Last Updated: 16/10/13 12:04pm
The full-time whistle goes and England have qualified for the World Cup thanks to a 2-0 victory over Poland. It was a typically tense night at times but England have produced a good performance just when it was needed and deservedly took three points tonight thanks to goals from Rooney and Gerrard.
GOAL! The tension finally evaporates as Gerrard puts England 2-0 up with a fabulous solo goal. It was all about determination for the England skipper as he shrugged off a challenge down the right, getting a bit of luck along the way, before lifting the ball neatly past the onrushing Szczesny from just inside the area.
England weather the storm and try to keep the ball in Poland territory. They are just a few anxious minutes away now from sealing a World Cup spot.
England are just focused on defending at the moment as Poland set up camp in the home team's half, but they are finding it hard to create clear-cut chances.
England are not committing so many men to attack now so it is down to Rooney as he chases after a loose ball, but he is eventually swamped a sea of red and Poland win back possession.
Sturridge is withdrawn for the final eight minutes as Wilshere is thrown into midfield to shore things up.
Rooney is shown a yellow card for a foul in midfield as England desperately try to preserve their lead.
Sturridge stings the palms of Szczesny with a ferocious strike from 12 yards, but it is straight at the keeper and pushed over the bar.
Townsend remains a constant menace as he surges forward once again before playing in a cross that is headed behind for a corner before it can reach Sturridge at the back post.
Townsend fails to pick out an England team-mate with his attempted cross after being played into space by the excellent Rooney.
It could be a nervy final 20 minutes for England but they have shown more composure in the last few moments just to keep their shape and hold on to the ball better.
Hodgson makes his first change of the night and it is a straight swap as Lampard comes on for Carrick in the centre of the field.
England take the sting out of the game with a spell of controlled passing in their own territory, just helping them regroup as the clock ticks down.
Hart has had a good game so far and he gets out quickly to hold on to a potentially dangerous left-wing cross before it could reach Robert Lewandowski.
Rooney spins quickly 25 yards from goal and curls a shot towards the far top corner which is acrobatically saved by Szczesny.
Poland have got a very attacking side out there now and Hodgson may be considering a substitution of his own to try and shore things up, as the game remains wide open.
Townsend relieves the pressure with another lung-busting run down the wing, but England are not holding on to the ball well enough at the moment and that is giving Poland hope.
Poland are certainly not going down with a whimper and this time it is Welbeck who has to clear after Robert Lewandowski fails to control a cross into the area.
Robert Lewandowski times a run to perfection to get on the end of a long pass from deep and England are indebted to Hart for a crucial save as he sprints off his line to get a vital touch on the ball which allows Cahill to clear.
Rooney is pulling the strings now as England go in search of a second goal which would surely secure their spot in Brazil. Gerrard fires in a shot from 25 yards which flies narrowly wide.
England almost add to their lead as Rooney delivers a fine cross from the right towards Welbeck. Krychowiak gets to the ball first after retreating a long way to cover, but inadvertently slides it past the onrushing Szczesny and just wide of the post. Very nearly an own goal.
Wojtkowiak fails to connect with a bouncing ball in the area after darting beyond his defender to try and latch on to Mierzejewski's clever lofted pass.
Townsend appeals for a free-kick just outside the Poland area after another weaving run is brought to an end by a Wojtkowiak challenge. The referee is not impressed, though, and signals for the England man to get to his feet.
Welbeck stretches to reach a cross at the back post and manages to put the ball back into the danger zone, but Jedrzejczyk is alert to the situation and makes the clearance.
England have a chance to launch a swift counter-attack as Townsend finds Rooney and he spreads the ball out wide to Sturridge. There are lots of step-overs from the Liverpool forward as he drifts in but he cannot escape the attentions of his defender.
Klich blazes another shot high and wide from the corner of the area, as Poland push England on to the back foot at the start of the second half.
Klich nearly makes an immediate impact as England are caught napping at the back and the substitute shoots at goal. His effort is blocked by Cahill and there are appeals for a penalty, but it did not seem to hit the Chelsea man's arm and was certainly not deliberate, and the referee waves play on.
Poland get the second half started and they have made a change at the break, replacing Mariusz Lewandowski with Klich.
Can England hold on, or even extend their lead? Head over to Sky Bet to see the latest odds, with Rooney's price to score next boosted to 6/1.
The whistle goes for half-time and England are good value for their 1-0 lead. Ukraine are, not surprisingly, 3-0 up in San Marino, but it is the Three Lions who are well placed to win Group H after a bright performance in the opening 45 minutes at Wembley.
Sobota wriggles past his defender and stabs the ball home. There is a huge cheer from the Poland fans but the flag had long since been raised for offside.
The England fans are in great voice as the home team come forward again through Townsend, and a second goal before half-time would really ease the tension.
GOAL! Rooney gives England a deserved 1-0 lead as Hodgson's men take a giant stride towards Brazil. The ball is worked out to Baines on the left and his pinpoint cross is directed past Szczesny by a powerful header from Rooney to spark jubilant scenes at Wembley. Rooney's protective headband had slipped off earlier but he obviously did not need it.
Poland weather the storm for a moment or two with a brief period of possession in midfield, but it is not long before England regain the ball and begin to probe once more.
Baines is threatening down the left but it is Townsend who Poland's defenders will be having nightmares about later, as the Tottenham winger again gets a cross in towards Sturridge but the Liverpool man's control lets him down.
England are really knocking on the door now, as Rooney finds room 20 yards from goal to get off a shot which is well saved down to his right by a diving Szczesny.
Gerrard plays in Welbeck with a wonderful first-time pass but the Manchester United forward cannot quite get the ball under control as Szczesny rushes off his line to brilliantly make the save.
Sturridge tries his luck from distance but his low effort is driven just wide and Szczesny had it covered.
There is a goalmouth scramble as Poland struggle to clear the corner and the ball falls to Welbeck. He surely must score but no, his snap-shot from six yards somehow flies agonisingly wide.
Baines bursts forward down the left but his low cross is brilliantly cut out by Wojtkowiak's well-timed interception, with Sturridge lurking in behind.
England are having the better of the game now but Poland still look very dangerous on the break and the back four will have to stay disciplined.
Townsend is emerging as the star of the show yet again and he nearly eclipses his wonderful debut goal with a spectacular left-footed curler from 25 yards which smashes against the crossbar. England think they can sense a breakthrough and Sturridge brings a fine save out of Szczesny with a powerful shot from a tight angle.
Townsend causes havoc with a sprint down the right before pulling a cross back to Sturridge in the centre. The Liverpool player's control lets him down and Poland eventually get the ball behind for a corner, which is headed wide by Jagielka.
Robert Lewandowski is presented with the sort of chance he usually gobbles up at club level following a slick Poland counter-attack, but with just Hart to beat he drags a low shot wide from the edge of the area.
Townsend is always willing to attempt a dribble and he is giving the Poland defence some serious problems, but so far he has not quite made that telling run.
Gerrard delivers a teasing cross from a deep free-kick which floats perfectly over the Poland defence and just beyond the far post, with Smalling unable to provide the final touch as he stretches out a boot in hope.
The Poland free-kick comes to nothing and it is England's turn to put the pressure on their opponents as the fast tempo continues.
Wojtkowiak prods the ball past Smalling from a Poland attack down the left and the Manchester United defender brings him down to concede a free-kick in a worrying area, but at least he escapes a yellow card.
Baines is felled by a clumsy challenge near the byline but his delivery from the free-kick is poor and Poland scramble it clear.
Blaszczykowski embarks on a thrilling run down the right for Poland to skip away from his defender and the ball is worked to Sobota on the far side of the area. He tries to beat Hart at his near post and there is a ripple as he hits the side-netting with a shot that is just wide. A close shave for England!
It is an open game at the moment as Poland come forward once again, but Robert Lewandowski has clearly been identified as the main threat and he is surrounded on the edge of the box as he looks to shoot.
Townsend is looking lively once again and he tries his luck with a fierce shot from distance, when a pass may perhaps have been the better option. Szczesny dives down to his right to make a good save and Welbeck goes down as he is beaten to the rebound by Celeban, but there is no suggestion of a penalty.
Robert Lewandowski drives at goal and the England defence backs off before he shoots from 20 yards, but his low shot is straight at Hart and comfortably saved.
England almost carve out the first chance of the night as Baines receives the ball from Rooney down the left and swings over a low cross with his left foot which is well cut out by a diving Jedrzejczyk before Welbeck can latch on the ball in the centre.
Poland threaten for the first time as Robert Lewandowski attempts to pick out Dortmund team-mate Blaszczykowski but his pass is just too heavy and the danger fizzles out.
Sturridge tries to link up with Rooney for the first time but the Manchester United player's return pass is poor and Jedrzejczyk clears the danger.
It is the Polish fans, who make up around a quarter of the crowd, generating most of the noise as cheers erupt when England lose possession.
England try to get Townsend, the hero of Friday's win over Montenegro, on to the ball at the earliest opportunity but Poland are in quickly to close him down.
England enjoy a spell of sedate passing in defence before venturing into midfield and losing the ball, with Poland sitting deep in the early stages.
England get the game underway on a night when they will be hoping to secure qualification to the World Cup.
If points were awarded for singing in this game England would have already sealed their place in next year's tournament after a rousing rendition of God Save the Queen.
The teams emerge from the tunnel to a thunderous atmosphere, with England just 90 minutes away from a World Cup spot but Poland determined to spoil the party.
Andy from Winchester says: 'The addition of Carrick is not a defensive move. Carrick's defensive, deep lying role will free up Gerrard, who had to sit back quite a lot last match, and we all know how good Gerrard is at surging forward with the ball.'
'Hi, Adam Willers here, hoping for an england win tonight, but it won't be easy, but I am going for a 2-1 win for england, with rooney and sturridge scoring, and robert lewandowski, feel sorry for the commentators with all these names to pronounce.'
'Hi I'm Marco. I'm a first year student in Canada from England. Therefore I will be rooting for England to win against Poland. I think Gerrard will be explosive in this game with his long range shooting, but I think Lampard will come off the bench in the second half to set up an awesome goal for Rooney. 3 - 1 England!!!'
Malc in Solihull wins the prize for angriest feedback we've had so far with this: 'What is Hodgson doing? Carrick for Lampard - he's not even fit enough to lace Lampards boots. Another negative Hodgson move to add to his negative style of play, get him out.'
Ian Jones writes: 'Another nervy night for England. We always make things hard for ourseves, but our destiny is in our own hands,Rooney to score 1st and England to win 2 goals to nil. . . COME ON ENGLAND.'
Louis Watts says: 'Gotta say I'm pleased with the addition of Carrick to the starting XI. Can't say the same about Sturridge however who no doubt will be hogging again today, he was very poor on Friday even with the lucky goal. Still must question why Gary Hooper isn't getting an opportunity for his country but overall strong squad, expect goals. Repeat of Friday 4-1 England.'
England: Hart, Smalling, Cahill, Jagielka, Baines, Carrick, Gerrard, Townsend, Rooney, Welbeck, Sturridge. Subs: Ruddy, Jones, Gibbs, Wilshere, Lampard, Milner, Barkley, Defoe, Sterling, Lambert, Forster.
Poland: Szczesny, Wojtkowiak, Jedrzejczyk, Glik, Celeban, Blaszczykowski, Mierzejewski, Krychowiak, Sobota, Mariusz Lewandowski, Robert Lewandowski. Subs: Boruc, Wasilewski, Jodlowiec, Polanski, Zielinski, Klich, Wawrzyniak, Peszko, Sobiech, Rzezniczak, Fabianski.
If England need a more recent example than 1973 to help them guard against complacency, they only have to look back to their final Euro 2008 qualifier against Croatia six years ago. They only required a point to make it through but Scott Carson's clanger, on his competitive debut, set the tone for a disastrous night as the Three Lions went down 3-2. Memories of Steve McClaren standing in the rain, dubbed the 'wally with the brolly', are fresh in the mind, so if things go pear-shaped for England tonight Hodgson should at least be careful about making any fashion faux pas.
George writes: 'Delighted Carrick has finally been trusted for England. Remember he has been a key for United winning 5 of the last 7 league titles. Come on England!'
David says: 'Watching you live from Frazier Park, California. Carrick is good, but prone to the occasional mistake.'
While Poland are not to be underestimated, especially with the likes of Borussia Dortmund's Robert Lewandowski and Jakub Blaszczykowski in their ranks, it has been a disappointing qualifying campaign for Waldemar Fornalik's team and Friday's 1-0 loss away to Ukraine ended any chance they had of qualifying for the World Cup. However, that means they now have no pressure to play under and they still have their pride to play for, especially with around 18,000 Polish fans snapping up tickets after the Football Association increased the usual allocation for away supporters to prevent them buying seats in the home end.
Keep those views coming at Lewis.Rutledge@bskyb.com, or via Twitter @SkySportsLewis. Has Hodgson made a mistake in dropping Lampard or is it a sensible option to bring in Carrick? Townsend rewarded the manager for the faith shown in him on Friday but can he reproduce the same high level today?
Dean from Kent is not impressed, writing: 'Can't believe Roy's starting Carrick over Lampard, very negative move. Carrick only passes the ball sideways and never scores, Lampard is a constant goal threat, think this will be a draw tonight.'
England: Hart, Smalling, Cahill, Jagielka, Baines, Carrick, Gerrard, Townsend, Rooney, Welbeck, Sturridge.
The England team has been confirmed and it is as expected, meaning that Smalling and Carrick come into the starting XI from the team that played Montenegro. Goalkeeper Joe Hart will therefore be shielded by a back four of Smalling, Gary Cahill, Phil Jagielka and Leighton Baines, with Carrick partnering Gerrard in central midfield. Andros Townsend keeps his place after a dazzling debut on Montenegro, while Danny Welbeck will be playing from the left and Daniel Sturridge again starts in attack with Wayne Rooney.
Chris Green from Huddersfield is the first to get in touch, saying: 'It's going to be a nervy evening for all England fans, but if we perform well and start the match with a positive frame of mind, then I think we'll be fine. Prediction: England 3-1 Poland #ComeOnEngland.'
Unless you have ignored all the pre-match talk this week, you will be aware there is history of England coming unstuck against Poland in crucial World Cup qualifiers. The Three Lions missed out on the 1974 competition after being held to a 1-1 draw by Poland in their final qualifier, which also took place on an October night at Wembley. Of course, the hero that evening was goalkeeper Jan Tomaszewski, who had been labelled 'a clown' by Brian Clough but went on to produce a string of superb saves. The Polish No.1 for tonight is set to be Wojciech Szczesny, surprisingly replacing Artur Boruc. There has been no danger of anyone criticising either man and this is another good chance to say what high-class performers they both are.
The task for England tonight is quite clear. If they beat Poland they will win Group H and qualify for next summer's World Cup. However, they have just a one-point lead over second-placed Ukraine and failure to win will almost certainly result in them being knocked off top spot, because Ukraine have a game against group minnows San Marino, who have a goal difference of minus 45. The consolation for England is that they cannot be caught by either Montenegro or Poland and are guaranteed at least a play-off spot.
The official team news will be with us shortly but it is understood that England have made two changes from the side that beat Montenegro, with Chris Smalling coming in at right-back for the suspended Kyle Walker and Michael Carrick replacing Frank Lampard alongside skipper Steven Gerrard in midfield.
Please get in touch with your views ahead of the match at Lewis.Rutledge@bskyb.com, or via Twitter @SkySportsLewis. Can England follow up their win over Montenegro on Friday with another three points, or will there be a cruel twist in the tale? Will the tension of the occasion translate to a tight game? Or will England play as positively as they did four days ago and cruise to victory? Which players are you particularly interested in following tonight?
Good evening and welcome to our minute-by-minute commentary of England's World Cup qualifier against Poland at Wembley. They may be top of the group after nine games but the fate of Roy Hodgson's men remains uncertain and by 10pm they will have either booked a ticket to Brazil or face the agonising prospect of a play-off. Stay with us for what I'm afraid will surely be a nerve-shredding night for England fans.