England win crucial qualifier

England won their World Cup qualifier against Montenegro to keep on track for a guaranteed place in Rio next summer. Andros Townsend scored a spectacular goal on his debut.

England win 4-1 to wrestle back World Cup destiny

Andros Townsend capped a man of the match debut performance with the third goal for England. Credit: Jonathan Brady/PA Wire

England remain in control of their World Cup destiny after a 4-1 victory over Montenegro in the qualifier at Wembley.

An early second half strike from Wayne Rooney and a comical own goal put Roy Hodgson's team in charge after Ukraine had briefly topped Group H with an earlier home win over Poland.

Montenegro pulled a goal back through Dejan Damjanovic but a long-range goal from debutant Andros Townsend and Daniel Sturridge's late penalty secured the win.

The result means a win at home to Poland on Tuesday night will confirm England's place at next summer's tournament in Rio de Janeiro.

Go to ITV Football for post-match coverage and video highlights of the game

Rooney puts England ahead in crucial qualifier

Wayne Rooney swept in the opening goal at Wembley from a chance that was born out of a strong run down the right flank from Andros Townsend. Credit: Jonathan Brady/PA Wire

Wayne Rooney has struck three minutes into the second half of England's crunch World Cup qualifier to break the deadlock against Montenegro.

The striker scored from close range after Danny Welbeck's shot was parried in the six yard box.

England need to win to remain in control of their fate going into the final night of qualifiers on Tuesday after Ukraine earlier defeated Poland to temporarily top Group H.

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Pressure rises on England after Ukraine win

Wayne Rooney had England's best chance of a frustrating first half but shot wide. Credit: Nick Potts/PA Wire

England must score in the second half of their World Cup qualifier against Montenegro to keep on track for a guaranteed place in Rio next summer after a goalless first half at Wembley.

Ukraine's 1-0 win over Poland has seen them jump above Roy Hodgson's team in Group H and in pole position to qualify, with only San Marino left to play.

A draw against Montenegro will leave England likely chasing a route through the playoffs, while a defeat tonight would all but end their hopes of involvement in Brazil in 2014.

Hodgson hands Townsend a debut in crunch game

England manager Roy Hodgson has handed Tottenham winger Andros Townsend a debut in an attack-minded starting XI at Wembley to face Montenegro.

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#England team: 1 Hart 2 Walker 3 Baines 4 Gerrard 5 Cahill 6 Jagielka 7 Townsend 8 Lampard 9 Sturridge 10 Rooney 11 Welbeck #EngMon

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#England subs: 12 Smalling 13 Ruddy 14 Gibbs 15 Jones 16 Carrick 17 Milner 18 Barkley 19 Wilshere 20 Defoe 21 Lambert 22 Forster #EngMon

Follow the build-up to tonight's big match on the ITV Football website

What England must do to qualify for World Cup 2014

England's qualification for the 2014 World Cup rests on the results of two final home games with Montenegro, tonight, and Poland on Tuesday.

Roy Hodgson's side narrowly lead Group H and know two wins will secure a place at next summer's tournament - but both opponents are still able to qualify too.

England will look to win tonight and hope Poland beat or draw with Ukraine in Kharkov. Credit: FIFA.com

Ukraine, who host neighbours Poland tonight, also stand well poised to leapfrog England should the unbeaten Three Lions drop points at home.

The result of the match in Kharkov will be known by around half-time in the match at Wembley, which kicks off at 8:00pm.

The task set for England in both the second half and on Tuesday's final night of qualifiers will then be known.

Follow the build-up to tonight's big match on the ITV Football website.

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Hodgson: England 'ready' for crunch clash

England football manager Roy Hodgson said his players were "ready" to face the pressure of tonight's crucial World Cup qualifier against Montenegro at Wembley.

A win for Hodgson's side could put them on the brink of qualification for Brazil 2014, but a defeat could prove fatal to their hopes of reaching the finals.

Roy Hodgson has tipped his England side to qualify for the 2014 World Cup. Credit: Nick Potts/PA Wire

"We're ready for it. We believe in ourselves, trust in each other, have the right determination and motivation," Hodgson said.

"We are a long way forward compared to how I felt 18 months ago. This is a perfect opportunity to prove that and improve the mood."

Follow the build-up to the match on the ITV Football website.