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Full-time: Slovakia 0-1 England

  • Adam Lallana scored his first international goal with the last kick of the game.
  • Martin Skrtel is sent off after stamping on Harry Kane.
  • Adam Lallana hit the post in the second half.
  • Theo Walcott had a goal disallowed for offside in added time.

Full-time: Slovakia 0-1 England

All over and Sam Allardyce starts his tenure as the England manager with a win. In truth, it was another uninspiring performance - but England have the three points and start the group with a win.

Big Sam's honeymoon will continue for another 90 minutes at least. Thanks for joining our live coverage of the game - and be sure to check out IBTimes UK for post-match coverage.

Adam Lallana
Adam Lallana proved to be the hero for England Getty Images

GOAL: Slovakia 0-1 England (Lallana)

Amazing! Adam Lallana has his first international goal in the most dramatic of circumstances!

The Liverpool man squeezes the ball through the keeper's legs from close range to send the team into delirium. The Three Lions were pressing and pressing and pressing and finally, Lallana found the all-important goal with seconds remaining.


England have the ball in the net - but it won't count! Theo Walcott is judged to be offside after poking home from close range.

Struridge had the ball in the box and it somehow found its way to the Arsenal star. England claim it came off a Slovakia defender. I'm not sure.

Anyway, we're into four added minutes.

We're almost into added time now, as Sturridge selfishly shoots from distance. England have looked as poor tonight as they did at the Euros - and Big Sam is furiously chewing on his gum now.

Dele Alli
Dele Alli dribbles with the ball Getty Images

Slovakia are starting to waste time now, knowing they are painfully close to securing a potentially priceless point.

From England's latest attack, Theo Walcott sends a right-footed effort wide. He was offside, though, so it didn't matter.

England have a freekick on their left flank. Rooney is the man stood over it, but Stones cannot get his head on it.

Then, on the other wing, Walcott sends over a pinpoint cross to Sturridge but his efforts goes wide of the post. England (and Big Sam) are running out of time.

The England bench look frustrated
The England bench look frustrated Getty Images

Wayne Rooney goes down in the box, but nothing is doing. Rightly so, too, because Rooney threw himself to the ground, desperately looking for a penalty kick.

Wayne Rooney
Wayne Rooney gets some instructions from the touchline Getty Images

Daniel Sturridge is coming on now, meaning we won't be seeing anything of Jamie Vardy this evening. Harry Kane is the man who makes way.

There are ten minutes left in Slovakia.

Harry Kane
Harry Kane tries to fashion a chance for England Getty Images

From nowhere, Lallana almost breaks his international duck with a spectacular effort from distance that rebounds back off the near post. The ball subsequently falls to Walcott, who skews his effort well wide.

That's the closest England have come and while they're not exactly Brazil 1970, this is better. They're knocking on the door after 80 minutes of utter dross.

Tick-tcck, tick-tock ... time is fast running out for England here. Remember, they're playing against a pretty modest side, who have been reduced to ten men.

This isn't how Big Sam will have dreamed of starting his rein as England boss.

Frustrations show on the touchline
Frustrations show on the touchline Getty Images

Back on the pitch, meanwhile, and Wayne Rooney is stood over a freekick around 30 yards from goal. England's all-time top scorer hits it with his right foot, but he cannot dip it below the bar. A good effort, mind you.

Alli is brought down and a freekick is awarded, even though England wanted to play advantage.

Anyway, Allardyce has played his second sub - and it's not the one I suspected. Theo Walcott replaces Raheem Sterling.

England are cranking up the pace a bit now, without creating too many clear-cut chances. Slovakia have 20-odd minutes to survive.

Rooney finds Alli in the box, and his effort ultimately goes behind for another England corner... again, nothing comes of it. England are desperate for a bit of inspiration. Time for Vardy or Sturridge, surely.

Martin Skrtel
Martin Skrtel sees red Getty Images

Alli is playing ahead of Rooney, who is appearing in an attacking midfield role now. What happened to Rooney playing where he lines up for Manchester United? *sighs*

Raheem Sterling
Raheem Sterling bemoans a mistake Getty Images

With just over an hour gone, Big Sam is set to make his first change. Dele Alli it is, who takes the place of Jordan Henderson. We'll wait to see what that means for England's formation.

Sam Allardyce
Sam Allardyce cuts a frustrated figure Getty Images

RED CARD: Skrtel

It's been an accident waiting to happen. Martin Skrtel goes for a second yellow after another clash with Harry Kane.

He tackled the Tottenham man and then when Kane was lying on the ground, Skrtel decided to stamp on him. Madness, that, and this game is England's to win now.

Martin Skrtel
Martin Skrtel was involved in an ongoing battle with Harry Kane Getty Images

Skrtel commits another rash challenge. He could be in trouble here ... but no, there's still no second yellow for the former Liverpool man.

The resulting freekick is met by Henderson at the back post, though he can't find a teammate in the middle.

Harry Kane
Harry Kane was caught by Martin Skrtel Getty Images

This isn't great at the moment from England. Slovakia are hardly worldbeaters... There latest effort, from Harry Kane, is deflected into the arms of the goalkeeper.

No signs of a subs yet, though.

A Sterling shot is deflected wide in the early stages of the second half. England now seem to be playing more of a 4-2-3-1, with Kane playing ahead of Rooney.

Right then, the players are back out and we're under way in England's first World Cup qualifier.

Sterling is already on the left and Lallana on the right. I'll keep my eyes peeled for any further changes.

Gary Cahill battles for the ball
Gary Cahill battles for the ball Getty Images

It's been an all-too-familiar tale for England fans. The Three Lions have seen plenty of the ball, but it's all a bit slow and lacking inspiration.

Wayne Rooney is playing far, far, far too deep. Surely Sam has to tell him to get closer to Harry Kane. I hate to labour the point, but it's become a huge issue for this team. At times, he is dropping back between the centre-backs.

Sam Allardyce
Sam Allardyce issues instructions from the touchline Getty Images

Half-time: Slovakia 0-0 England

So, 45 minutes have come and gone - and in truth, not much has happened. Harry Kane had a decent opening and Martin Skrtel was lucky not to be awarded a second yellow card - but it's all been pretty tedious stuff from England.

Must do better, a school report would read. What magic can Big Sam weave at half-time? The Three Lions have good attacking options on the bench, though, not - of course - Marcus Rashford, who would offer something different.

Marcus Rashford
Marcus Rashford has been selected in the England under-21 squad Getty Images

Kane is brought down by Skrtel, but the ref opts not to award a foul. England are furious, because the ex-Liverpool man would surely have been sent off if that was a foul.

He has already been booked, remember, and that foul merited a second yellow.

Kane takes a shot from distance that deflects behind for a corner, which is headed clear for an England throw.

These last few minutes have been better, though. England are finally looking to penetrate the Slovakia defence - it's not before time, too.

Raheem Sterling
Raheem Sterling shows his frustration during the game Getty Images

Ha! Well, just as I type that, Danny Rose makes a hash of a clearance and the ball is slid across the England box ... but no-one can turn it home. The first warning sign for the Three Lions, that.

And then up the other end, the ball falls to Raheem Sterling in the area, but his right-footed effort is dragged across the face of the goal. Everyone has woken up!

England's coaching staff watch on
England's coaching staff watch on Getty Images

Remember Sam Allardyce saying he'd take a point from this game? Well, it's certainly there to win if he's willing to risk conceding a goal. As it stands, this is all pretty uninspiring stuff.

Wayne Rooney
Wayne Rooney battles for the ball in midfield Getty Images

Slovakia win their first corner of the game, but there's a foul and England survive. Gosh, this is tepid stuff at the moment. A sign of things to come under Big Sam? Let's hope not...

We've played 30 minutes in Slovakia and besides that chance for Harry Kane, not much has happened. There's a sort of pre-season vibe to all of this.

Rooney has to move further forward. He's often deeper than the rest of England's midfielders, which is unlikely to be where Big Sam wants to see him.

Sam Allardyce
Sam Allardyce comes to the touchline Getty Images

England are huffing and puffing a lot at the moment. They're not exactly blowing the house down, though.

To my mind, Rooney is dropping too deep. He needs to get closer to Harry Kane to really exert his influence.

Henderson threads the ball through to Raheem Sterling but he fails to control the ball and it dribbles off the field. England are starting to string one or two moves together, though.

Skrtel has been booked, by the way, after catching Kane in the face with a stray arm. That seemed a bit harsh, in my opinion.

The first opening of the match falls to Harry Kane, who completely miss-kicks Kyle Walker's right-wing cross. The Spurs striker should have done much better from that position. Kane's wait for a goal goes on, then.

Kyle Walker
Kyle Walker on the ball for England Getty Images

John Stones hesitates on a loose ball and gives away a cheap freekick. A good position for the hosts, this, but it comes to nothing and Joe Hart is still waiting to make his first save.

It's been a typical Sam Allaryce-coached performance so far. England appear well organised, but are lacking some inspiration.

Another England corner comes and goes without anything happening - and the wait for a chance goes on.

Sam Allardyce
Sam Allardyce during his first game as England manager Getty Images

There are a noticeable number of empty seats in the stadium but England's fans are in good voice. There are around 2,000 of them in Slovakia for the game.

I say that because, in all honesty, there's not much happening out on the pitch.

Perhaps it's because of the stonking weather or because of the size of this stadium, but it all feels a little low-key in the opening stages. There's yet to be a tackle or a chance of note.

Well, I say that, Rooney now loses the ball and then lunges into a tackle and he's lucky to escape a booking, in truth.

Rooney, by the way, appears to be playing more as a left-sided midfielder in a three-man system, rather than a conventional number ten. I'll keep an eye out to see whether that changes as the match progresses.

Sam Allardyce
Sam Allardyce recently named Wayne Rooney as his captain Getty Images

Slovakia win a freekick on the right, but Cahill manages to head it clear, before Sterling is illegally brought to his knees.

Seconds later, Joe Hart deals poorly with a ball at his feet. That is apparently the reason Pep Guardiola doesn't fancy the England number one.

Rooney drifts a ball over to the right - but Raheem Sterling's first touch lets him down and Slovakia can breathe easily.

The England team pre-match
The England team pre-match Getty Images

In the early stages, England have Raheem Sterling wide on the right and Adam Lallana on the left. Wayne Rooney is playing as an attacking midfielder of sorts, dropping deep to get involved in the play.

The England fans are making a right old noise in their corner of the ground. England win a corner - and, thankfully, it's not Harry Kane who is taking it.

Instead, it's the skipper Wayne Rooney, but his effort is headed clear of danger. A decent-ish start from Allardyce's side, though.

Sam Allardyce
Sam Allardyce watches from the touchline Getty Images

England emerge from a pre-match huddle and get the game under way in a warm and humid Slovakia.

The Three Lions are wearing their striking red stripe. Here we go...

Wayne Rooney
Wayne Rooney leads England out Getty Images

Kick-off is seconds away. Just before we get to that, here's a quick reminder of the team news:

Slovakia: Kozacik, Pekarik, Skrtel, Durica, Hubocan, Mak, Gregus, Pecovsky, Hamsik, Svento, Duris.

Subs: Novota, Gyomber, Kubik, Kiss, Povazanec, Pich, Sylvestr, Pauschek, Stetina, Dubravka.

England: Hart, Walker, Cahill, Stones, Rose, Henderson, Dier, Sterling, Rooney, Lallana, Kane.

Subs: Heaton, Smalling, Walcott, Sturridge, Jagielka, Clyne, Drinkwater, Vardy, Alli, Antonio, McCarthy.

Jamie Vardy
Jamie Vardy is on the bench for England Getty Images

The national anthems have come and gone and now it's time for the serious business. England's quest for World Cup glory starts here...

It'll be interesting to see where Wayne Rooney lines up today. He's played various roles over the last few months and despite being the most experienced player in this side, there remains much debate about where he is best used.

Wayne Rooney
Wayne Rooney warms up Getty Images

The crowd is filling up nicely now and there's not long to wait until kick-off in England's World Cup 2018 qualifying campaign.

Jamie Vardy
Jamie Vardy during the warm-up Getty Images

It's a big day, too, for Harry Kane, who endured a difficult Euro 2016 - and has also made an underwhelming start to the season. With the likes of Jamie Vardy, Daniel Sturridge and others vying for selection, Kane could do with a goal today.

Harry Kane
Harry Kane comes out to warm-up Getty Images

Around 30 minutes until kick-off, then, and the players are busily going through their preparations. Just in case you missed it earlier, eight England players start who began against Iceland.

Roy Hodgson
Roy Hodgson resigned after losing to Iceland Getty Images

Is Sam Allardyce the right man for England?

Since his appointment, there has been much chatter about whether Big Sam is the right man for England. Ahead of the game, he's been making some eye-catching comments.

"Everyone will want us to win. Some will expect us to win but I don't think it will be that easy based on Slovakia's record," he recently said.

"Winning is what we want. If the nation thinks that's the only thing we can have to make us feel better, we'll try. But personally, if we get a draw from the most difficult game of the group, I'll be happy."

I'm not sure that's what England fans will want to hear, to be frank.

An England fan inside the ground
An England fan inside the ground Getty Images

Speaking of Euro 2016 ... these two teams played out a tame 0-0 draw during the group stages in France. The Three Lions opted to rest a number of players for that match and dominated for long periods - but were unable to find the net.

The mascots prepare for the game
The mascots prepare for the game Getty Images

The first few minutes of this game ought to give us some idea as to the mindset of the England players. Will there be a hangover from the Euro 2016 debacle? Or has a line been drawn under their summer nightmare?

Sam Allardyce's job is, of course, to ensure that the players perform with the same freedom they do for their clubs. There is pressure, too, to try to play with a certain style, or Allardyce's honeymoon period may be short-lived.

England endured a miserable Euro 2016 Getty

This is England's toughest-looking fixture of their World Cup qualifying campaign. That being the case, Allardyce has already admitted he would be happy to accept a point this afternoon/evening.

The ex-Sunderland boss has also admitted to some pre-match nerves. "I think in every new job you get you're nervous," he said. "But you're hoping the players will do the talking for you, that when they walk over that white line they'll deliver what we all want and that's the victory.

"I'll be very nervous in the early part, the build-up, but once the game starts that leaves me and the focus on the match comes in. I don't hear the crowd around me, I just see how team is doing and what I need to communicate."

The England players before kick-off
The England players before kick-off Getty Images

A big day for Wayne Rooney, this. He is set to become England's most-capped outfield player, but he is also a man under extreme pressure for his position in the side.

England fans will be hoping he can rekindle some of his old magic this afternoon, because the last thing the Three Lions need is another demoralising defeat.

Ahead of today's game, my colleague George Flood has been taking a closer look at what the Allardyce era might bring.

More of the same, or the start of something special? I'll let George inform you.

The scene before kick off
The scene before kick off Getty Images

Recently, Wayne Rooney announced he plans to quit international football in 2018.

The 30-year-old striker has been retained as the Three Lions skipper by new boss Sam Allardyce, but revealed he intends to leave the international scene for good in two years' time.

The record-breaking star says the tournament in Russia would be "a good time to finish".

Wayne Rooney
Wayne Rooney revealed his decision during an England news conference Getty Images

Breaking team news:

Sam Allardyce, as expected, has retained faith with the likes of Wayne Rooney and Harry Kane, while John Stones is handed a start in defence.

Rooney wins his 116th cap, meaning he is now the most-capped outfield player in England history.

England: Hart; Walker, Cahill, Stones, Rose; Dier, Henderson; Lallana, Rooney, Sterling; Kane

Good afternoon and welcome to IBTimes UK's live coverage of England's opening World Cup qualifier against Slovakia.

The Three Lions crashed out of Euro 2016 in memorably miserable fashion, losing to Iceland. How will the newly-appointed Sam Allardyce improve things? We're about to find out.

Team news to follow...

Sam Allardyce
Sam Allardyce is preparing to take charge of England for the first time in Slovakia Matthew Lewis/Getty Images