England 4-1 Montenegro (Daniel Sturridge)

90+3 minThere is the icing on top of the cake for England as Sturridge steps up to take the spot kick having won it himself. It was a cool finish from the Liverpool man, who sent the keeper the wrong way. He was brought down by a rash challenge inside the box after he had made his way to the byline and moved into a dangerous position through sheer acceleration.

90+3 minFULL TIME: England 4-1 Montenegro

9.52pmThe referee blows the full-time whistle immediately after the restart, and England move to within 90 minutes of qualifying for the 2014 World Cup. They needed to win today and, while the 4-1 victory belies a little nervousness that they were feeling at times, they certainly deserved all three points. Six points was the target from the double header, and they have three on the board now.

9.54pmIt was a frustrating first half for England as Montenegro looked to park the bus, but Rooney's goal shortly after the break really opened the match up. A farcical own goal from Boskovic doubled their lead, but Jovetic fired a warning shot by hitting the bar before Damjanovic pulled a goal back for the visitors. Townsend capped off an impressive debut performance to restore England's two-goal lead, however, and Sturridge added the fourth from the penalty spot in stoppage time.

9.56pmUkraine's win over Poland means that England still need to beat Poland on Tuesday to ensure qualification, but it is still in their own hands, which is all they could have done tonight. Ukraine face lowly San Marino in their final group game, so it is safe to assume that they will end the campaign on 21 points. England are now on 19, so only a win over Poland will do.

9.58pmMontenegro's chances of qualifying for the World Cup are all-but over now. They only have Moldova left to play - a match that you would expect them to win - but they would need Ukraine to lose to San Marino with a 12-goal swing in the process, so it is safe to assume that it is now a two-horse race for qualification. Of course, there are two positions up for grabs, but neither Ukraine or England will fancy a playoff.

10pmRight, that is just about all we have time for tonight! Thank you very much for joining Sports Mole for what was a nervous, entertaining and ultimately successful night for England as they beat Montenegro 4-1. I will leave you with our match report, and be sure to stick around for reaction and analysis, which will be on the site shortly. There are two other matches still being played tonight if you want more live action, and you can follow either Portugal vs. Israel or Spain vs. Belarus here.

Spurs winger Andros Townsend in action against Millwall on July 17, 2013
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