Heroes of 2018: England's World Cup Story

Heroes of 2018: England's World Cup Story

Heroes of 2018: England's World Cup Story

From glorious highs to agonising lows, take a look back at a tournament that exceeded expectations and restored the faith of a nation.

United Kingdom
Future Publishing Ltd
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₹ 700.23

in this issue

1 min.
england’s world cup story

As tournaments go, the 2018 FIFA World Cup turned out to be a classic. For a nation that had suffered relentless disappointment and heartache, there seemed to be very little to get excited about as Gareth Southgate’s young team headed to Russia. But slowly, steadily, that all changed. It turned out to be the summer we fell back in love with the national team. Records were broken, ghosts laid to rest, and a spirit shown that we hadn’t seen for decades. This was a tournament to remember, one to look back on with joy and renewed hope. And a young team that made us believe that maybe – just maybe – football will one day come back home.…

1 min.
road to the world cup

England headed into 2018 FIFA World Cup qualification on the back of a humiliating elimination at the hands of Iceland at Euro 2016. Having been in charge since 2012, Roy Hodgson decided it was time to step down following the defeat and was replaced by Sunderland manager Sam Allardyce. And Big Sam couldn’t have asked for a more favourable route to the World Cup finals. Group F saw England pitted against Slovakia, Slovenia, Malta Lithuania and traditional rivals Scotland. While they would kick off their campaign with a tricky away tie against Slovakia, most fans and pundits saw this as a group England should have little difficulty in overcoming despite their setback against Iceland. In the run-up to the campaign, the poor form and advancing years of England’s all-time leading scorer…

1 min.
slovakia 0-1 england

HT 0-0 FT 0-1 Lallana (90+5’) Sam Allardyce’s brief reign as England manager got off to a winning start, but it wasn’t plain sailing in England’s first qualifier. The big news before the game included a recall to the squad for Theo Walcott, along with Allardyce’s insistence on playing captain Wayne Rooney as a striker. Lallana went close, hitting the post and forcing a save from Kozácik, but this was an England side devoid of confidence and vigour. Kane looked a forlorn figure up top, and Rooney drifted in closer to Dier and Henderson in the middle in an attempt to control possession. With former Liverpool defender Martin Skrtel dismissed after the break for a second yellow card, England failed to make the numerical advantage count for much of the second…

1 min.
england 2-0 malta

Sturridge (29') Alli (38') HT 2-0 FT 2-0 The build-up to England's second qualifier was turbulent. After one match in charge, Sam Allardyce left the England manager's job. Under-21s manager Gareth Southgate was thrust into the hot seat on a temporary basis, and promised bravery. The big news was that Southgate led with Daniel Sturridge in attack and retained Rooney in a midfield role, just as he'd played under Allardyce. England looked positive and made their breakthrough just before the half-hour mark, as Sturridge nodded on Jordan Henderson's cross to repay the interim manager's faith. It wasn't long before Tottenham's Dele Alli doubled the tally, who toe-poked the ball into the top corner after the Malta keeper saved his first attempt. England dictated play for much of the second half, with Rooney and…

1 min.
slovenia 0-0 england

HT 0-0 FT 0-0 Despite being the talk of the team for much of the qualifying campaign, it was goalkeeper Joe Hart that earned England a point away to Slovenia, to continue their unbeaten run. Hart perhaps had a point to prove after being banished on loan to Serie A side Torino by Manchester City’s new boss Pep Guardiola upon arrival. Hart kept England in the Slovenia match with a slew of saves though, bailing out Eric Dier and Jordan Henderson after the pair both gave the ball away to Josip Ilicic. Jesse Lingard forced a good save from Jan Oblak in the hosts’ goal, but it was Slovenia who had the better of the play, with Jasmin Kurtić coming closest after hitting the post. Both sides were very wasteful, but it was…

1 min.
england 3-0 scotland

Sturridge (23’) Lallana (50’) Cahill (61’) HT 1-0 FT 3-0 It’s the oldest rivalry in international football, and it’s not lost any of its intensity in over 125 years. For Gareth Southgate, this was a fantastic opportunity to show that he was the right man to take England forward in the long-term, and a convincing win would certainly help that cause. England led after just 23 minutes, as Liverpool striker Daniel Sturridge met Kyle Walker’s cross to spin a header past Craig Gordon in the Scotland goal. Sturridge’s club mate Adam Lallana doubled the lead in the second half, but not before Scotland had put the England defence under considerable pressure, with a number of chances that lacked end product. The victory was sealed a little over ten minutes later. Chelsea centre…