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England qualify for 2018 World Cup after predictably dour win over Slovenia

07 October 2017
England qualify for 2018 World Cup after predictably dour win over Slovenia

England host Slovenia at Wembley knowing that a win will ensure automatic qualification to next summer's World Cup, but the Three Lions could also earn a ticket to Russian Federation if they draw against Slovenia and away against Lithuania on Sunday (8 October).

England had to rely on a late Harry Kane goal to bail out another lacklustre performance, but the win does mean that the Three Lions' place in Russian Federation is confirmed.

"Let's go and get the ball forward and play at 100mph like we do in the Premier League and teams won't be able to cope with us. I thought we did well and we managed to get that win", Lawrence, 23, told Sky Sports. "If you look at the average age of teams that win World Cups we're about three to four years younger than that".

"But we stuck at it and it's not a coincidence that we keep scoring late goals".

"They might not have the numbers, but when they put 16 or 17 together, they've got a right good side".

Following Denmark's 1-0 win in Montenegro, Poland leads by three points over Denmark, and it needs a point from the last-round match on Sunday against Montenegro in Warsaw to automatically qualify as the group victor.

"We want the crowd to be excited with what they're watching". We're full of admiration for the guy who calls it a good eight seconds before it crosses the line.

Southgate's side, 13th in the Federation Internationale de Football Association rankings and 38 places above opponents Slovenia, dominated possession but struggled to create and ceded the first opportunity to the visitors, with Josip Ilicic's penalty appeal turned down after contact was made by Joe Hart.

"We are having to find ways to win by being a bit more savvy because things are not flowing", said Southgate.

England have qualified for every World Cup since 1998 but have struggled to make an impact at the tournaments themselves, with their best performances coming in South Korea/Japan in 2002 and Germany in 2006, when they reached the quarter-finals.

"The guys were brilliant today, we wore them down".

Six additional minutes were played at the end of the 90, and England found the back of the net in the fourth of those as Kane tucked a low Walker cross into the back of the net to secure a seventh Group F victory for the Three Lions. "We are really happy".