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England vs. Slovenia 2010 FIFA World Cup: Slovenia Bows Out

PORT ELIZABETH, SOUTH AFRICA - JUNE 23:  Zlatko Dedic of Slovenia looks dejected at the final whistle following the 2010 FIFA World Cup South Africa Group C match between Slovenia and England at the Nelson Mandela Bay Stadium on June 23, 2010 in Port Elizabeth, South Africa.  (Photo by Jamie McDonald/Getty Images)
Jamie McDonald/Getty Images
Brian RhodesSenior Analyst IJune 23, 2010

Heartache in Port Elizabeth for the Slovenian National side. After dramatically getting through qualification by beating Russia over two legs to reach the finals of the 2010 World Cup, today's turn of event's must be heart breaking for the smallest nation at this summer's tournament.

Just as the United States will be on a huge high, after such a dramatic goal in the 91st minute of their historic victory over Algeria to reach the last 16 of the tournament, spare a thought for the Slovenians.

As the Slovenian players were waiting to take the field in Port Elizabeth, they were gearing up to play a stuttering English national team. They had all to play for and everything to lose, atop of group D and only needing a draw to move on to the knockout stage.

It wasn't to be. With a cruel twist of fate, and despite going behind to England after 22 minutes of play to a well-taken Jemaine Defoe goal, they still looked like they would be heading in to the last 16 as the final whistle blew.

They had slipped down to second place, as the USA and Algeria were all level, but for Landon Donovan's goal to knock them out of the last 16, only seconds after the final whistle in Port Elizabeth.

In the space of 91 minutes, the Slovenian's went from heroes to zeros, in the cruelest way—with a team in another game deciding their fate.

Roll on 2014.

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