England captain Steven Gerrard has admitted Roy Hodgson’s side blew the chance to move top of their World Cup qualification group with their second-half display in the 1-1 draw against Montenegro, ESPN
The Three Lions took an early first-half lead when Wayne Rooney headed home Gerrard’s far post corner but England failed to add to their advantage before the break, and the second-half saw the hosts come storming back into the tie.
Montenegro’s pressure eventually told and Dejan Damjanovic scored the equalising goal with 15 minutes of the match still to play, keeping Montenegro two points clear of England at the top of Group H. Both sides have four qualification games left to play while Poland and Ukraine, who are level on points below England and Montenegro, each have a game in hand.
Speaking after the match, Gerrard said: “We stopped playing after the break for 20 or 30 minutes and away from home you can’t do that. We stopped passing the ball and that’s when we lost control. I think they deserved the equaliser.”
The Liverpool skipper added that England came back into the match in the final 10 minutes of play and echoed the comments of manager Hodgson, who believes England can still qualify automatically for next year’s World Cup in Brazil.
“We’re still confident we can finish top of the group,” Gerrard said. “We need to win all our games and we certainly need to improve on the second half performance and play like we did in the first-half.
“We need to go and get three points when we go to Ukraine and we need a perfect result at home.”
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