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Slovakia v England Live Commentary, 04/09/2016

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A. Lallana (90+5)
CITY ARENA – Štadión Antona Malatinského


That's all for our live coverage from Slovakia, thanks for following along. Goodbye!
It appeared for the longest while that it was set to be a carbon copy of their scoreless draw earlier this summer, but relentless pressure paid off in the end as Slovakia's resistance was broken and England nicked the three points to kick-off their qualifying campaign in style.
Adam Lallana's last-gasp winner secures three points for England on Sam Allardyce's managerial debut agains the 10 men of Slovakia, with Martin Skrtel seeing red.
T. Hubočan
Yellow Card
Yellow card Tomáš Hubočan
A. Lallana
Yellow Card
Yellow card Adam Lallana
A. Lallana
THEY'VE DONE IT! The ball falls kindly for Lallana following a deflection off Pekarik, and he's able to turn and fire one through Kozacik at the near post! It's three points surely for Big Sam and England now! Slovakia are shattered!
All hands on deck for Slovakia in defence now! They're dropped incredibly deep as they look to see out this final press from England, and it's a relentless one! The visitors have everyone in and around the area looking to break the deadlock.
There is to be four minutes of stoppage time added on, but that figures to rise as Kozacik is down receiving treatment, running precious time off the clock from England's point of view.
FLAG IS UP AGAIN! England are off in celebration as Walcott appears to have the winner for them, but the flag is raised! The Arsenal winger appeals that it came off a Slovakian player en route to him, but their protests fall upon dead ears! It did take a slight touch off Sturridge, however, so it does appear to be the right call.
OFFSIDE! Wonderful delivery from Rooney, something we have not seen too much of tonight. He serves it up on a platter for Walcott, but the winger misses from in close, while also failing to time his run properly. The flag went up so it would not have counted had he taken the chance anyways.
John Stones? Yes, Stones. The centre-half puts together a delightful little run to open up space in the final third, before laying off for Lallana. The Liverpool attacker takes responsibility in his own hands to try and find the winning goal, but his effort from atop the area misses by inches at the far post!
STAT: England went unbeaten in qualifying for the 2014 World Cup, topping their group without a defeat through 10 matches (W6, D4).
D. Sturridge
H. Kane
Sturridge replaces Kane in England's final change of the night. It's a like-for-like swap, not exactly the most positive of switches from Big Sam.
The longer Slovakia hold out, the more belief grows in the team that they can indeed see this through despite being down a man. Sam Allardyce still has one final roll of the dice and it looks as though it's Daniel Sturridge who he wants to bring on, not Jamie Vardy.
F. Kiss
D. Švento
A final change here for Slovakia as Filip Kiss replaces Svento.
OFF THE POST! Stunning turn and strike from Lallana who has Kozacik cleanly beaten at the near post, but watches as his effort rattled off the inside of the woodwork! The rebound comes to Walcott, but he totally misfires as the chance goes begging!
STAT: Wayne Rooney is earning his 116th England cap tonight, the most for any outfield player for the national team, surpassing David Beckham (115).
F. Kubik
R. Mak
Mak is replaced by Frantisek Kubik.
Rooney's free-kick is sent crashing onto the roof of the goal from 25 yards. It's another stoppage and that will bring about the second change for Slovakia.
T. Walcott
R. Sterling
Theo Walcott enters the fray, with Sterling replaced.
HE WAS IN! The referee blows for an England free-kick atop the area, but had he waited a second longer to play advantage, he would have seen Sterling was clean through on goal!
Better, this, from England. They're getting bodies forward and starting to make this Slovakia defence work. Lallana puts a good run together to make himself available for a throughball, but the delivery from Alli has too much weight on it as Kozacik is able to come off his line and claim.
AWKWARD SAVES FOR KOZACIK! Rooney's effort from distance runs straight through on goal, catching the keeper off guard, but he manages to make the save. Pressure stays on and a Sterling effort from distance proves to be at an awkward height as Kozacik is forced to parry over the bar for a corner.
D. Alli
J. Henderson
Dele Alli replaces Henderson in Sam Allardyce's first substitution as England manager.
STAT: Slovakia are winless in their last three World Cup qualifying matches at home (D1, L2).
Well it's Slovakia who have responded well to going down a man, committing more bodies forward than they had with Skrtel on the pitch! It's a bit shocking from England at the moment, as they seem to have completely switched off following Skrtel's dismissal.
Opportunity has presented itself now for England. Up a man with just over 30 minutes to play, they can seize the initiative and go in search of all three points. Allardyce is active on his touchline, and it looks as though he's going to get a substitution ready.
SLOVAKIA DOWN TO 10 MEN! Skrtel has been flirting with disaster all night, and he's finally pushed his luck far enough. The defender does well to win the ball, but then idiotically stomps on the ankle of Kane for no apparent reason, and there's no way the referee is letting that one slide.
N. Gyömbér
V. Pečovský
First change of the night is made by Slovakia who introduce Norbery Gyomber at the expense of Pecovsky.
STAT: Slovakia finished a distant third in their qualifying group for the 2014 World Cup (behind Bosnia and Herzegovina and Greece) with just 13 points from their 10 matches.
SAFE HANDS! A stray pass allows Kane to break for England. He has a clear path to goal, but lacks the pace to stay behind the defence. Instead he's forced to cut inside and have a go at goal. It takes a hearty deflection, sailing high up into the air, but Kozacik stays with it the whole way to make the catch on the line.
There's more of an urgency about England at the start of this second half. Sterling and Lallana have swapped flanks and are seeing more of the ball as the visitors adopt a nice width to their approach.
UNLUCKY! Sterling takes a pass out on the right, cuts inside a pair of defenders to open up the angle and then tries to pick out the far corner. His shot takes a deflection and could have gone anywhere, really, but it takes it just beyond the top corner!
Here we go again!
There's a hint of deja vu about this match, as the teams head scoreless into the break at the end of a first half bereft of many scoring chances. They're not two months removed from their last meeting, which ended in a scoreless stalemate, and they're halfway to another unless someone can provide the quality needed to break this deadlock.
There will be just one minute added on at the end of this first half.
Nothing given! Skrtel, who is already on a yellow, gets trapped in a duel with Kane who tries to burst through on goal before going to ground under a bit of contact. The striker went down rather easily and theatrically, however, so it's the right decision not to send Skrtel off, but Kane should have perhaps been booked for simulation there.
STAT: England have never lost to Slovakia in four previous meetings (W3, D1).
England nearly respond! Skrtel and Hubocan get their signals crossed in the area, allowing the ball to fall incredibly kindly for Sterling, who does well to open up the angle and drag a shot across goal, but it sputters just inches beyond the far post!
MASSIVE LET OFF FOR ENGLAND! Bad mix-up on the left as Rose cannot find the ball, allowing Slovakia to pounce. Pekarik whips a brilliant ball in for Duris, who attacks it well, but the striker just can't get the touch he needs to turn it into the empty net! That had goal written all over it!
The tempo has slowed a great deal with half-time approaching. The ball is being held primarily in midfield, with the two strikers hardly seeing much of the ball. Allardyce will have a big decision to make at the interval, as to whether or not he should replace Kane or bring on a second striker for support.
This is playing out very similar to the scoreless draw these sides played out to at the Euro this summer. Chances have been few and far between, with Slovakia defending stoutly in the face of England's attack which continues to struggle to find the necessary spark.
Slovakia are on the ascendency as we pass the half-hour mark. The hosts have dug deep to find another gear as they start to press high up the pitch with England in possession. There's a real determination about them as they apply the pressure and look to win the ball back.
Just too much! Absolutely delightful running from Gregus to take on seemingly all of England as he runs half the length of the pitch before laying off for Svento. The winger tries to return the favour with a throughball, but there's too much weight on his intended delivery for Gregus as the chance goes begging.
Kane receives treatment for a while from the medical staff, while Skrtel looks on, seemingly disgusted at the time it's taking to deal with what he felt was a fairly innocuous coming together. Finally play resumes and the free-kick from Rooney is put behind for a corner.
M. Škrtel
Yellow Card
Skrtel picks up the first caution of the match as he gets his elbow up into the face of Kane.
STAT: These two sides met earlier this summer in the group stage at the European Championship, playing out to a scoreless draw in their final group match.
It's very much been a case of defence first for both sides, who are careful not to give up the opening that might lead to the game's first goal. Both sides have shown some initiative going forward, but it's clear where the priority is at the moment.
Slovakia create a half-chance atop the penalty area through Mak, but they just cannot get the shot off in the end, before England break forward in numbers. The visitors look menacing on this particular counter, but the hosts do so well to get the required bodies back to snuff it out.
Stones and Hubocan get tied up as Rooney whips a cross in, and the England centre-half seems to have his route to the ball blocked off cynically. He takes exception to the challenge from Hubocan, but the referee does not have eyes for it as he waves play on.
Lallana and Rose link-up encouragingly down the left. The Liverpool man shows great strength and persistence to keep play alive before feeding a ball through for the full-back on the overlap, but some excellent tracking from Mak sees the winger slide in and force England to settle for a corner.
England continue to enjoy the bulk of possession, but they're being kept to the perimeter by a nicely organised Slovakia side. The hosts are keeping their shape very well and they've allowed next to no space in the centre, as Kane remains incredibly isolated up top.
Rooney scissors into a wild and uncontrolled challenge in midfield on Hamsik. Both his feet were off the ground at one point, and there's really no need for that sort of tackle. He escapes with just a warning, but he will be walking a tight line from here on out.
As this match wears on, England's shape is starting to show, and it's looking more like a 4-3-3 now than a 4-2-3-1, with Rooney in midfield. The Manchester United attacker is playing much deeper than originally anticipated, which will not make some England supporters very happy.
Clumsy foul from Rose who loses his bearings as the ball is in the air and winds up clattering into Pekarik, conceding a free-kick in a threatening position on the right. Mak delivers for the hosts, but Cahill is first to it with his head.
Sterling is lively early on, getting into some good areas down the right, but his touch has let him down up to this point. Another clever switch of play picks out the Manchester City winger in acres of space, but he fails to control as it runs behind for a goal-kick.
Good early pressure from England who win the game's first corner. Rooney takes, not Kane, so Allardyce has fixed one problem already. The delivery is partially dealt with, but England keep in attack, only for Pekarik to intervene and make a strong clearance on Lallana's cross.
AND WE'RE OFF! England get us underway, in red, attacking right to left, with Slovakia in white.
Slovakia are dealt a blow as their pair of exciting wingers Vladimir Weiss and Ondrej Duda miss out on the clash due to injury. Zenit's Robert Mak and Slavia Prague's Dusas Svento are called upon to flank striker Michal Duris as a result. Marek Hamsik starts in midfield, while the experienced Martin Skrtel captains the side in defence.
Eric Dier and Jordan Henderson are the preferred duo in midfield, ahead of centre-backs Gary Cahill and John Stones, with Tottenham full-backs Kyle Walker and Danny Rose both getting the nod. New Torino loanee Joe Hart starts in goal ahead of Alex McCarthy and Tom Heaton, who have just one cap between the two of them.
Wayne Rooney's inclusion in the XI today earns him the honour of becoming England's most capped outfield player. He lines up in behind striker Harry Kane, who leads the line, flanked by Adam Lallana and Raheem Sterling.
SUBS: Novota, Dubravka, Gyomber, Kubik, Kiss, Povazanec, Pich, Sylvester, Pauschek, Stetina.
SLOVAKIA (4-5-1): Kozacik; Pekarik, Skrtel, Durica, Hubocan; Mak, Gregus, Pecovsky, Hamsik, Svento; Duris.
SUBS: Heaton, McCarthy, Smalling, Walcott, Sturridge, Jagielka, Clyne, Drinkwater, Vardy, Alli, Antonio.
ENGLAND (4-2-3-1): Hart; Walker, Cahill, Stones, Rose; Dier, Henderson; Lallana, Rooney, Sterling; Kane.
Slovakia were eliminated in the same stage at the Euro this summer as England, the last-16, losing 3-0 to Germany. It was just their second appearance at a major tournament, and boss Jan Kozak will be hoping to carry that momentum with them into this qualifying campaign, with the 2018 World Cup set to be played close to their home turf.
The former West Ham boss will aim to guide England to a sixth successive appearance in the World Cup, and he’s faced with a fairly simple group to navigate them through, at least on the surface, with Slovakia, Scotland, Slovenia, Lithuania and Malta standing in their way.
For England, tonight marks the start of a new era. Following their early and disappointing exit from this summer’s European Championships, Roy Hodgson is out as manager and Sam Allardyce is in after a long and impressive run in the Premier League.
Hello and welcome to live coverage from the Stadion Antona Malatinskeho in Trnava as Slovakia play host to England in the opening match of this 2018 World Cup qualifying group!