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Delight for Montenegro, satisfaction for England

Published: Saturday 8 October 2011, 15.30CET
Branko Brnović announced himself as the "happiest man on the planet" after his Montenegro side secured a play-off spot, while England's Fabio Capello was pleased his side topped Group G.
by Aleksandar Radović
from Podgorica
Delight for Montenegro, satisfaction for England
Branko Brnović enjoys Montenegro's draw against England ©Getty Images

Match statistics

MontenegroEngland

Goals scored2
 
2
Possession (%)0
100
Total attempts9
 
10
Attempts on target4
 
4
Attempts off target5
 
2
Attempts blocked0
 
0
Attempts against woodwork0
 
0
Corners2
 
8
Offsides2
 
5
Yellow cards5
 
0
Red Cards0
1
Fouls committed16
 
12
Fouls suffered12
 
15

Standings

Last updated: 13/02/2013 10:53 CET

Legend:

P: Played   
Pts: Points   
 
Published: Saturday 8 October 2011, 15.30CET

Delight for Montenegro, satisfaction for England

Branko Brnović announced himself as the "happiest man on the planet" after his Montenegro side secured a play-off spot, while England's Fabio Capello was pleased his side topped Group G.

Montenegro coach Branko Brnović declared himself the "happiest man in the world" after his side clinched a UEFA EURO 2012 play-off place with a dramatic draw against England in Podgorica.

Elsad Zverotić's 45th-minute strike and Andrija Delibašić's added-time header were enough for Montenegro to come from two down and wrap up a historic point, which wrapped up the runners-up berth in Group G. Despite the late leveller Fabio Capello's England also went home satisfied, goals from Ashley Young and Darren Bent confirming them in top spot in the section and an automatic passage to the finals.

"I think I am the happiest man on the planet," said Brnović, after his debut game as Montenegro coach. "Some people thought that I was crazy when I said we could surprise England, but I really believe in this team. I congratulate my players and thank them for making me so proud and so happy."

A loss would have left Montenegro sweating on Tuesday's game against Switzerland to secure second spot, but the coach was aware of the need to throw everything at England to avoid that situation. "I realised that we must try everything to score," he said. "We knew Switzerland had lost in Wales and it was a logical decision to put everything we could up front. I knew that we could concede, but we had nothing to lose."

Brnović is now planning ahead and is in confident mood for the play-offs: "We can't choose who we play but every opponent will be tough. We are not afraid of anyone when we are at full strength. We played against England without three very important players and still got a point. Only big teams could do that."

There was an outpouring of emotion after the final whistle at the Stadion Podgorica and Montenegro's last minute hero Delibašić, who came on with just ten minutes left, could not hide his tears. "We deserve this joy," he said. "We started these qualifiers quietly, now we can shout and celebrate. I was lucky to be in the right place at the right time to score but we were a team throughout qualification and we are all heroes."

Capello, meanwhile, was satisfied with the point that confirmed his team's progress. "We are really happy with the result because the first target was to qualify," he said. "We played really well for 35 minutes, but in the last ten minutes of the first half we were too relaxed. After Montenegro scored they found more chances and at the end they got the draw. The result was OK for both of us."

Last updated: 08/10/11 16.44CET

http://www.uefa.com/uefaeuro/news/newsid=1694417.html#brnovic+over+moon

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