England beat Hungary 3-1

<img border='0' align='left' title=' ' src='http://www.ndtv.com/convergence/images/thumbnail/ver1/a/ap_england.jpg' class='caption'> Steven Gerrard, John Terry and Peter Crouch scored a goal each on Tuesday to lead England over Hungary 3-1 in a World Cup warm up match.

Updated: February 25, 2007 11:34 IST
  • Total Shares


Steven Gerrard, John Terry and Peter Crouch scored a goal each on Tuesday to lead England over Hungary 3-1 in a World Cup warm up match. England coach Sven-Goran Eriksson experimented with a new playing style only 11 days before his team's first World Cup match against Paraguay on June 10. Gerrard and Terry scored off headers within four minutes of each other at Old Trafford, and substitute Crouch added the third in the 84th minute. Gerrard debut The match also marked the international debut of Theo Walcott, who became England's youngest-ever international at 17 years, 75 days when he came on in the 65th minute, breaking Wayne Rooney's record. He nearly scored in the 88th but his shot went wide. In a new formation for England, Gerrard played as a second striker to Michael Owen, with Jamie Carragher, normally a fullback, playing in defensive midfield. Gerrard scored in the 47th with a glancing header from the edge of the six-yard box from David Beckham's long-range free kick. In the 51st, another free kick from Beckham found Terry, who headed the ball past the near post. "I felt good. That's my job to set goals up and I was lucky to have a few chances,'' Beckham said. Crouch, who came on for Gerrard in the 65th, took a cross from Joe Cole and turned to score into the far corner. "There was a lot of pressure on me tonight trying to play where Wayne plays. I'm never going to be as good as Wayne Rooney in there but I enjoyed it," he said. Erikkson's experimentation Eriksson's bold experimentation came less than two weeks before England's opening World Cup match against Paraguay. He said Monday the team, which started Tuesday would likely line up in Frankfurt but wouldn't confirm it afterward. "It's clear, but I don't want to discuss the lineup against Paraguay with anyone except my coaches,'' Eriksson said. He praised Gerrard, however, calling him "the complete football player." Pal Dardai made it 2-1 in the 55th, with Owen Hargreaves - who came on for Gary Neville at halftime - failing to stop the Hungary captain from curling his kick into the top corner of the net. Neville came off as a precaution after feeling pain in a hamstring. Sol Campbell came on for Terry in the 76th. Hungary's Laszlo Eger nearly equalized two minutes later with a powerful shot that went over the bar. In the first half, Lampard had a penalty saved by Hungary goalkeeper Gabor Kiraly, who dived to his left to push the ball away in the 41st minute. Owen headed the rebound onto the bar. England went close again soon after- Beckham's cross from the right found Cole, whose header hit the inside of the near post and was cleared by Eger. Hungary lost defender Adam Komlosi in the eighth minute with what appeared to be a right leg injury. Rooney's absence England will play at least three games in Germany without Rooney and whether the Manchester United forward plays at the World Cup at all depends on another scan on his broken right foot on June 7. Owen has played in only two games this year after breaking his foot on December 31, and went for a scan on Monday after his thigh was tight after training. "I'm not worried about Michael Owen,'' Eriksson said. "And when it's the World Cup, the music is different for Michael Owen.'' Rooney was 17 years, 111 days, when he was substituted into a 3-1 friendly defeat to Australia in February 2003. Walcott played 30 minutes against Belarus, but it didn't count in the record books. "I think he wins confidence every time he trains with us, every time he plays for us,'' Eriksson said of Walcott. "I think in the World Cup, you will see him. The pace he has, he showed it once again, I think that can be very useful.'' England plays Jamaica in its final warm up on Saturday before flying to Germany on Monday. (AP)

For the latest Sports news , like us on Facebook or follow us on Twitter and get the NDTV Cricket app for Android or iOS

Leave a comment