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Slovenia 17:00 Malta

Kek backs England for glory

Slovenia boss proud despite South Africa exit

Last Updated: 23/06/10 7:19pm

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Kek: Proud of Slovenia

Kek: Proud of Slovenia

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Slovenia boss Matjaz Kek hopes England go on to win the World Cup despite effectively dumping them out of the tournament with victory on Wednesday.

The Port Elizabeth clash saw the Three Lions prevail 1-0 to book their place in the next round of the tournament thanks to Jermain Defoe's first-half strike.

The result would have been enough for Slovenia to qualify as Group C runners-up had the game between the United States and Algeria stayed goalless.

However, as the Nelson Mandela Bay Stadium game ended, Landon Donovan popped up in the 91st minute to score a dramatic winner in Pretoria to send the USA through at Slovenia's expense.

Kek chose to take the positives out of a successful tournament for the World Cup's smallest nation.

"I hope England win at the World Cup and I think England are a favourite," said the Slovenia coach.

"They played well but at the end we could have levelled and made a draw. Sport is very unpredictable.

"Some people will think I'm disappointed but I am proud that I have come so far with this Slovenia side. At the end it was indescribable but this is sport.

"I hope it will be a positive experience for Slovenia and our squad will benefit from it. I would be really glad if Slovenia had won. We have put in a lot of effort.

"I hope these players will be role models for other players in Slovenia. They are maturing a lot and we have created future potential."

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