Marcus Rashford bounces back against Slovakia and England grab the win

Posted September 05, 2017

Marcus Rashford's superb second-half strike earned England a 2-1 comeback victory over Slovakia on Monday that put them on the verge of qualification for next year's World Cup finals.

In the Group F World Cup Qualifying UEFA, the team England and Slovakia are in the first and second place in the standing table.

The Tottenham Hotspur player raised his middle finger during the 77th minute of Monday's game at Wembley, which England won 2-1, and there were claims it was directed at French referee Clement Turpin.

The Manchester United forward had given the ball away with a run in his own half for Stanislav Lobotka's opening goal, but recovered to set up Eric Dier's equaliser and then hit the second-half victor.

Yet, Southgate has plenty to consider ahead of not just the next group of qualifying games, but what is now an inevitable appearance at the World Cup next summer.

Dier said: "It was not so good to begin with, but it got better!"

As the 60th minute approached, the game was left for Rashford to score his first goal for England at Wembley and make atonement for his earlier mistake.

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"Before the double-header against Slovenia and England, we wanted to have the situation in our own hands before the last two games and we still have the situation in our own hands", he said. "Marcus Rashford showed, like the rest of the team, great character. At times he has to do better but his work on the ball, the maturity of his performance and his ability to go past people was devastating to the opposition and lifted the whole crowd".

Slovakia felt the home team should have been reduced to 10 men just before half-time when Vladimir Weiss skipped away from Gary Cahill and ran towards the goal one-on-one, only for Kyle Walker to take his opponent clean out without winning any of the ball.

Northern Ireland's 2-0 win over the Czech Republic in Belfast secured at last second place in Group C. Germany would need to lose both of its remaining games to surrender the top spot. We've got some exciting players and we want to go and show that.

"That's what we've got to keep developing".

England manager Southgate said Kane is determined to match the feats of Real Madrid star Ronaldo and Barcelona's Messi, who share nine Ballon d'Or awards between them. "I think they've got a very good manager who is willing to try new things".

"That was something special at home today", Werner said.

Such praise is unlikely to get to the Manchester United centre-back's head, though, and nor is the supporter angst displayed in Malta.