Full-time - 90'
5 - 1
19:00 +00:00, September 9, 2009
Wembley Stadium, London, England
Referee: Undiano Mallenco
That's that! An emphatic victory for England and they have officially qualified for 2010 World Cup in South Africa. They have been by far the best team in their group, emphasised by the nine goals they have put past the side in second. Superb stuff.
Defoe gets a sniff but his touch was poor. It could have been six...
Two added minutes..
A lovely little chip from Beckham finds Lampard in the area but he can't collect.
Beckham sprays a few passes left and right as he tries to get in on the action.
Aaron Lennon gets the man of the match, selected by Teddy Sheringham, no less.
Terry gets a booking after a slip as he went into a tackle. Bit harsh to be honest, especially as Croatia should have received at least two before that.
We're just winding the clock down now, every white touch being cheered every blue one jeered.
The Wembley crowd are in party mood now and the ole's are coming out.
England changes: Lennon and Gerrard go off and Beckham and Milner are on.
A 20-pass move ends down the left as Rooney feeds Cole but his cross is blocked.
If Croatia don't get through the play-offs I think Bilic will be off. He'll end up in the Premier League somewhere, I'm pretty sure.
Fabio had a right old chuckle at that goal on the sidelines!
A howler from Runje, Simunic passes back to him fron an angle, the 'keeper shanks it into the path of Rooney and he taps into an empty net. Calamity.
Petric turns inside Upson and has a pop. Again Green saves comfortably.
Defoe hasn't had a sniff yet by the way, in case you were wondering.
What a shame England couldn't keep a clean sheet after having given an easy goal away in the reverse fixture in Zagreb. Johnson was at fault I'm afraid, despite his excellent work at the other end of the pitch.
Eduardo is coming off and Klasnic is on.
Two excellent saves from Rob Green go unrewarded as Eduardo taps in from six yards. Johnson got turned on the right and after Eduardo's header was saved a scramble ensued, the Arsenal striker eventually tucking home. Capello is not happy.
Croatia muster an effort on target but Green holds the ball in front of his face after Kranjcar's shot.
Gerrard is next seen by his own corner flag sliding in to concede a corner as Srna looked to cross.
Well, this is excellent stuff from England. They have now put eight past Croatia in just under two games.
Barry wins the ball, Gerrard chips a ball round the corner for Rooney, and as he crosses high into the box the Liverpool skipper, who had made his way into the box, nods over Runje and into the net. Comprehensive.
Luckily for Lennon he runs the ball out of play because his desperate stab to keep it in flew right to the feet of Eduardo.
So, the World Cup beckons. How nice for us England fans who had to sit and watch Euro 2008 (which was brilliant by the way) feeling sorry for ourselves.
Here's a stat and a half. Jermain Defoe is England's top scorer of all time - from the bench.
Defoe and Capello celebrated the goal on the touchline, then the Spurs striker trots on to replace Heskey.
Again the goal comes down the right as Johnson gets to the byline, pulls the ball back for Lampard and his powerful header is superbly placed into the corner. World Cup ahoy!
Defoe is preparing to come on. Smell ya later Emile...
Bilic was not happy about that challenge. It looked clumsy but was it a penalty? Maybe Eduardo's diving charge went ahead of him.
Well done Glen Johnson! He's thrown himself at Eduardo as a Mandzukic cross came in because the Arsenal striker was destined to score but somehow Johsnon gets his head on it, prevents a goal and doesn't concede a penalty. Blimey.
Scotland's hopes of making the World Cup are over - Holland are 1-0 up at Hampden Park.
Croatia have started well this half though as I say that Pranjic brings down Lennon. Capello wants a yellow card for the defender.
Eduardo is caught offside as Rakitic turns a pass into his channel.
Srna chases a ball down the line, claims a corner, delivers it early and Mandzukic fires over on the half volley from ten yards out. Good quick thinking from Srna but a tough chance.
Good tracking back from Lennon as he follows the run of Pranjic and wins a goal kick.
Petric wins a corner for Croatia. An early goal needed for them you feel. If only for confidence.
I love Capello. He's standing on the touchline bellowing at his players, using their surname. "Rooney. Here. Gerrard. Oi, Gerrard."
Changes for Croatia: Ivan Rakitic and Mladen Petric are coming on for Olic and Pokrivac. The second half begins...
Half time and an excellent opening 45 minutes for England. It should have been three if only Emile Heskey had a vague idea where the net is. Shocking.
Once again Heskey has blown a GOLDEN chance! He was in acres of space, Lampard plays him in and he makes a complete mess of his control and can't even get a shot off in the end. Heskey's international career has just ended.
England should have wrapped the game up there but neither Lampard nor Heskey could accept the invitation.
Now Lampard blazes one over the bar from the edge of the area after nice work down the right. We've come to expect better from Lampard, not from Emile I'm afraid.
Heskey is put clean through by Lennon but never looked AT ALL likley to score. On the edge of the area with no one near him and he hit it tamely right at Runje.
Gerrard sprints into space down the left after Barry's chip but his ball into the area is poor.
Remember, just a point will secure England's World Cup place tonight...
Barry is adjudged to have fouled Vukojevic having won the ball cleanly. Shame, England would have had a good break on there.
Lennon's had a dream half here. SWP cuts a worried figure on the bench...
Great combination from Rooney and Lennon sends the Spurs winger through on goal but his effort was weak. Runje saved but it was heading wide anyway.
Lampard is penalised for a lunge. He got the ball, but it was still a lunge.
Eduardo is challenged well by Upson as he finds himself two-on-two. Then Olic did the dying swan routine when Johnson came across to tidy up.
Glen Johnson does well to dispossess Pranjic and bring the ball away, then Heskey does well to force Simunic into conceding a throw in.
Eduardo launches an effort on target but it sails harmlessly wide, much to the crowd's delight.
So nearly an exquisite move as Johnson chips into Rooney, he volleys into Lampard's path and the Chelsea man's cute first touch inside the box catches Heskey just off his heels.
Lampard has a pop and Runje dives full stretch to his left to palm the ball away. Corner.
Heskey is hauled back cynically by Krizanac and England have a free kick about 40 yards out. He should have been carded for that.
Pokrivac again looks for Olic over the top after England crowd them out in midfield. Green is out to claim.
Pokrivac launches a ball over the top for Olic but it runs out of play. Croatia enjoying their best spell of the match so far currently...
Olic nows nips round the back of Upson to latch on to a Vukojevic pass but the Hammers defender hauls himself back goalside and gets a foot in.
Great block from Terry after Rooney carelessly gave the ball away in his own half. Olic went to pop one but the skipper dived in to get in the way.
England are ripping Croatia's full backs to shreds here. Bilic looks like he's dropped a bit of a clanger in his selection.
Lennon has always had the ability to beat people (see goal one) but there have always been question marks about his delivery. They may have been answered now (see goal two).
Super goal. A deep cross from Lennon finds Gerrard who nods back across goal and into the far corner. Excellent football.
Terry and Johnson try to play too intricately by ther corner flag and give possession away. As a cross comes in the ball falls to Mandzukic who volleys over.
Ha! Would you believe it, he's just got his first touch and suffered a large chorus of booing. As expected. At least Joleon Lescott will feel better eh?
Eduardo is on the pitch but he hasn't had a touch yet so I can't report any booing...
It'll be interesting to see how Croatia attack this game now. They realistically need a win to have any chance of finishing top and qualifying automatically but they won't want to overcommit too early.
Great strike from Barry as Lennon turned a long Rooney cross back across goal. Barry came onto it at pace and whacked it from 25 yards out but Runje made a superb save.
Vukojevic scythes down Lennon again. He's too hot to handle at the minute...
Instant vindication for Capello in his decision to start Lennon too. England break again and Rooney dribbles wide before crossing for Gerrard but the midfielder's header loops over the bar.
A perfect start for England. Lennon's jinking run drew a clumsy tackle from Simunic and Lampard hammers in the spot kick. South Africa beckons..
Penalty! Lennon is hacked down by Simunic and England have a golden chance to get in front!
Olic tries to turn Upson down the right flank but the West Ham defender stands firm, blocks the cross and even manages to win a goal kick.
The replay says it would have been a harsh penalty, it definitely hit a Croatian hand but from point blank range. No intent. No pen.
Gerrard chases a Heskey pass and tries to touch the ball inside Simunic, there is a hint of handball but nothing given.
Lennon gets an early meeting with the ball but Pokrivac blocks his attempted cross.
Here come the teams, and they may be interested to hear that Belarus and Ukraine have drawn 0-0. That means a draw will guarantee England's World Cup place. We're all set...
Croatia: Runje, Srna, Krizanac, Simunic, Kranjcar, Pranjic, Vukojevic, Pokrivac, Mandzukic, Olic and Eduardo. There. Worth waiting for wasn't it?
Of course, last time Croatia visited Wembley they inflicted a 3-2 defeat on the wally with the brolly (Steve McClaren) and denied England a place at Euro 2008. Revenge has been mentioned, not by the boss, but by the skipper. Bring. It. On.
I'll have the Croatia team for you just as soon as the Press Association deems it newsworthy enough to file....
So, Heskey is preferred to Defoe up front in England's only minor dilemma. Expect the Spurs' hitman to spend most of the second half on the pitch mind. And score.
England: Green, Johnson, Upson, Terry, Cole, Lennon, Barry, Lampard, Gerrard, Rooney and
Heskey. Subs from: Foster, Brown, Bridge, Milner, Defoe, Beckham, Crouch.
Bilic has also been at it, saying England have lost their "Englishness," whatever that means. This despite Fabio Capello's men thrashing Croatia 4-1 in Zagreb last time they met. Upon hearing Bilic's ill-advised splutterings Capello remarked: "Thank you, Mr Bilic. I have no need to motivate my players after this."
Plenty of hot air has been coming from the Croatian camp ahead of the game, with their president Vlatko Markovic claiming there is an English plot to maim his players after Luka Modric broke his leg against Birmingham a few weeks back. Added to Eduardo's horror break 18 months ago, this amounts to a sustained assault on his national stars, apparently.
The situation in Group Six is thus: England are four points ahead of tonight's visitors with a game in hand too. They should still qualify automatically even if they lose this evening, with games against Ukraine and Belarus to come, but they'll want to do the business tonight.
Good evening one and all and welcome to live coverage of England's Group Six decider with Croatia at Wembley. To have a chance of qualifying automatically, Slaven Bilic's side need a win, so an entertaining night could be in prospect.
Join us at 1945(BST) to see if England can beat Croatia at Wembley and book a place at the World Cup finals in South Africa next summer.