BBC Sport world-cup-2010

IN ASSOCIATION WITH

Slovenia 0-1 England

By Chris Bevan & Jonathan Stevenson
  1. 09:05 Commentary  

    Hello all... I'm Chris Bevan in Cape Town and I hope you are ready for day 13 of the 2010 World Cup - it's going to be huge. We've already seen the hosts South Africa bow out, and in about eight hours time we will know England's fate too... seems a bit early on for a 'day of destiny' doesn't it? That's what we've got though...

  2. 09:07 Commentary  

    At least Bafana Bafana signed off with a win, and gave their fans here something to be proud of. There were still some emotional scenes around this city when their elimination was confirmed but the front of today's Cape Times (which reads 'out, but not down') reflects the upbeat feeling about their performance - and how the World Cup party is definitely carrying on for the hosts.

  3. 09:11 Commentary  

    I'm not sure England can look forward to such positive headlines if their match with Slovenia (at 15:00 BST) proves to be their last of the tournament... but let's not think about that scenario just yet. How can Fabio Capello's men get out of Group C and reach the last 16? Well, a win would make absolutely certain of their progress, while a high-scoring draw might mean lots being drawn to decide whether they or the United States go through. Lose? They are on their way home...

  4. 09:16 Commentary  

    So, England fans - how are you feeling? Did you wake up this morning full of hope - or full of fear? We are all in this together, so I need to know. Text me on 81111 (UK) or +44 7786200666 (worldwide), I'm on Twitter @chrisbevan_bbc or join the chat on 606.

  5. SMS  

    From anon: "Chris, I know it's early, but my finger nails are already gone... AAARRGH!"

  6. 09:23 Commentary  

    I spoke to Alan Shearer about England's chances and, like you lot, he is pretty nervous. He is concerned by Wayne Rooney's lack of form so far at this tournament but told me: "Fabio Capello would be a fool to leave him out or even take him off, even if he is not playing well. Against Algeria, Rooney had a poor first touch and just did not look right - it was almost as if he was carrying an injury - but he is a match-winner and it is very difficult to justify leaving match-winners out or taking them off when you need something to happen."

  7. 09:29 Commentary  

    Er, I'm getting the feeling that most of you are full of fear rather than confidence. Just a reminder that you will be able to watch (if you can bear to) England take on Slovenia on BBC One and right here on this website (if you are in the UK).

  8. SMS  

    From Mark from Didcot: "Nervous, nervous, nervous - imagine how the players must feel? They could be deemed the biggest failures in English football."

  9. Contributor BBC Sport's chief football writer Phil McNulty  

    Fabio Capello was in combative mood at his pre-match press conference at Nelson Mandela Bay Stadium last night. He was determined to move on from the fall-out after John Terry's comments and talk up the quality he believes still lurks inside his England squad.

    The weather is perfect here in Port Elizabeth, with the sun glinting off the Indian Ocean. England and Capello will hope it is shining on them when they meet Slovenia later.

    Capello insists he is "not crazy" to believe they can still reach the World Cup final. The consequences of an exit today are almost unthinkable for this England team, management and the Football Association.

  10. SMS  

    From Gary in Hampshire: "What a bad night's sleep. Have the worst butterflies this morning. I'm thinking it might be a slow morning at work."

  11. 09:43 Commentary  

    I'm guessing that some of you are not just worried about how England will get on against Slovenia, you are worried about whether you are going to be able to watch it. This is England's first game of the tournament to take place during a working day and many schools and businesses are making special arrangements to allow people to watch it - I hope you are one of the lucky ones!

  12. SMS  

    From Andrew in Newcastle: "Sun is shining. Early finish from work. England ready to pull it together for the biggest win in our generation, then an easy Serbia-Uruguay route to the semis. Life is good..."

  13. 606  

    From Badger: "I have already paced up and down the office for 30 minutes. Finishing at 1pm today and should have covered about 29 miles by then. Can I claim for a new pair of shoes?"

  14. 09:57 Commentary  

    Some of the reports coming out of the England camp suggest that Fabio Capello will play Jermain Defoe and Wayne Rooney up front against Slovenia, and James Milner could come back into the side on the right flank. The only thing we know for sure, though, is that England will play in all-red this afternoon. The good news is they are unbeaten on all four occasions they have worn that kit before. In 1962 they beat Peru 4-0 in a friendly and drew 0-0 with Bulgaria at the World Cup finals in Chile. It also brought a 4-2 friendly win over Czechoslovakia in 1963 and a 3-1 friendly win against Belgium in 1970. Surely you are feeling a bit better about today now you know that?

  15. Twitter  

    From benthummy: "Just a little bit nervous, but wearing the England wig, the red shirt and shorts whilst doing work experience in Belgium!"

  16. 10:05 Commentary  

    It's not all about England today you know? (OK, it actually is). But there's a real dog-fight going on to get out of Group D too, where Ghana face Germany and Serbia play Australia (both at 19:30 BST) with all four sides still able to progress. 'Why am I bothered?' I hear you ask... Well, the winner of Group C plays the runner-up in Group D in the last 16, and vice-versa. So, it is possible that England get through today and end up playing Germany next... or even Australia. The thought of either of those games will probably make most of you explode, but it's, er, probably best not to get ahead of ourselves just yet, is it?

  17. 606  

    From Frodo_MUFC: "England need to play with freedom, and try to enjoy playing in a World Cup. If we can do that we should be fine. It just seems that the players are now so disciplined in the camp that the expression has completely gone from their game."

  18. SMS  

    From Adam in Altrincham: "Chris, wouldn't an early goal be perfect to get everyone settled today. From there we can really get into this Slovenia team who'll have to come out and play. That's the most positive thing I've thought so far today, I'm getting butterflies!"
    After sitting through the Algeria game here in Cape Town, I'm just thinking that a goal would be a feat for England - it doesn't even have to be early!

  19. SMS  

    From Drew in Grantham: "It's our time, the boys will come good this afternoon - bring it on home."

    Hope Drew is right, otherwise the boys will be heading home themselves...

  20. 10:26 Commentary  

    OK, six teams are already out of this World Cup: Cameroon and North Korea were the first two to be eliminated and South Africa, France, Greece and Nigeria all saw their hopes ended on Tuesday. From that quartet, France have had had the most turbulent tournament of any team in (my) memory, while Nigeria will probably feel they should be in the last 16. A win over South Korea would have done the trick and they certainly had enough chances to do just that, including Yakubu's quite incredible miss from a few yards out. Instead, they drew 2-2 and are heading home - just as four more nations will be today.

  21. Twitter  

    Injured England captain Rio Ferdinand: "I've got butterflies - I'm more nervous than if I was actually playing."

  22. 606  

    From redandblackT: "That Yakubu miss was real? There I was thinking it was all a bad dream."

  23. 10:38 Commentary  

    Right, what do you lot know about Slovenia then? If your knowledge of Majaz Kek and his side is a bit rusty then you should check out our insider's guide to their squad. Before the tournament began, BBC Sport's Paul Fletcher spoke to Bochum front-man Zlatko Dedic, who featured in their opening win over Algeria. Apparently fellow striker Milivoje Novakovic is their danger-man and Bostja Cesar is "a very tough guy". Oh, and when they qualified for the World Cup, the Slovenian prime minister cleaned the team's shoes - maybe David Cameron should promise to do the same for England if they win and reach the last 16.

  24. Contributor BBC Sport's Alan Shearer  

    "One win against Slovenia and everything will be rosy again. That's how we are in our country. We are either rubbish or we're brilliant."

  25. SMS  

    From Ollie in Marlborough: "If it's true that James Milner will start on the right, then I think that would be a good choice so long as Aaron Lennon comes on with 20 minutes to go or so. Wouldn't he be better as an impact sub?"

  26. SMS  

    From Adam in London: "With Slovenia needing a draw to go through I can see them camping out in their own half. We will struggle to break them down and they'll punish our slow centre halves on the break. Negative I know but I can't see us getting more than a 1-1 draw."

  27. 11:02 Commentary  

    BBC Sport's John Motson (aka World Cup Motty) points out that if England do exit today it will be the first time since 1958 that they have failed to get out of the group stage at a World Cup finals - and even in that year they had a play-off. Worry not, though - Motty is backing England to beat Slovenia, win the group and make the second round - with the United States also progressing as runners-up.

  28. 11:04 Commentary  

    Here's more on Fabio Capello's possible England team today: As well as Matthew Upson replacing the suspended Jamie Carragher at centre-back, BBC sports news correspondent Dan Roan says: "My understanding is that Capello will go with James Milner instead of Aaron Lennon. Jermain Defoe is expected to come in for Emile Heskey."

  29. 11:08 Commentary  

    That early team news suggests Joe Cole may have to wait even longer to get his chance for England at this World Cup, and his club future is no nearer to being resolved either. Cole has left Chelsea and been linked with a number of other Premier League clubs but BBC Sport understands that Manchester United, one of the teams thought to be chasing him, will not be trying to sign him. Arsenal and Tottenham remain favourites to land the midfielder.

  30. 606  

    From Sam: "I don't see why you would put James Milner in place of Aaron Lennon. We have too many similar midfielders treading on each others toes. We will have no wingers at all... "

  31. Twitter  

    From saajan93: "I'm in Port Elizabeth right now and the atmosphere is electric! Can't wait for England to win today! C'mon England!"

  32. 11:25 Commentary  

    Hopefully, no matter what happens to England today - be it good or bad - they won't make as ignominious an exit as the one France made on Tuesday. A turbulent tournament that had already seen Nicolas Anelka expelled for arguing with coach Raymond Domenech and captain Patrice Evra dropped for arguing with that decision, ended with Domenech refusing to shake the hand of South Africa boss Carlos Alberto Parreira at the end of the hosts' 2-1 victory. Domenech, who was to be replaced by Laurent Blanc in any case, is unlikely to remember this World Cup very fondly.

  33. SMS  

    From Andy in Watford: "Making a World Cup crumble today. A Fabio Appleo and Wayne Roobarb one, with Frank Custard of course, going to cook it it the SlOVENia... "

    Now we're cooking... apart from Frank Custard - not so sure about that one!

  34. 11:51 Commentary  

    There's a bit of concern over the state of the pitch at the Nelson Mandela Bay Stadium in Port Elizabeth. Apparently it's a bit heavy following a lot of rain in the last week and Slovenia and England were unable to train at the ground on Tuesday. Still, at least the England players will be used to playing on a dodgy surface - and, on that note, the pitch consultants in charge of Wembley have announced they have resigned, and will stand down at the end of June... hope whoever replaces them gets things right for the big one - the Muse concert in September.

  35. Contributor BBC Sport's chief football writer Phil McNulty  

    The media centre at Port Elizabeth's Nelson Mandela Bay Stadium is already well populated even three hours before kick-off. There is a real sense of anticipation surrounding England's meeting with Slovenia - just one look at Fabio Capello and Steven Gerrard last night was enough to detect how much is at stake here today.
    Capello believes getting out of this group can provide the springboard for a successful tournament - but can this England team be trusted to deliver?

  36. 11:56 Commentary  

    It's not just some of you who are struggling to get out of work (or school) to watch the England-Slovenia match at 15:00 (live on BBC One and this website in the UK). BBC political correspondent Reeta Chakrabarti reports that Downing Street says prime minister David Cameron will be trying to watch as much of this afternoon's England game as possible. He has a meeting with the Irish Taoiseach Brian Cowan at No. 10 at 3.15pm, but will try and watch the second half.

  37. SMS  

    From Simon in Colchester: "Many millions of England fans have looked forward to this World Cup for four years. We can handle an exit but please guys don't let it be without one almighty fight!"

  38. 606  

    From CharlieDontSurf: "Why are people so focused on Capello's stubborness, his 4-4-2, his refusal to pick Joe Cole etc. The real problem is that the England team collectively have been unable to pass to a team mate or control the ball. Sort that out and we have a good chance."

  39. SMS  

    From Burnsy in Newcastle: "The sun is shining, the anticipation is palpable, a nation holds it's breath. Just make us proud boys, please!"

  40. SMS  

    From Fifi: "Is it wrong to feel so sick in the stomach about today's match?! I don't think the team will be forgiven if they play anything like they did on Friday!"

  41. Commentary England captain Steven Gerrard  

    "It is a do-or-die situation. It would be an absolute disaster for this group of players to go home after the group stages - The key is to try and live without fear. There is pressure and fear. But the fear of not winning drives you on. We've come here to stay in this tournament to the end."

  42. Commentary Slovenia manager Matjaz Kek  

    "The quality of England is clear. England, for me, are still a favourite to win the World Cup. But, if we play our game, I am sure we can get to the second round. It's a fight to get to the knockout phase and it is an additional motivation to play against a team that has been so big. We feel confident, we are courageous and we will be able to face up to England."

  43. SMS  

    From Samantha: "Leaving work shortly; have had St George flags painted on my big toe nails; England expects! COME ON LADS!"

  44. 12:19 Commentary  

    Ah, so much for my optimism at 09:57. I'm told that the last time England played in all-red was actually against Brazil in the Umbro Cup in 1995. They lost 3-1, (with Colin Cooper and John Scales at centre-back and Alan Shearer and Teddy Sheringham up front) and I seem to remember a young Juninho having a superb game for Brazil - good enough to win him a move to Middlesbrough. Those were the days...

  45. 12:26 Commentary  

    Right, I'm guessing you lot might have heard that England will have a German referee today - Wolfgang Stark - but did you know he has had a bit of previous with John Terry? The former England captain got very upset with Mr Stark after he took charge of Chelsea's Champions League defeat at the hands of Inter Milan last season, accusing him of "pure disrespect". Bodes well...

  46. 12:31 Commentary  

    Alan Shearer has just arrived at BBC HQ in Cape Town and is making everybody, including me, a cup of tea or coffee. It's a pre-England game ritual of his, apparently, although I'm not sure if he did the same when he was playing for them.

  47. SMS  

    From Ollie in England: "Words cannot describe how happy I am that I have the afternoon booked off... my condolences to those at work, I'll spare a (brief) thought for you! COME ON ENGLAND!!!"

  48. Contributor BBC Sport's chief football writer Phil McNulty  

    "It seems Fabio Capello is poised to confirm the England team we expected last night, with Jermain Defoe replacing Emile Heskey up front, the coach finally accepting a striker who never looks like scoring a goal is a slight handicap.

    James Milner gets a chance to atone for his poor first game against the United States by replacing Aaron Lennon, leaving the possibility of Steven Gerrard operating just behind Defoe and Wayne Rooney.

    And, for all John Terry's contentious pleadings, no Joe Cole."

  49. Twitter  

    From yedaw1: "All the England players are good enough, this game rests entirely on the shoulders of Fabio and who he puts on and where."

  50. 12:44 Commentary  

    While England fans count down to 1500 BST, the rest of the UK looks on. The Scottish edition of the Sun newspaper has a photo of Fabio Capello with one hand in the air and the caption: 'Hands up who's daft enough to think the English can still win it?' In Northern Ireland, Belfast Telegraph columnist Steven Beacom calls for greater maturity from England players in a piece which says: 'Grumpy young men should grow up.' In Wales, the sports agenda is dominated by news of the second rugby union test against New Zealand on Saturday.

  51. SMS  

    From Martin: "Leaving the office at 1pm to go watch the football with my son. Can't sit still - the wait is awfull. C'mon England!!"

  52. 606  

    From Lettsy_1: "If England played with as much passion and pride as the English supporters have, we would be strolling into the next round."

  53. 12:55 Commentary  

    Just over two hours to go until kick-off between England and Slovenia at Nelson Mandela Bay Stadium in Port Elizabeth. I know, it seems like an eternity to wait. But there is another game going on in Group C - between Algeria and the United States - that could prove crucial to England's hopes, especially if Fabio Capello's side don't win. If you need a reminder of what all the possible qualification permutations are, why not check out our handy guide on the BBC website.

  54. Twitter  

    Injured England captain Rio Ferdinand: "I'm predicting a 3-0 win today for England... roll on the Three Lions! I'll be letting the lads know the twitfam are behind them!!"

  55. 13:03 Commentary  

    Right, that is my part in the build-up done and dusted. Time to hand you over to Jonathan Stevenson, who will bring you all the line-ups and team news and take you through all the action of both games in Group C too. It's going to be a tense afternoon for England fans - and that's just before kick-off... thanks for all your banter this morning, and hope you are all smiling at the final whistle - see you soon.

  56. 13:05 Commentary  

    I hope Chris Bevan has quenched your thirst for build-up chat, shall we now ramp it up a notch further? You’ve just flown virtually from Cape Town to Johannesburg and you’re with Jonathan Stevenson as we look ahead to Slovenia v England and USA v Algeria. Refresh your page and let’s get on with the business at hand.

  57. 13:11 Commentary  

    There’s no need to feel nervous today, honestly. If an England win is what you’re after, then that’s exactly what the experts are predicting - from Alan Shearer to John Motson, from Steven Gerrard to Jurgen Klinsmann. It’s all in hand, so don’t you waste time worrying. And if the players have seen Brian Blessed’s battle cry, there’s absolutely no way they won’t win today. That man could break a vuvuzela with his voice alone.

  58. 13:16 Commentary  

    If I had to ask you to get in touch today, I'd feel as though I'd failed in my duty. Your country needs you - wherever you're from. Texts go to 81111 (UK) and +44 7786200666 (worldwide), I'm on Twitter @Stevo_football and there's a debate a-brewing on the 606 page too. Hear from you soon.

  59. SMS  

    Jack, Walsall: "Been singing England tunes in the office all morning. I work with two people who hate football - they are pretty sick of me. Even they can't wait for kick-off now!"

  60. 13:22 Commentary  

    On the other hand, Slovenia are quite good you know. Anyone remember England’s 2-1 win in a friendly in September? I thought Matjaz Kek's team played some cracking stuff that day and they have continued in that fashion at the World Cup. Players to watch out for include left-footed wizard Valter Birsa, hard-as-nails defender Bostjan Cesar and midfield schemer Robert Koren. You’ve been warned.

  61. Twitter  

    USA striker JozyAltidore17: "Moment of truth... Let's GO!! USA USA USA!!!"

  62. 13:28 Commentary  

    Just a reminder that England will be playing in an all-red kit today for only the sixth time in their history. Meanwhile the Slovenia coach pulls into the Nelson Mandela Bay Stadium in Port Elizabeth. Apparently the motto 'Never Judge Greatness By Size' is everywhere you look at their training camp.

  63. 13:31 Commentary  

    If you want to know exactly how England can qualify, better people than me have been attempting to satisfy your thirst for knowledge. In a nutshell, they go through with a win, but can do with a draw. Lose and they’re gone. Every World Cup group has several permutations, but you probably know most of them by now, don’t you?

  64. Contributor BBC Radio 5 live's Graham Taylor  

    "I came out of being the England manager convinced that we would never win the World Cup playing a 4-4-2. We need to be more flexible."

  65. 13:34 Commentary  

    The England players have just arrived at the stadium in Port Elizabeth. Emile Heskey and Ashley Cole are last off the bus with music earphones firmly in place. There's no singing a la Diego Maradona or the South Africans, and no lollipops a la Lionel Messi. This is as serious as football gets.

  66. 13:36 Commentary  

    Former US president Bill Clinton is ready to catch World Cup fever and plans to cheer on the US team against Algeria in Pretoria, South Africa, his New York-based foundation has revealed. After attending the Group C match, Clinton will visit Tanzania and Malawi to check on humanitarian and education projects launched there by his foundation.

  67. 606  

    From Diamond Lights: "Joe Cole has been carrying a knee problem - and he's only half fit. Check out the great big sticky plaster he keeps wearing, and read about it on Twitter. I think we may see more of him later on, further in the tournament."

  68. 13:43 Commentary  

    Ever wondered how many England footballers would get in the Spain World Cup squad? The Daily Telegraph's Duncan White has been doing exactly that and he comes to some interesting conclusions. I'll give you a clue - he reckons less than double figures...

  69. Contributor BBC Sport's chief football writer Phil McNulty  

    "The coaches carrying England and Slovenia's players arrived at Nelson Mandela Bay Stadium within seconds of each other - with Fabio Capello's squad leading the way.

    "Slovenia's players certainly looked the more relaxed as they smiled and waved at the crowds, whereas England looked ready for the serious business of qualifying for the last 16. Steven Gerrard admitted England were overwhelming favourites and Slovenia's players certainly did not look like they were feeling under pressure."

  70. 13:46 Commentary  

    England team to play Slovenia: James, Johnson, A Cole, Upson, Terry, Barry, Milner, Lampard, Gerrard, Rooney, Defoe.

  71. Contributor BBC Radio 5 live's Alan Green  

    "We can speculate until the cows come home, but we don't know how England will line up. It could be a 4-4-2, it could be a 4-3-2-1, it could be a 4-3-1-2. If it's either of the latter two, I don't think Capello has done that for England yet. But if it gives Steven Gerrard a freer role, then I'm in favour of it."

  72. SMS  

    Jez in Fulham: "I have now officially stopped concentrating at work, no point in trying to continue. Just got to sit tight until we get let out at one minute to 3pm. Come on Jermain - we need a hero in this World Cup..."

  73. 13:54 Commentary  

    However you are feeling, just think, it could be worse. France legend Thierry Henry is going to meet the country's president Nicolas Sarkozy on Thursday to discuss their cataclysmic failure at the World Cup. Let's hope David Cameron and Steven Gerrard aren't hooking up 24 hours later...

  74. Contributor BBC Radio 5 live's Graham Taylor  

    "This selection has the smell of players being involved in it. I'm not disturbed with this formation [if it is 4-3-2-1] because I believe it is something that the players want."

  75. Contributor BBC Sport's James Pearce  

    On Twitter: "I've filmed a video for you of England fans arriving at the stadium... Also not seen this before, but there are separate men's and and women's turnstiles here. Allows me to tell you that men outnumber women by about 20-1 at this match."

  76. 14:00 Commentary USA v Algeria line-ups:  

    United States: 1-Tim Howard; 6-Steve Cherundolo, 15-Jay DeMerit, 12-Jonathan Bornstein, 3-Carlos Bocanegra; 10-Landon Donovan, 4-Michael Bradley, 19-Maurice Edu, 8-Clint Dempsey; 17-Jozy Altidore, 9-Hercules Gomez.
    Algeria: 23-Rais Ouheb Mbouli; 2-Majid Bougherra, 5-Rafik Halliche, 4-Antar Yahia, 3-Nader Belhadj, 21-Fouad Kadir, 19-Hassan Yebda, 8-Medhi Lacen, 15-Karim Ziani, 11-Rafik Djebbour, 13-Karim Matmour.
    Referee: Frank De Bleeckere (Belgium)

  77. 14:01 Commentary Slovenia v England line-ups  

    Slovenia: 1-Samir Handanovic; 2-Miso Brecko, 4-Marko Suler, 5-Bostjan Cesar, 13-Bojan Jokic; 10-Valter Birsa, 8-Robert Koren, 18-Aleksandar Radosavljevic, 17-Andraz Kirm; 9-Zlatan Ljubijankic, 11-Milivoje Novakovic.
    England: 1-David James; 2-Glen Johnson, 15-Matthew Upson, 6-John Terry, 3-Ashley Cole; 16-James Milner, 4-Steven Gerrard, 8-Frank Lampard, 14-Gareth Barry; 19-Jermain Defoe, 10-Wayne Rooney.
    Referee: Wolfgang Stark (Germany)

  78. Twitter  

    From waynepashley: "Nobody mentioning that Slovenia only need a draw to go through, could just keep 10 men in their own half for 90 minutes."

  79. SMS  

    From Jon, a mountain: "Surveying plants on a mountainside in remotest Scotland and for the first time today I've just got a signal sufficient to get on to the BBC website. Amazing scenes. Just me and a few deer, although I think they're impartial."

  80. 14:09 Commentary Slovenia v England tam news:  

    Three changes then for England after their shocking 0-0 draw with Algeria. Jamie Carragher is suspended and Aaron Lennon and Emile Heskey dropped, so Matthew Upson, James Milner and Jermain Defoe are back in. Slovenia are unchanged from their 2-2 draw with USA.

  81. Contributor BBC Radio 5 live's Mike Ingham MBE  

    "On our screen at the stadium, they have got Steven Gerrard on the right and James Milner on the left, with Frank Lampard and Gareth Barry in the middle. I genuinely just do not know how strong their information is. I would prefer a diamond with Barry anchoring and Gerrard behind the two strikers."

  82. 606  

    From littlejklc: "I really have bad feeling, not much change in the line-up, the players who played poorly still play. A German referee, when did England win with a German referee?"

  83. 606  

    From IONJAY: "Don't know why everyone is panicking, we are facing Slovenia, yes our first two performances were poor however we will win comfortably today, no need to worry whatsoever!"

  84. 14:20 Commentary  

    My colleague Paul Fletcher spoke to Slovenia’s Zlatko Dedic in a bid to find out what we can expect from England’s opponents in Port Elizabeth. My favourite bit is when he confirmed the prime minister of his country cleaned his football boots after their World Cup play-off win over Russia. I wonder what Borut Pahor would do if they beat England today?

  85. Contributor BBC Sport's Lee Dixon  

    "You've got a player who can score goals in that team today in Jermain Defoe and what's more, he might just bring the best out of England's top two players, Wayne Rooney and Steven Gerrard."

  86. 14:24 Commentary USA v Algeria team news:  

    USA coach Bob Bradley leaves center-back Oguchi Onyewu on the bench and calls up Jonathan Bornstein, while Hercules Gomez comes in for suspended striker Robbie Findley and Maurice Edu replaces Jose Torres in midfield. Algeria make one change from their 0-0 draw with England, bringing in striker Rafik Djebbour.

  87. Contributor BBC Sport's Alan Hansen  

    "We've talked long and hard about the system, but England have got to be better at possession today. We're talking about some players who are great in possession, like Wayne Rooney, and they need to improve."

  88. Contributor BBC Sport's Roy Hodgson  

    "One change was forced upon the coach, but the other two are quite positive I think. What is important is that if England have a lot of the ball, they make use of it in the final third."

  89. 14:30 Commentary  

    I know you're bored of my rubbish predos, so I've got a special guest predo for today...

    Stevo's three-year-old nephew Nathan's predo:
    England 10-0 Slovenia

  90. Contributor BBC Radio 5 live's Graham Taylor  

    "Wayne Rooney is demanding of his team and himself of a certain level of performance. If neither he or the team achieve that level then he gets frustrated."

  91. SMS  

    Dave, driving from Belfast to Derry: "Leaving work at three as trusty mother-in-law is pausing the match for me. I have to get out of the building and then negotiate an hour-and-a-half drive with out finding out the score. Wish me luck."
    You got it pal. I hope she remembers...

  92. Contributor BBC Sport's Nabil Hassan at Glastonbury:  

    "Sat in front of the Pyramid Stage with an estimated 10,000 people. Cider in one hand, vuvuzela in the other. It's baking hot, life doesn't get any better than this."

  93. Contributor BBC Sport's chief football writer Phil McNulty at Nelson Mandela Bay Stadium  

    "England once again have superb support inside Nelson Mandela Bay Stadium - proving again how wrong Wayne Rooney was to take his frustrations out on them after the dreadful draw with Algeria. The responsibility today rests simply with Fabio Capello's players - let's hope a more fluid formation suits them."

  94. SMS  

    From Anon: "Inside Loftus with the Algerian contingent, hoping they’ll keep a draw here so England have the best chance of going through. Somehow I feel lonely!!!"

  95. Contributor BBC Radio 5 live's Chris Waddle  

    "Jermain Defoe comes to life in the last 25 yards. He's scored goals for Tottenham and if he scores today then he can have a good run in the World Cup."

  96. Commentary Slovenia coach Matjaz Kek:  

    "We are aware of the significance of the match for England and Slovenia. The stakes are very high. England have to go to the second round; Slovenia wish to go to the second round. This is our wish. I am just dealing with the problems Slovenia face, not focusing on the problems England face."

  97. 14:42 Commentary  

    If you are in the UK and are going to watch this afternoon's action on the website, don't forget you can switch between the England-Slovenia and USA-Algeria games at the click of a button. England are also on BBC One and BBC HD and BBC Radio 5 live too.

  98. Commentary England coach Fabio Capello:  

    "When I said my target is the final of the World Cup it was because we showed this is a really good squad. I think if... no, not if, when we win on Wednesday then all the teams have to fight against us. We will be fit to fight. Definitely."

  99. Contributor BBC Radio 5 live's Chris Waddle Slovenia v England  

    "For many of this squad, this is their final chance. Is this the golden generation? They've been decent but have never been a great team."

  100. 14:46 Commentary  

    In case you've just rocked up, the England team today is: James, Johnson, A Cole, Terry, Upson, Barry, Milner, Lampard, Gerrard, Rooney, Defoe.

  101. Contributor BBC Sport's Gary Lineker  

    "Apparently Wayne Rooney has had a phone call from Sir Alex Ferguson to tell him to relax, because that's exactly what you do when Sir Alex Ferguson phones - relax."

  102. Contributor BBC Sport's chief football writer Phil McNulty at Nelson Mandela Bay Stadium  

    On Twitter: "Groundstaff out repairing the six-yard areas at both end of Nelson Mandela Bay Stadium. Not great."

  103. 14:54 Commentary  

    The teams are out in Port Elizabeth and Pretoria. If you could refrain from talking for a moment while we respect The Star-Spangled Banner, God Save the Queen, Zdravljica and Kassaman, I’d be ever so grateful. I’m becoming really quite fond of these tunes, you know.

  104. 14:56 Commentary  

    We're on the brink of getting under way in both Group C contests after a belting effort from the England players during the anthem - big kudos to Matty Upson, David James, John Terry and Ashley Cole there.

  105. 14:58 Commentary  

    It was a rather more sedate affair in Pretoria where the anthems of both the United States and Algeria were impeccably observed.

  106. 15:00 KICK-OFF Slovenia v England  

    By a whisker, after a delay, we are under way first in Port Elizabeth.

  107. 15:00 KICK-OFF USA v Algeria  

    A second later, we are under way in Pretoria.

  108. 606  

    From hill16: "As an Irishman I would like to take this opportunity to wish England all the very best. Hopefully they'll play like we know they can. Cheers."

  109. Contributor BBC Radio 5 live's Chris Waddle  

    "It's 4-4-2 for England. Slovenia are playing a very high tempo and put England under pressure from the whistle."

  110. 15:04 Commentary Slovenia v England  

    Glen Johnson has had a poor start, mis-kicking once and twice committing silly fouls. He is lucky to avoid yellow after bringing downm Andraz Kirm, but he won't be so fortunate next time.

  111. 15:06 HITS THE WOODWORK USA v Algeria  

    Whoosh that was close for Algeria. A long ball puts Rafik Djebbour through and from the edge of the box he clatters a shot against the bar. At the other end USA go close with Herculez Gomes's shot pushed away by Rais M Bolhi.

  112. 15:07 Commentary Slovenia v England  

    Slovenia are dangerous - no-one more so than Valter Birsa, who shoots from 20 yards and David James makes a comfortable save. They shouldn't just let him hit them from there, though.

  113. 15:09 Commentary Slovenia v England  

    England are diving in needlessly here - this time Gareth Barry is lucky to escape a booking for a lunge on Aleksandar Radosavljevic.

  114. Contributor BBC Radio 5 live's Chris Waddle Slovenia v England  

    "There are not a lot of options for England when they have the ball. It has been a very nervous start by England."

  115. Contributor BBC Sport's Mark Lawrenson  

    "My impression of England is that sometimes they're in too much of a rush to play the killer pass. Just settle down, move the ball around, and be patient England."

  116. 15:13 Commentary Slovenia v England  

    Frank Lampard tries an ambitious 35-yard free-kick, but it's safely gathered in by Slovenia keeper Samir Handanovic. That ball was moving all over the place.

  117. Contributor BBC Sport's Martin Keown USA v Algeria  

    "It's a slow start by the United States. At the moment they look a bit short on ideas whereas Algeria really look like they are going for the win."

  118. 15:15 Commentary Slovenia v England  

    England are in the ascendancy in Port Elizabeth as Steven Gerrard plays a sweeping ball out to the right to James Milner, only for the Villa man to lose possession. England are passing it a bit better, though.

  119. 15:17 Commentary Slovenia v England  

    The ball breaks to Wayne Rooney just inside the Slovenia area but instead of passing to a free James Milner on the right, he hits a shot that is deflected behind. From the corner, John Terry glances goalwards but it's past the far post.

  120. Contributor BBC Sport's chief football writer Phil McNulty at Nelson Mandela Bay Stadium  

    "Wayne Rooney has made a couple of promising contributions early on, a cross that was just headed away from Steven Gerrard and a through ball that was only inches from perfection. Rooney is under pressure to perform after a poor start to this World Cup, but hopefully these are good signs."

  121. 15:19 Commentary Slovenia v England  

    Glen Johnson cuts inside on to his left foot frm about 22 yards and his shot bounces awkwardly in front of Samir Handanovic, who makes the save. At the other end John Terry gets in a fine block as Slovenia counter.

  122. 15:20 OFFSIDE USA v Algeria  

    Clint Dempsey has the ball in the Algeria net, but it is ruled out for offside. Looked like he was level three yards out, the Fulham forward. USA coach Bob Bradley is furious on the touchline. President Bill Clinton doesn't look too fussed.

  123. 15:22 GOAL Slovenia 0-1 England  

    Has Jermain Defoe just lit the blue touch paper in England's World Cup campaign? The ball is worked to James Milner down the right and he fires over a super cross that Defoe - getting in front of his marker - meets first, volleying past Samir Handanovic, who could not stop it going into the net.

  124. 15:26 Commentary Slovenia v England  

    Almost 2-0. James Milner sends in another fine cross and Samir Handanovic can only push it away from Jermain Defoe - it falls to Frank Lampard 18 yards out, but he fires over the bar. England are buzzing.

  125. Commentary Group C as it stands:  

    England top the group, and they are going through to the last 16 with Slovenia.

  126. 15:28 Commentary USA v Algeria  

    All quiet in Pretoria at the moment, though Algeria are having slightly the better of it and look a bit sharper in the final third too.

  127. 15:29 Commentary Slovenia v England  

    England are rampant. Jermain Defoe hammers in a low shot frm 18 yards that Samir Handanovic saves and from the rebound Wayne Rooney tees up Steven Gerrard - his shot is half-saved by Handanovic and he recovers in time to turn around and pick the ball up about a yard off his line.

  128. Contributor BBC Radio 5 live's Chris Waddle  

    "England have pushed Slovenia back. Every time the ball goes into the box England look like they can score."

  129. 15:33 Commentary Slovenia v England  

    Slovenia have some possession for the first time in quite a while, a reminder to England that their lead in this one is very slender indeed.

  130. Contributor BBC Sport's Martin Keown USA v Algeria  

    "Algeria are just starting to turn it on a bit but they have to get better service to their front men if they're going to break through."

  131. 15:35 Commentary USA v Algeria  

    USA almost break through in Pretoria as Landon Donovan plays in Clint Dempsey and his shot from inside the area is well saved by Rais M Bolhi.

  132. 15:36 Commentary USA v Algeria  

    That's an amazing miss from Jozy Altidore. Landon Donovan is half-blocked by the keeper as he cuts in from the right of the area, but with Rais M Bolhi out of position, Altidore spoons haplessly over from six yards.

  133. 15:39 YELLOW CARD Slovenia v England  

    Mistakes at both ends almost let first Slovenia (because of Frank Lampard) and England (because of Marko Suler) in, but the defences recover. Slovenia's Bojan Jokic is booked for a foul on Glen Johnson and he misses the next match if they qualify.

  134. Contributor BBC Sport's Mark Lawrenson  

    "It's important for England to cruise to half-time now, no mistakes - they have played very well in this first half."

  135. 15:43 Commentary USA v Algeria  

    Karim Ziani lets fly from outside the USA area, but it's comfortably wide. Both of these teams can still go through, but they need a goal to do so.

  136. 15:44 Commentary Slovenia v England  

    Bostjan Cesar goes straight through Jermain Defoe and poleaxes the striker, but the referee waves play on. Defoe is OK, if a little incensed at his treatment.

  137. 15:45 HALF-TIME Slovenia 0-1 England  

    There's no 'I' in team, but there is a 'tea'. Stick the kettle on and put your feet up for 15 minutes.

  138. 15:46 HALF-TIME USA 0-0 Algeria  

    Goalless in Pretoria and as it stands these two teams are both heading out of the World Cup.

  139. Contributor BBC Sport's Alan Hansen  

    "With a little bit more luck the game could have been over for England. After a shaky few minutes to start with they showed what good players they are."

  140. Contributor BBC Sport's chief football writer Phil McNulty at Nelson Mandela Bay Stadium  

    "England take a deserved lead into the interval as reward for a vastly improved performance. They are playing at the higher tempo that suits them and look much more comfortable on the ball. A second goal would have relaxed them even further, but otherwise a satisfactory first 45 minutes."

  141. 606  

    From hawick: "England's half by far, but it's the oldest story of them all in football; as long as it is only 1-0, the nerves will kick in at some stage. Not over yet, this one."

  142. SMS  

    From Louis (a very worried American): "How hard done by have we been in this group? Legit goals against Slovenia and Algeria, yet both disallowed, AND going out as it stands."

  143. 15:55 Commentary USA v Algeria  

    So to summarise, it's goalless at the break in Pretoria. Algeria have adopted a patient approach to attacking while the United States have been a bit more direct. It's impossible to call who's going to win that one. Unless someone does win it, England and Slovenia are going through.

  144. Contributor BBC Sport's Roy Hodgson  

    "I thought England played extremely well - the passing, tempo of the team and discipline has all been very impressive. They should be more than 1-0 up - the England crossing has been outstanding."

  145. 16:00 Commentary Slovenia v England  

    Back under way in Port Elizabeth and within seconds of the restart Slovenia's sloppy defence allows a half-chance for Jermain Defoe, but he can only flick wide from six yards.

  146. 16:02 Commentary USA v Algeria  

    Back under way at Pretoria as well - they are two minutes and 20 seconds behind. Benny Feilhaber comes on for USA.

  147. 16:03 YELLOW CARD Slovenia v England  

    Glen Johnson gets in a promising position on the edge of the Slovenia box and he goes down - it looks like he is fouled, but instead he is booked for diving by the referee. Hmm.

  148. 16:04 OFFSIDE Slovenia v England  

    England are so close to wrapping this up - Wayne Rooney is played into the area and he squares for Jermain Defoe to tap in, but Rooney is correctly adjudged to be ahead of the last defender.

  149. Contributor BBC Radio 5 live's Chris Waddle  

    "England are playing with a good tempo and all the players want the ball."

  150. 16:08 Commentary USA v Algeria  

    Still no goals in Pretoria. USA coach Bob Bradley is breathing hard and puffing out his cheeks - it looks like the tension is getting to him.

  151. 16:09 Commentary Slovenia v England  

    England look like they might score every time they go forward and another lovely exchange of passes between Steven Gerrard and Wayne Rooney ends when Rooney loses possession on the edge of the Slovenia box. How desperate is the 24-year-old to end his seven-match drought in an England shirt? (Very)

  152. 16:11 Commentary Slovenia v England  

    Steven Gerrard is having a cracking game - he plays another stunning Hollywood pass out to the right to Glen Johnson and England are cranking up the pressure once again in Port Elizabeth.

  153. 16:12 HITS THE WOODWORK Slovenia v England  

    Gareth Barry's deep corner from the right is met by a thumping John Terry header from a couple of yards, but Samir Handanovic makes a good reflex save. Moments later Wayne Rooney somehow escapes the flag and shoots against the post from 12 yards.

  154. 16:13 HITS THE WOODWORK USA v Algeria  

    Jozy Altidore runs down the left and passes infield to Clint Dempsey - his first shot cannons back off the post and from the rebound he lashes widly wide.

  155. 16:14 Commentary Slovenia v England  

    I've done Samir Handanovic a disservice - he fingertipped Wayne Rooney's shot on to the post moments ago. Super save.

  156. Contributor BBC Sport's Martin Keown USA v Algeria  

    "I wonder if US coach Bob Bradley will switch to three at the back and push forward more. He's done it before, he isn't afraid to make changes."

  157. 16:17 SUBSTITUTION Slovenia v England  

    Slovenia take off Zlatan Ljubijankic and send on Zlatko Dedic.

  158. Contributor BBC Sport's chief football writer Phil McNulty at Nelson Mandela Bay Stadium  

    "Wayne Rooney's efforts are being rewarded with loud acclaim from England's supporters - showing there are no hard feelings following his outburst into the television cameras at the end of the Algeria draw.

    "England have picked up where they left off after the break and have been impressive, but the second goal would make life so much more comfortable. Slovenia, outplayed, still have hope."

  159. 16:19 Commentary Slovenia v England  

    England have to be careful, they have such a slender advantage despite outplaying Slovenia for so much of this match. A slip lets Valter Birsa approach the area, but his left-foot curler is tame and David James collects easily.

  160. 16:21 Commentary Slovenia v England  

    Wayne Rooney is limping.

  161. 16:22 Commentary Slovenia v England  

    My word. Slovenia counter after Gareth Barry gives the ball away and they have three shots on goal in quick succession, with John Terry and Glen Johnson getting in heroic blocks and then Valter Birsa firing wide. My heart stopped, briefly. Yours?

  162. 16:24 SUBSTITUTION USA v Algeria  

    The United States are going for it now, bringing on LA Galaxy striker Edson Buddle in place of Maurice Edu. They're pushing more men forward and Algeria don't really look like scoring. 

  163. 16:25 Commentary Slovenia v England  

    Wayne Rooney appears to be running OK now, but England are readying Joe Cole. He is still alive!

  164. 16:27 SUBSTITUTION Slovenia v England  

    Wayne Rooney is taken off by Fabio Capello and Joe Cole comes on in his place. Huge ovation for both men.

  165. 16:28 Commentary USA v Algeria  

    So close to a goal at both ends in Pretoria. Edson Buddle's close-range header is superbly saved by Rais M Bolhi before Algeria race away and Karim Ziani shoots beyond the far post when he really should have done better.

  166. 16:30 Commentary Slovenia v England  

    Squeaky bum time, definition: right now. The England fans launch into a rendition of the national anthem - their team are 15 minutes away from a place in the last 16 of the World Cup.

  167. Contributor BBC Radio 5 live's Chris Waddle  

    "Capello's actually playing Joe Cole in the hole behind Jermain Defoe."

  168. 16:33 Commentary Slovenia v England  

    England are still enjoying the lion's share of the possession, if you'll excuse the pun, but it only takes a second to score a goal so they need to be alert. My boss tells me his two-year-old son has just punched his eight-year-old sister and knocked her tooth out. World Cup tension affects everyone.

  169. 16:35 Commentary USA v Algeria  

    USA go close again as manager's son Michael Bradley fizzes in a 20-yard free-kick and Rais M Bolhi has to be on the ball to parry it away.

  170. 16:38 Commentary USA v Algeria  

    Last throw of the dice for the United States as they switch to three at the back and bring on DaMarcus Beasley in attack. Even President Clinton is biting his nails as the game enters its final 10 minutes.

  171. 16:39 SUBSTITUTION Slovenia v England  

    England have retreated a little in the last few minutes. Fabio Capello sends on Emile Heskey for goalscorer Jermain Defoe.

  172. 16:41 Commentary Slovenia v England  

    Miso Brecko hammers a right-foot shot miles and miles and miles over the England bar from 25 yards. This is almost unbearable. Up the other end and Joe Cole spanks one wide from an angle.

  173. Commentary GROUP C AS IT STANDS:  

    England will finish first, Slovenia second.

  174. 16:43 Commentary Slovenia v England  

    Pinball inside the England area, that's not pleasant viewing for anyone. A sliding Steven Gerrard makes a crucial block and eventually the danger is averted. In Pretoria, USA are taking real risks to try and get the goal that would send them through.

  175. 16:45 INJURY TIME Slovenia v England  

    The magic number in Port Elizabeth: three minutes of stoppage time. Matty Upson makes a stunning challenge to stop Zlatko Dedic from shooting. Oh my.

  176. 16:48 FULL-TIME Slovenia 0-1 England  

    They don't make it easy for their fans, do they? England are through to the last 16. Now as for Slovenia...

  177. 16:48 GOAL USA 1-0 Algeria  

    Oh Slovenia. At the exact moment the final whistle blows in Port Elizabeth, USA score in Pretoria. Jozy Altidore fires in a cross from the right and after Rais M Bolhi parries it, Landon Donovan gleefully slots the loose ball in. He is jumped on by what seems like the entire USA squad.

  178. 16:50 RED CARD USA v Algeria  

    Algerian captain Anther Yahia is shown a second yellow card for dissent. The referee's got the wrong man though, Yahia stepped in as peacemaker after Rafik Halliche had unleashed a torrent of abuse at the official. The Desert Foxes are exiting the World Cup any time now.

  179. 16:52 FULL-TIME USA 1-0 Algeria  

    That is just incredible. USA leave it until almost the last kick of the game to break Algeria's hearts and break Slovenia's hearts too. USA have gone and finished top of the group as well.

  180. 16:55 Commentary  

    England finish second in Group C and they will now face the winners of Group D (either Germany, Ghana or Serbia) on Sunday at 1500 BST in Bloemfontein - you will be able to watch or listen to that live across the BBC. As for USA, they wil play Group D's second-placed side on Saturday at 1930 BST in Rustenburg.

  181. Contributor BBC Sport's Alan Shearer  

    "It could - and should - have been 4-0 or 5-0 and then we wouldn't have been sat here sweating so much at the end!"

  182. Contributor BBC Sport's Alan Hansen  

    "As soon as England scored they were passing it better and moving it better and all of a sudden they look like a good team. With Jermain Defoe in the side they have got variation in their play."

  183. 606  

    From bluedevil: "US: Serbia + Uruguay. England: Germany + Argentina. Could the draw have been any harder? The two on form teams of the tournament!!"

  184. Contributor BBC Sport's chief football writer Phil McNulty at Nelson Mandela Bay Stadium  

    "England responded well to the pressure and produced a much-improved performance - but Landon Donovan's late winner for the United States against Algeria has changed the landscape somewhat. If England reach the last eight, they now face the prospect of facing the dangerous Argentines.

    "That is for another day - today is the time to give credit to Fabio Capello and his players after a traumatic week. Has England's World Cup started by the Indian Ocean?"

  185. Twitter  

    From Robi1993: "James Milner may have been poor against the USA, but he's was sensational today. Man of the match for me."

  186. Commentary England manager Fabio Capello:  

    "This is what I wanted to see - the spirit, see them fight together. I am really, really happy. I rediscovered the team I knew from qualification."

  187. Commentary England hero Jermain Defoe:  

    "I'm lost for words - what a moment. You dream about this as a young lad. This was a must-win game, a Cup final. To get the early goal was great."

  188. Commentary England's James Milner:  

    "The main thing is that we got through, but we know we will have to play a tough team."

  189. SMS  

    James, Winchester: "I can see Ghana holding or beating Germany this evening and I can definitely see Serbia beating the Aussies tonight... I think there's quite a good chance of Germany going out."

  190. 17:15 Commentary  

    That's your lot from me, Jonathan Stevenson in Johannesburg - I'm handing over to Sam Patrick Lyon for some more Group C reaction so I can hot-foot it to Soccer City and watch Germany-Ghana this evening. Congrats to England and USA - and also to Gemma and Jono, who had a beautiful baby boy born during the game! Defo Jermain, then...

  191. 17:17 Commentary  

    It was never in doubt was it?

  192. 17:20 Commentary  

    Well that was much more like it, wasn't it? Stevie Gerrard was immense, James Milner quality, the defence brilliant - and little Jermain Defoe the match-winner. Have England stumbled on their perfect formula? And what of the trials to come? I'm Sam Lyon and I'm with you for the next little while to get your thoughts on all things Group C. Text me on 81111 (UK) or +44 7786200666 (worldwide), Tweet me @sampatricklyon or join in on 606.

  193. SMS  

    From Chris W: "Win or lose it didn’t really matter. What we wanted to see was pride, proud to be english and to play from the heart. Mission successful, well done England. Loving you from Singapore."

  194. Twitter  

    From robantonycope: "Breathing a little easier after tense England win. Great performance, but prospect of Argentina in last eight makes our path harder."

  195. 17:28 Commentary  

    "What trials to come?" I hear the voices in my head ask. Well, on my calculations, England's run could well now look like this. Second Round: Germany. Quarter-final: Argentina. Semi-final: Spain. Final: Brazil. They will have earned it if they win it and no mistake, huh?

  196. 17:30 Commentary  

    England coach Fabio Capello has been talking to the media and has revealed Wayne Rooney was taken off midway through the second half because his ankle was "not so good". The Manchester United striker now faces a thorough medical assessment, but Don Fabio believes the 24-year-old "will be ok" for the next match on Sunday. Fingers crossed all round, yeah?

  197. Twitter  

    From supportforWales: "1-0 and everybody goes into raptures? Are Slovenia a super team then or have I missed something?!"

  198. 606  

    From John: "Laughable, totally laughable. First - the Americans, yes the Americans, are top of the group. That sums up our quality."
     

  199. Contributor BBC Sport's Harry Redknapp  

    "There wasn’t a weakness in the team tonight. I think we've got a big chance still to win the competition. It could be Germany in the next round but bring them on. I still think we can beat them. As for Jermain's goal - it was great movement, a great cross and fantastic finish. The little man has done it all his life. He has always had that natural instinct to get across defenders like all good goalscorers."

  200. SMS  

    From Anon: "I think everyone in Group D will try to avoid England in the last 16 by aiming for the runner-up spot tonight."

  201. Contributor BBC Sport's Alan Shearer  

    "We had to win the game and it was relief that we did. But the most pleasing thing was that we got a performance too."

  202. 17:40 Commentary  

    Ah, the backlash has started. Plenty of you (though by far the minority) are getting in touch in response to "everyone's over-reaction". Perhaps it's because England fans are so used to being let down at the big moments that they're enjoying the moment while they can? Perhaps it's because they witnessed a very good performance - when it mattered - tonight? Perhaps it's because England are in the second round of the World Cup and very much alive and kicking? Unfortunately, though, I cannot read minds, so I'll leave the guesswork to you lot.

  203. Twitter  

    From rosso_neri: "Fabio was utterly adorable at the end with his reaction. Love him."
    He looked a happy bunny didn't he? And a little like Postman Pat. Fair play.

  204. 17:47 Commentary  

    Our very own Brent Pilnick has been chatting to Joe Cole after that game, and the little man makes an interesting point: "Any of three teams can go through from Group D really, so maybe finishing second might actually benefit us as it’s an extra day's rest. The teams are so evenly matched in this tournament, I don’t think there's a lot in it between Ghana, Serbia and Germany."

  205. SMS  

    From Anon: "I managed to watch the first two lacklustre games but missed today's because of work and I'm at work Sunday. Maybe England will win again. Should I stay at work until after the final and live on poor coffee and cold pizza to ensure they win?"
    Anything else would be treason, I believe. Yep - just checked - treason. Stay at work mate.

  206. 17:52 Commentary  

    Right - another reality check alert I'm afraid. England have never gone past the quarter-final stage when progressing as group runners-up. The United States, meanwhile, qualify as group winners for the first time since 1930. I wonder if that's an omen for Uruguay?

  207. SMS  

    From Rob, Newbury: "No over-reaction at all. This is what was expected, it was the Algeria game which was the aberration. Spain (a super team, supportforWales) lost, Germany lost, Italy held by NZ and Paraguay - and then there was France..."

  208. Twitter  

    From TheKanMan: "Not sure if the Group D teams fear the US. They should, though - we have been showing the spirit you expect from England!"

  209. 18:00 Commentary  

    Right then, that's it from this commentary - don't forget to check out our match report - I'll be back in half an hour or so for this evening's climax to Group D. As we now know, that pair of games could have a massive affect on England's tournament - so don't you dare miss it. See you in a bit.

By Phil McNulty, Port Elizabeth

England finally made their presence felt at the World Cup by securing the win they needed over Slovenia to reach the last 16, and a clash with arch-rivals Germany on Sunday.

Jermain Defoe's close-range strike midway through the first half was enough to give Fabio Capello's side the three points they required to avoid an early departure from South Africa and finish second behind the United States in Group C.

And after the misery of Friday's draw against Algeria in Cape Town and the controversy surrounding former captain John Terry's comments about the mood in the camp, Capello will have been delighted to see England produce a hugely improved performance under pressure.

The only serious flaw in England's display was their failure to finish off Slovenia after dominating proceedings.

Slovenia keeper Samir Handanovic kept England at bay with fine saves from Defoe and Steven Gerrard - then blocked Terry's header before turning Wayne Rooney's shot on to a post after the break.

That led to a needlessly anxious final phase in a game England should have won comfortably.

The delighted reaction of Capello's players, who gathered in a celebratory huddle at the final whistle told the story - in sharp contrast to the reaction of the Slovenians, who were in despair as news filtered through of Landon Donovan's late winner for the United States against Algeria.

England's only mission was to secure the win. Now Capello and his players will hope they can make their mark in South Africa after a faltering start to their campaign.

They needed to make amends for the lifeless performance against Algeria that left them fighting to survive the group phase, and after a nervous opening Capello's changes took effect.

Defoe's goal-poaching instincts are in sharp contrast to the honest-but-blunt efforts of Emile Heskey, who he replaced in the starting line-up, and the value of such a marksman was illustrated as the Tottenham striker gave England the lead after 22 minutes.

He reacted sharply to James Milner's cross from close range, and even though Handanovic got hands on the ball, the effort carried too much power.

England, buoyed by the confidence the goal had given them, went in search of the crucial second and almost got it in a period of intense pressure that followed Defoe's strike.

Frank Lampard could not turn a loose ball in after Handanovic failed to hold Milner's cross, but the keeper then did well to deny Defoe and England captain Gerrard in quick succession.

Slovenia had given glimpses of the talent that had taken them to the top of the group after two games with Valter Birsa testing David James, but England had assumed control after the opening exchanges.

Defoe should have doubled England's advantage moments after the break, but he shot wide from only eight yards after Gareth Barry returned Handanovic's punch into the box.

England were completely on top, and only a moment of over-elaboration between Rooney and Gerrard cost them an opening they had created superbly.

The only concern about England's display was the failure to reflect their supremacy in the scoreline, with Handanovic blocking Terry's header from a Barry corner and then getting fingertips to Rooney's effort to divert it on to the woodwork from Lampard's incisive pass.

And this was giving Slovenia encouragement in a game they should have been out of, as was shown when Terry and Glen Johnson blocked from Milijove Novakovic before Birsa shot wide.

It was the signal for Capello to make a change, removing Rooney - who had been limping slightly - for Joe Cole.

And as Slovenia pushed in the closing stages, James was well protected as they closed out a victory that eased the pressure on Capello and his players.

Now their attention will turn to the clash against old adversaries Germany, who beat Ghana to finish top of Group D.

Slovenia Slovenia Flag 0-1 England Flag England FT

(HT 0-1)

 Defoe, 22

Slovenia

England

 

Substitutes:

Substitutes:

  • Venue: Nelson Mandela Bay Stadium
  • Referee: Stark
  • Attendance: 36,893
Slovenia     England
  • Possession 35%
    65%
  • Attempts on target 9
    11
  • Attempts off target 3
    3
  • Corners 2
    11
  • Fouls 15
    19

Projected table based on current scores

Group A

Group A teams P W D L F A GD PTS
Uruguay 3 2 1 0 4 0 4 7
Mexico 3 1 1 1 3 2 1 4
South Africa 3 1 1 1 3 5 -2 4
France 3 0 1 2 1 4 -3 1

Group B

Group B teams P W D L F A GD PTS
Argentina 3 3 0 0 7 1 6 9
South Korea 3 1 1 1 5 6 -1 4
Greece 3 1 0 2 2 5 -3 3
Nigeria 3 0 1 2 3 5 -2 1

Group C

Group C teams P W D L F A GD PTS
USA 3 1 2 0 4 3 1 5
England 3 1 2 0 2 1 1 5
Slovenia 3 1 1 1 3 3 0 4
Algeria 3 0 1 2 0 2 -2 1

Group D

Group D teams P W D L F A GD PTS
Germany 3 2 0 1 5 1 4 6
Ghana 3 1 1 1 2 2 0 4
Australia 3 1 1 1 3 6 -3 4
Serbia 3 1 0 2 2 3 -1 3

Group E

Group E teams P W D L F A GD PTS
Netherlands 3 3 0 0 5 1 4 9
Japan 3 2 0 1 4 2 2 6
Denmark 3 1 0 2 3 6 -3 3
Cameroon 3 0 0 3 2 5 -3 0

Group F

Group F teams P W D L F A GD PTS
Paraguay 3 1 2 0 3 1 2 5
Slovakia 3 1 1 1 4 5 -1 4
New Zealand 3 0 3 0 2 2 0 3
Italy 3 0 2 1 4 5 -1 2

Group G

Group G teams P W D L F A GD PTS
Brazil 3 2 1 0 5 2 3 7
Portugal 3 1 2 0 7 0 7 5
Ivory Coast 3 1 1 1 4 3 1 4
North Korea 3 0 0 3 1 12 -11 0

Group H

Group H teams P W D L F A GD PTS
Spain 3 2 0 1 4 2 2 6
Chile 3 2 0 1 3 2 1 6
Switzerland 3 1 1 1 1 1 0 4
Honduras 3 0 1 2 0 3 -3 1

Get involved

  • SMS: Text us on +44 7786200666
  • Twitter: Tag your tweets with #BBCWorldCup
  • 606: Comment and debate
  • World Cup Have Your Say: Join the BBC's global football conversation

BBC navigation

BBC © 2013 The BBC is not responsible for the content of external sites. Read more.

This page is best viewed in an up-to-date web browser with style sheets (CSS) enabled. While you will be able to view the content of this page in your current browser, you will not be able to get the full visual experience. Please consider upgrading your browser software or enabling style sheets (CSS) if you are able to do so.