England's match against Turkey next Saturday is not the first time that the Thre
Yugoslavia 1-4 England
Euro 88, Group 4 Qualifier
Stadion Jna, Belgrade
11 November 1987
England's match against Turkey next Saturday is not the first time that the Three Lions' qualification for a major tournament has come down to one game. TheFA.com looks back at past crunch qualifiers...
Objective: We needed a draw to qualify for Euro 88 in West Germany
England's final European Championship group match in Belgrade, described beforehand by Bobby Robson as "the most important game since we lost to Argentina in the quarter-finals of the World Cup", produced a dazzling England victory that clinched a deserved place in the Finals in West Germany.
Even though a draw would have been enough for qualification, England began the match in such a committed and purposeful way that they found themselves a scarcely credible four goals to the good within a mere 24 minutes.
For only the third of 60 fixtures in his five-year spell as England manager, Bobby Robson had been able to name an unchanged side, and for only the second time had been allowed to spend more than just a couple of days preparing his squad for an international.
There have always been question marks concerning the frailty of the Yugoslav spirit when it comes to a match of crucial importance and, in reality, the contest was over as soon as Peter Beardsley had punished the first Yugoslav defensive error within three minutes.
Hadzibegic's imaginative back-header dropped between sweeper Elsner and goalkeeper Ravnic and, with both lingering over the possibilities, Beardsley stretched out a leg to hook the ball over the line.
After that, the demoralised Yugoslavs were almost unrecognisable as the team which had caused so many problems at Wembley.
Barnes, Robson and Adams piled in the goals and Katanec's consolation header 10 minutes from time was as meaningless as Yugoslavia's last match in Turkey would be now.
Objective: Achieved. England qualified for Euro 88
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