Thursday, November 22, 2007
England failed to qualify for UEFA Euro 2008 after a 2-3 defeat to Croatia at Wembley Stadium, London.
Needing to avoid defeat to secure qualification, England got off to a bad start as Niko Kranjčar's shot came off goalkeeper Scott Carson to give Croatia the lead after just eight minutes. Soon afterwards Ivica Olić doubled Croatia's lead.
England scored when Josip Šimunić pulled back Jermaine Defoe, with Frank Lampard converting the resulting penalty. David Beckham, winning his 99th cap for England, set up Peter Crouch who equalised with a volley. However Croatia continued to push England back, and substitute Mladen Petrić scored the winner from 25 metres with just under fifteen minutes remaining.
Croatia finished at the top in Group E, while Russia also qualified after their 1-0 victory over Andorra. England finished third in the group, missing out on their first major tournament since the 1994 World Cup. Manager Steve McClaren's job is in doubt, having been criticised during the qualification campaign and dropping regular goalkeeper Paul Robinson in favour of newcomer Scott Carson for the vital final match.
== Sources ==
"England 2-3 Croatia" — BBC Sport, November 21, 2007
"Croatia leave England down and out" — UEFA, November 21, 2007