With England 33/20 to seize control of their World Cup 2014 destiny by winning in Ukraine we’re looking back at some vitally successful Three Lions away matches over the last quarter of a century.
This Italia ’90 qualifier is remembered mostly for the bloodied and bandaged image of Terry Butcher’s noggin and not the quality of football on offer. England didn’t concede a goal during their World Cup qualifying campaign and a 0-0 draw ensured Bobby Robson’s side’s passage to the finals.
Eight years after that night in Stockholm, Butcher was joined on the walking wounded list by Paul Ince as England secured a memorable draw in Rome and topped group two on the way to France ’98. Ian Wright could have won it for Glenn Hoddle’s men at the end, but 0-0 was enough to send England through and Italy to the play-offs.
UEFA qualifying group nine for the 2002 World Cup is best remembered for the 5-1 crushing of Germany in Munich and David Beckham’s qualification-securing last-minute free-kick against Greece at Wembley, but the 2-0 win in Athens set Sven-Goran Eriksson’s men up for qualification with goals from Paul Scholes and Beckham securing three vitals points on the road.
England kept their qualifying hopes alive with a 2-1 win in Skopje thanks to a goal from Wayne Rooney in his fifth international appearance and a Beckham penalty. Rooney’s 53rd-minute strike made him England’s youngest ever goalscorer at 17 years and 317 days, which is a mark yet to be bettered.
Theo Walcott’s stop-start career was in a bit of a trough before the pacy forward’s excellent hat-trick against Croatia, who had seen off England in Euro 2008 qualifying less than a year earlier. The 4-1 win set Fabio Capello’s side up for a solid World Cup 2010 group six qualifying campaign, which they went on to top by an impressive six points.