England's match against Turkey next Saturday is not the first time that the Thre
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 a past crunch qualifier...
England 1-0 Hungary
1982 World Cup, Group 4 Qualifier
Empire Stadium, Wembley
18 November 1981
Objective: We needed a point to qualify for the 1982 World Cup
Condemned, reprieved, condemned, reprieved again and finally off the hook with this convincing win against World Cup Qualifying Group 4 winners Hungary.
Needing just a point to qualify for Spain 82, England took both with relative ease to end the months of nail-biting anxiety.
Captain Kevin Keegan had stressed the need for patience in working for the vital opening goal, but, as it happened, the breakthrough came after only 16 minutes.
Keegan had already headed straight at goalkeeper Meszaros, from a position very similar to the one he had found to score his side's opening goal in a match of equal importance against Italy four years previously. The miss, thankfully, didn't prove costly for long.
Alvin Martin, stepping up to replace the out of form Dave Watson, challenged for a Terry McDermott cross. The ball fell for Trevor Brooking in acres of space and if the West Ham man's shot was weak and misdirected, it was totally effective, allowing Paul Mariner at the far post to nudge the ball over the line.
That in truth was the end of the contest. Hungary, with their passage to Spain already booked, never seriously threatened to trouble Peter Shilton in the England goal, while, at the other end, a series of chances were either missed or capably dealt with by Sporting Lisbon star Meszaros.
McDermott lashed one volley just over the bar, while Mariner might well have had a hat-trick with a little more composure in front of goal. One header in particular, past an empty goal, left the Ipswich striker shaking his head in disbelief.
An injury to Steve Coppell gave Ron Greenwood the opportunity of introducing Tony Morley (pictured left) for his first taste of international football and the Villa winger did enough to suggest that he will be an essential ingredient in England's World Cup receipe.
Only a spectacular save from Meszaros just before the end denied Morley a debut goal that would have left a sweet taste in the departing crowd's mouth.
At the whistle, the jubilant England team acknowledged the tremendous support they had received from the capacity crowd.
After a gap of 12 years, England were finally back in the World Cup.
by James Wright and David Barber
Objective: Achieved. England qualified for Spain '82, where they were eventually knocked out, unbeaten, in the Second Phase.
England: Shilton, Neal, Mills, Thompson, Martin, Robson, Keegan, Coppell (Morley), Mariner, Brooking, McDermott
Hungary: Meszaros, Martos, Balint, Toth, Muller, Garaba, Fazekas (Kerekes), Csapo (Szanto), Torocsik, Kiss, Sallai
Referee: Georges Knorath (France)