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...
Italy 0-0 England
1998 World Cup, Qualifying Group 2
Stadio Olimpico, Rome
11 October 1997
Objective: Glenn Hoddle's England needed to avoid defeat in order to qualify for the 1998 World Cup.
England were on their way to the World Cup Finals for the first time in eight years after a battling draw in the Olympic Stadium. The precious qualifying point achieved in difficult circumstances codemned the Italians, as group runners-up, to the ordeal of a two-legged play-off with Russia.
The hosts had previously won all of their fifteen World Cup matches in the capital city and had felt even more confident after beating England at Wembley eight months before.
A spiky, resolute England side, characterised by David Batty, a snapping bulldog in midfield, gave the Italians very few opportunities to break them down.
Zola and Inzaghi, strangely ineffective, were both substituted and as the home side lost their way, they soon started losing their tempers. They had five players booked and Di Livio went off on 76 minutes following an outrageous foul on Sol Campbell.
There was some heart-stopping action in the last couple of minutes - England might well have won the match when Ian Wright rounded Peruzzi only to strike the outside of the post from a tight angle.
Then, breaking away from their own penalty-area, the Italians got behind the England defence for the first time. Del Piero - a late substitute - sent over an inviting cross from the left byline which Christian Vieri, leaping above Graeme Le saux, directed inches wide of Seaman's right-hand post.
England's goalkeeper said afterwards that he had had no fears that the ball was going to drift inside his far post but nevertheless, automatic qualification for the World Cup had been obtained with inches to spare.
Italy began the match knowing that only a victory would guarantee that automatic place, so Maldini plumped for a 4-3-3 formation which had Vieri and Inzaghi providing the pace and power to compliment the talismanic Zola.
But it all went wrong for the azzurri and Hoddle's brave team survived a very competitive match with their goal intact - and their credibility considerably enhanced.
by James Wright
Italy: Peruzzi, Nesta, Maldini (Benarrivo), Albertini, Cannavaro, Costacurta, Di Livio, Baggio D., Vieri, Zola (Del Piero), Inzaghi (Chiesa)
England: Seaman, Campbell, Le Saux, Ince, Adams, Southgate, Beckham, Gascoigne (Butt), Wright, Sheringham, Batty
Referee: M Van Der Ende
Objective: Achieved. England reached the Second Round of the 1998 World Cup where they lost on penalties to Argentina after a titanic match in St Etienne. Italy, having beaten Russia 2-1 on aggregate in the play-offs, eventually reached the quarter-finals where they lost, also on penalties, to hosts and eventual winners France.