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Page last updated at 10:05 GMT, Monday, 19 November 2007

England's date with destiny
Russia's shock defeat in Israel hands Steve McClaren a get out of jail free card
England were virtually washed up in the debris of Euro 2008 failure, but the tide turned and they entered Wednesday's match against Croatia on the crest of a wave.

Steve McClaren's men needed only a draw to progress after Israel incredibly resisted the surge of a Russian red sea in the second half of Saturday's match and somehow nicked a last-gasp winner.

Suddenly the talk was no longer of Michael Owen's injury suffered in the friendly farce against Austria, mismanagement, prima donnas, and a football-free summer.

Win or draw at Wembley England and all would have been forgiven.



see also
Bent drafted in for Croatia clash
18 Nov 07 |  Internationals
Pick your England XI
31 Aug 07 |  Internationals
England gifted lifeline by Israel
17 Nov 07 |  Internationals

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