Monday, May 24, 2010

Beautiful game brought confidence for the England

- King 17,
- Crouch 34,
- Johnson 47


- Guillermo Franco 45

**That England were two up with a third of the game gone can only be credited to Mexico’s laughably bad set play defense. England scored from their first corner – a training ground routine from Gerrard to Crouch to King – as well as the second – Crouch finishing (from an offside position) after Rooney’s header was well-saved – despite Mexico having almost complete control of the ball.

Amongst England’s first half goals, Green came up with two incredible saves, twice denying Vela on the break, while Salcido rattled the same post Chelsea repeatedly thumped nine days ago. On the stroke of halftime, England hospitably mimicked Mexico’s hopeless defending, allowing Franco to pull one back after Marquez headed a corner goalwards, cleared off the line by Baines directly to the striker’s feet.

What little momentum that might have carried over from Franco’s goal was dead, while England also did a better job pressing the opposition, helped by moving Gerrard inside and Milner out wide. Mexico continued to see more of the ball, but did a lot less with it. Although the final 20 minutes were mainly spent in England's end, with the substitute Barrera often torching Baines, Hart had little to do besides catch shots straight down his throat and take goal kicks.

Obviously, England were impressive on set plays. Walcott also used his pace to great effect (if the end product left something to be desired at times), while Johnson – good in both attack and defense – was my man of the match. Rooney, Crouch, and Gerrard also showed some signs of understanding, although Gerrard was far better when central in the second half.

No injuries, despite the much-maligned Wembley turf, a win, and Capello knows a good deal more about the 30 players in his squad. That’s all you can ask from a friendly.

Team Line-Ups:

England: Green, G, Johnson, Ferdinand, King, Baines, Walcott, Gerrard, Carrick, Milner, Crouch, Rooney.
Subs: Hart, James, Carragher, Dawson, Upson, Warnock, Lennon, Parker, Huddlestone, Wright-Phillips, A, Johnson, Heskey, Defoe

Perez, Juarez, Aguilar, Marquez, Salcido, Osorio, Torrado, Rodriguez, Giovani, Franco, Vela.
Subs: Ochoa, Michel, Barrera, Castro, Blanco, Hernandez, Moreno, Guardado, Magallon, Torres, Bautista, Medina, Jonathan


Post a Comment