England require victory over Poland at Wembley on Tuesday to reach next summer's World Cup in Brazil after a convincing win against Montenegro.

Tottenham winger Andros Townsend rewarded manager Roy Hodgson's surprise decision to give him his international debut with an outstanding display that brought next summer's showpiece clearly into view.

Talk of the Townsend

Andros Townsend

"Andros Townsend was Roy Hodgson's surprise selection but he created the first goal, scored a superb third and was a real threat throughout."

England needed three points after closest Group H rivals Ukraine had earlier beaten Poland - and 22-year-old Townsend provided the inspiration following 45 minutes of goalless frustration that increased the tension inside Wembley.

Townsend's superb run helped set up Wayne Rooney's 49th-minute opener and England looked to be secure when Montenegro's Branko Boskovic sliced Danny Welbeck's cross into his own net.

Dejan Damjanovic threatened to set up an anxious finale when he pulled a goal back in a rare moment of danger from the visitors.

But it was fitting that Townsend should add his own even more significant contribution - a low, swerving finish past Montenegro keeper Vukasin Poleksic to restore England's two-goal advantage.

Daniel Sturridge's injury-time penalty put added gloss on an England performance which fully merited the outcome and will have lifted confidence ahead of another crucial Wembley meeting with old adversaries Poland, who famously blocked their path to the 1974 World Cup.

England top the group with 19 points, one ahead of Ukraine going into the final round of matches.

And, though England spirits will be high, that historic example of Polish defiance, coupled with the knowledge that Ukraine meet minnows San Marino in their final game, will leave Hodgson aware of the work to be done to clear the final hurdle.

World Cup Qualifying Group H

Played Won Points GD

England

9

5

19

+25

Ukraine

9

5

18

+16

Montenegro

9

4

15

+4

Poland

9

3

13

+8

Moldova

9

2

8

-8

San Marino

9

0

0

-45

The England boss exuded positivity in the pre-match build up and that was reflected in a bold team selection - with Townsend chosen ahead of James Milner.

Apart from very isolated moments, England spent most of the first half in Montenegro territory without being able to convert the chances that came their way.

Everton's Leighton Baines, deputising for the injured Ashley Cole, was a standout performer as the home side dominated possession and territory, creating chances for Welbeck and captain Steven Gerrard that brought saves from Poleksic.

England's best chance of the half came when Townsend's shot was pushed out by Poleksic and Rooney could only hit the outside of the post from an angle when he should have scored.

And in a frantic conclusion to the half, Welbeck saw a shot deflected wide, while Sturridge was off target and had another shot blocked.

With news of Ukraine's win against Poland confirmed during the interval, England's urgency for a goal increased - and it was Rooney who obliged four minutes after the restart.

Townsend had dream debut - Hodgson

So much of the credit must go to Townsend, who picked out Welbeck after a long, surging run down the right flank. Poleksic again failed to hold the Manchester United striker's shot and Rooney was lurking to complete the job.

The goal stung Montenegro into action and Joe Hart was forced into his first serious work of the night to turn away Damjanovic's header from Nikola Drincic's free-kick.

England's second goal had an element of farce as Boskovic turned Welbeck's effort into his own net, but that signalled Montenegro's most threatening spell of the game.

Manchester City's Stevan Jovetic struck the bar from 25 yards then Damjanovic poached a goal as he turned Fatos Beqiraj's shot past Hart.

Townsend's spectacular strike settled any nerves and Sturridge got on the scoresheet from the spot after he had been fouled by Ivan Kecojevic to complete a highly satisfactory night for Hodgson and England.

Lineup, Bookings (3) & Substitutions (6)

England

  • 01 Hart
  • 02 Walker Booked
  • 03 Baines
  • 04 Gerrard (Milner - 87' )
  • 05 Cahill
  • 06 Jagielka
  • 07 Townsend (Wilshere - 80' )
  • 08 Lampard (Carrick - 65' )
  • 09 Sturridge
  • 10 Rooney
  • 11 Welbeck

Substitutes

  • 12 Smalling
  • 13 Ruddy
  • 14 Gibbs
  • 15 Jones
  • 16 Carrick
  • 17 Milner
  • 18 Barkley
  • 19 Wilshere
  • 20 Defoe
  • 21 Lambert
  • 22 Forster

Montenegro

  • 01 Poleksic
  • 02 Pavicevic Booked (Beqiraj - 57' )
  • 04 Jovanovic
  • 18 Drincic
  • 06 Kecojevic
  • 21 Savic
  • 17 Zverotic
  • 23 Boskovic
  • 14 Damjanovic
  • 08 Jovetic (Kasalica - 81' )
  • 05 Volkov Booked (Vukcevic - 72' )

Substitutes

  • 03 Vesovic
  • 07 Vukcevic
  • 10 Delibasic
  • 11 Beqiraj
  • 12 Blazic
  • 13 Novakovic
  • 15 Krkotic
  • 16 Igumanovic
  • 19 Janjusevic
  • 22 Kasalica
Ref: Alberto Undiano Mallenco

Match Stats

Shots

27 10

On target

12 2

Corners

14 0

Fouls

8 12

Live Text Commentary

Full time

Full Time Match ends, England 4, Montenegro 1.

90:00 +3:07 Full time

Full Time Second Half ends, England 4, Montenegro 1.

90:00 +2:22 Goal scored

Goal! Goal! England 4, Montenegro 1. Daniel Sturridge (England) converts the penalty with a left footed shot to the bottom right corner.

90:00 +1:37

Penalty England. Daniel Sturridge draws a foul in the penalty area.

90:00 +1:37

Penalty conceded by Ivan Kecojevic (Montenegro) after a foul in the penalty area.

90:00 +0:51

Foul by Wayne Rooney (England).

90:00 +0:51

Elsad Zverotic (Montenegro) wins a free kick in the attacking half.

88:35

Daniel Sturridge (England) wins a free kick in the attacking half.

88:35

Foul by Stefan Savic (Montenegro).

86:40 Substitution

Substitution Substitution, England. James Milner replaces Steven Gerrard.

86:06

Offside, England. Wayne Rooney tries a through ball, but Daniel Sturridge is caught offside.

82:45

Foul by Steven Gerrard (England).

82:45

Simon Vukcevic (Montenegro) wins a free kick in the attacking half.

80:34 Substitution

Substitution Substitution, Montenegro. Filip Kasalica replaces Stevan Jovetic.

79:49

Attempt missed. Stevan Jovetic (Montenegro) right footed shot from outside the box misses to the right. Assisted by Fatos Beqiraj.

79:19 Substitution

Substitution Substitution, England. Jack Wilshere replaces Andros Townsend.

77:31 Goal scored

Goal! Goal! England 3, Montenegro 1. Andros Townsend (England) right footed shot from outside the box to the bottom right corner.

76:10

Attempt saved. Wayne Rooney (England) right footed shot from outside the box is saved in the top right corner. Assisted by Danny Welbeck.

74:29

Attempt missed. Nikola Drincic (Montenegro) right footed shot from outside the box is too high from a direct free kick.

73:46

Foul by Leighton Baines (England).

73:46

Dejan Damjanovic (Montenegro) wins a free kick in the attacking half.

73:02

Attempt saved. Daniel Sturridge (England) left footed shot from outside the box is saved in the top centre of the goal. Assisted by Danny Welbeck.

71:30 Substitution

Substitution Substitution, Montenegro. Simon Vukcevic replaces Vladimir Volkov.

70:51 Goal scored

Goal! Goal! England 2, Montenegro 1. Dejan Damjanovic (Montenegro) left footed shot from the centre of the box to the bottom left corner. Assisted by Fatos Beqiraj.

70:50

Attempt missed. Fatos Beqiraj (Montenegro) right footed shot from outside the box misses to the left. Assisted by Stevan Jovetic.

68:58

Attempt saved. Danny Welbeck (England) right footed shot from the centre of the box is saved in the bottom right corner.

68:25

Corner, England. Conceded by Vukasin Poleksic.

68:22

Attempt missed. Steven Gerrard (England) left footed shot from the centre of the box is close, but misses to the left. Assisted by Wayne Rooney.

66:29

Corner, England. Conceded by Vladimir Volkov.

65:36

Kyle Walker (England) wins a free kick in the defensive half.

65:36

Foul by Vladimir Volkov (Montenegro).

64:27 Substitution

Substitution Substitution, England. Michael Carrick replaces Frank Lampard.

63:49

Attempt missed. Frank Lampard (England) right footed shot from outside the box is high and wide to the right.

63:24

Attempt blocked. Daniel Sturridge (England) left footed shot from outside the box is blocked. Assisted by Steven Gerrard.

62:50

Stevan Jovetic (Montenegro) hits the bar with a right footed shot from outside the box. Assisted by Fatos Beqiraj.

62:36

Foul by Frank Lampard (England).

62:36

Nikola Drincic (Montenegro) wins a free kick in the defensive half.

61:21 Goal scored

Goal! Own Goal by Branko Boskovic, Montenegro. England 2, Montenegro 0.

60:14

Offside, England. Wayne Rooney tries a through ball, but Daniel Sturridge is caught offside.

59:06

Attempt saved. Andros Townsend (England) left footed shot from the right side of the box is saved in the bottom right corner. Assisted by Leighton Baines.

58:34

Corner, England. Conceded by Milan Jovanovic.

57:16

Corner, England. Conceded by Elsad Zverotic.

56:43 Substitution

Substitution Substitution, Montenegro. Fatos Beqiraj replaces Savo Pavicevic.

55:42

Danny Welbeck (England) wins a free kick on the right wing.

55:42

Foul by Nikola Drincic (Montenegro).

54:58

Offside, Montenegro. Stevan Jovetic tries a through ball, but Dejan Damjanovic is caught offside.

54:44

Attempt saved. Dejan Damjanovic (Montenegro) header from the centre of the box is saved in the bottom right corner. Assisted by Nikola Drincic with a cross.

54:04 Booking

Booking Kyle Walker (England) is shown the yellow card for a bad foul.

54:02

Foul by Kyle Walker (England).

54:02

Stevan Jovetic (Montenegro) wins a free kick on the left wing.

52:48 Booking

Booking Vladimir Volkov (Montenegro) is shown the yellow card.

52:36

Frank Lampard (England) wins a free kick in the defensive half.

52:36

Foul by Branko Boskovic (Montenegro).

51:40

Offside, Montenegro. Vukasin Poleksic tries a through ball, but Stevan Jovetic is caught offside.

49:36 Booking

Booking Savo Pavicevic (Montenegro) is shown the yellow card for a bad foul.

49:28

Danny Welbeck (England) wins a free kick in the defensive half.

49:28

Foul by Savo Pavicevic (Montenegro).

47:57 Goal scored

Goal! Goal! England 1, Montenegro 0. Wayne Rooney (England) left footed shot from very close range to the centre of the goal following a fast break.

47:55

Attempt saved. Danny Welbeck (England) right footed shot from the centre of the box is saved in the bottom right corner.

45:59

Attempt blocked. Dejan Damjanovic (Montenegro) right footed shot from outside the box is blocked. Assisted by Stevan Jovetic.

45:00

Second Half begins England 0, Montenegro 0.

45:00 +0:15 Half time

Half Time First Half ends, England 0, Montenegro 0.

44:30

Corner, England. Conceded by Savo Pavicevic.

44:28

Attempt blocked. Daniel Sturridge (England) right footed shot from the right side of the six yard box is blocked. Assisted by Wayne Rooney with a cross.

43:28

Attempt missed. Daniel Sturridge (England) left footed shot from the centre of the box is high and wide to the left. Assisted by Steven Gerrard with a cross following a corner.

43:04

Corner, England. Conceded by Nikola Drincic.

43:00

Attempt blocked. Danny Welbeck (England) right footed shot from outside the box is blocked. Assisted by Daniel Sturridge.

40:54

Corner, England. Conceded by Branko Boskovic.

40:04

Foul by Andros Townsend (England).

40:04

Vladimir Volkov (Montenegro) wins a free kick in the defensive half.

39:23

Wayne Rooney (England) hits the right post with a right footed shot from a difficult angle on the right.

39:21

Attempt saved. Andros Townsend (England) left footed shot from outside the box is saved in the bottom right corner. Assisted by Wayne Rooney.

37:45

Attempt saved. Steven Gerrard (England) right footed shot from outside the box is saved in the bottom right corner. Assisted by Wayne Rooney.

35:46

Attempt missed. Gary Cahill (England) header from the centre of the box misses to the left. Assisted by Frank Lampard with a cross following a corner.

35:30

Corner, England. Conceded by Vladimir Volkov.

35:03

Corner, England. Conceded by Elsad Zverotic.

32:44

Corner, England. Conceded by Vukasin Poleksic.

32:41

Attempt saved. Steven Gerrard (England) right footed shot from outside the box is saved in the bottom right corner. Assisted by Leighton Baines.

31:08

Offside, Montenegro. Nikola Drincic tries a through ball, but Branko Boskovic is caught offside.

30:33

Foul by Gary Cahill (England).

30:33

Stevan Jovetic (Montenegro) wins a free kick in the attacking half.

29:30

Gary Cahill (England) wins a free kick in the defensive half.

29:30

Dangerous play by Stevan Jovetic (Montenegro).

28:51

Attempt missed. Danny Welbeck (England) with an attempt from the centre of the box is close, but misses to the left. Assisted by Leighton Baines with a cross following a corner.

28:27

Corner, England. Conceded by Ivan Kecojevic.

27:01

Attempt blocked. Stevan Jovetic (Montenegro) right footed shot from outside the box is blocked. Assisted by Vladimir Volkov.

26:10

Hand ball by Frank Lampard (England).

25:26

Attempt missed. Daniel Sturridge (England) left footed shot from outside the box is high and wide to the left. Assisted by Kyle Walker.

23:32

Wayne Rooney (England) wins a free kick in the attacking half.

23:32

Foul by Elsad Zverotic (Montenegro).

23:03

Attempt missed. Elsad Zverotic (Montenegro) right footed shot from more than 35 yards is high and wide to the right.

22:17

Corner, England. Conceded by Vukasin Poleksic.

22:14

Attempt saved. Danny Welbeck (England) right footed shot from a difficult angle on the left is saved in the bottom left corner. Assisted by Leighton Baines.

21:07

Frank Lampard (England) wins a free kick in the defensive half.

21:07

Foul by Elsad Zverotic (Montenegro).

18:08

Attempt missed. Steven Gerrard (England) right footed shot from outside the box is high and wide to the right. Assisted by Frank Lampard.

15:47

Offside, Montenegro. Stevan Jovetic tries a through ball, but Dejan Damjanovic is caught offside.

14:07

Andros Townsend (England) wins a free kick in the attacking half.

14:07

Foul by Stevan Jovetic (Montenegro).

13:36

Attempt missed. Stevan Jovetic (Montenegro) right footed shot from outside the box misses to the left. Assisted by Nikola Drincic.

12:38

Phil Jagielka (England) wins a free kick in the attacking half.

12:38

Foul by Stevan Jovetic (Montenegro).

11:18

Attempt blocked. Andros Townsend (England) left footed shot from outside the box is blocked. Assisted by Wayne Rooney.

10:10

Attempt missed. Daniel Sturridge (England) right footed shot from the centre of the box is high and wide to the right.

7:17

Corner, England. Conceded by Ivan Kecojevic.

7:14

Attempt blocked. Wayne Rooney (England) right footed shot from outside the box is blocked. Assisted by Steven Gerrard.

4:19

Offside, England. Leighton Baines tries a through ball, but Wayne Rooney is caught offside.

2:59

Corner, England. Conceded by Stefan Savic.

2:07

Attempt missed. Danny Welbeck (England) left footed shot from outside the box is high and wide to the left. Assisted by Frank Lampard.

1:22

Frank Lampard (England) wins a free kick in the attacking half.

1:22

Foul by Branko Boskovic (Montenegro).

0:00

First Half begins.

0:00

Lineups are announced and players are warming up.

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