ENGLAND left Wembley with the jeers of their own fans ringing in their ears as they failed to score at the rebuilt stadium for the first time and had their 11-match winning streak on home soil ended by Montenegro.
Formerly part of Yugoslavia and attached to Serbia in footballing terms until 2006, Montenegro’s population is roughly the same as Leeds.
But there was a tough streak about the Eastern Europeans, who ground out a result that throws England’s Euro 2012 qualification hopes back into the melting pot.
If there is any consolation it was that the result did not end up being worse as Milan Jovanovic’s snap-shot came bouncing back off the bar seven minutes from time with Joe Hart beaten completely.
Nevertheless, the Three Lions have certainly conceded the initiative to their opponents, who now have 10 points from four games, three more than England, who have played a game fewer, with everything pointing towards a group decider in Podgorica on October 7 next year.
It was a frustrating evening for Wayne Rooney, who after voicing his protests at Stefan Savic’s cynical challenge on Ashley Cole that brought a booking, duly picked one up himself when he raced back 50 yards and needlessly slid in to trip Elsad Zverotic and earn one himself.
Almost an hour had passed before England created a decent chance.
Not surprisingly, it was created for Rooney by Steven Gerrard, who picked his fellow Merseysider out inside the penalty area with a perfectly weighted pass. Rooney was onto it in an instant but Bozovic was equal to his first-time effort.
Capello was then reduced to screaming for a penalty when Jovanovic appeared to use an arm to get the ball under control with no-one around him.
ENGLAND: Hart, Glen Johnson, Ferdinand, Lescott, Ashley Cole, Adam Johnson, Gerrard, Barry, Young (Wright-Phillips 74), Rooney, Crouch (Davies 69).
MONTENEGRO: Mladen Bozovic, Basa, Jovanovic, Djudovic, Savic, Vukcevic, Zverotic, Boskovic (Beciraj 82), Novakovic (Kascelan 62), Pekovic, Djalovic (Delibasic 77).
Referee: Manuel Grafe (Germany).
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