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England 5 Croatia 1


Lampard sends 2 home

By Carly Goodwill
September 10 2009

England booked their place at next summerís World Cup in South Africa with a 5-1 win against Croatia at Wembley Stadium last night. After Ukraine drew 0-0 in Belarus earlier in the evening, England started the match needing just a point to send them through but they went one better and got full points in a victory which went some way to erasing the memory of the 3-2 defeat to same team in 2007. Manager Fabio Capello made one change to the eleven that started against Slovenia on Saturday, with Aaron Lennon replacing Shaun Wright-Phillips on the right wing and the Spurs player was instrumental in the two first-half goals.  Croatia’s Josip Simunic tripped Lennon over in the box just six minutes into the game giving England a penalty, Lampard stepped up to take it and fired the ball into the back of the net giving England an early lead.


On 12 minutes, Lennon was again found in space. His cut back looked like it was meant for Gerrard but the ball instead went to Gareth Barry who hit a hard left-foot drive which Vedran Runje did well to find as Emile Heskey was partially blocking his view.

Croatia didn’t seem like a threat when it came to attacking and their first attempt at goal didn’t materialize until the 17th minute, but Mario Mandzukic’s shot was poor after England failed to clear a Darijo Srna cross.

The ball was again worked out to Lennon who hit a lovely ball to Gerrard to guide into the opposite corner, leaving the Lions two goals in the lead.

Just before the half-hour mark Frank Lampard almost made the score line even more impressive when he hit a free-kick from at least 30-yards, the ball was heading goal wards and would have given England a three-goal advantage, however Runje produced a fine stop, palming the ball away for a corner.

The Croatian defence did not appear to be very organised throughout the first half and on three occasions an England player was played onside when in search of a through ball. Firstly, a one-two with Rooney released Lennon, but his attempt went  over the top and was no problem for Runje. Lennon then turned provider, feeding Heskey through the centre, but the Villa man’s shot was saved by Runje’s legs. The Croatian ‘keeper  kept Heskey at bay again before half time when the forward was found by Lampard. The visitors only other chance of note in the opening 45 was a shot from Eduardo which bent harmlessly wide.

The second half started a lot better for Croatia with Srna’s taking a corner kick on 50 minutes providing a moment of alarm in the England defence which looked anything but prepared. Mandzukic stole between John Terry and Matthew Upson but sent the ball just over.

Croatia knew they had to improve on their first-half showing and began the second period with an energy that they had been lacking in the first. When Mandzukic beat Ashley Cole to a 50-50 he chipped the ball into the box for Eduardo, but Glen Johnson rose above the Arsenal man and managed to nod the ball safely into the arms of Robert Green.

On 59 minutes, Johnson galloped down the right, outplayed Danijel Pranjic and crossed beautifully to Lampard who headed home England’s third. Just seven minutes later Steven Gerrard nodded the fourth  in after being found by a delicate chip from Rooney.

Croatia’s chances were looking glum, when Green did well to save attempts from Olic and Mandzukic but it was followed by Eduardo who tapped the ball into the net giving them a goal back.

Their hope was all but extinguished six minutes latter when Rujne fluffed a back-pass from Ivica Krizanac and Rooney was left with the easiest of tasks, and claimed England’s fifth goal of the night.

In truth, England would have been expecting a much harder test from Slaven Bilic’s side who were very disappointing on the night. But that will not matter to anyone wearing a white shirt – England have qualified for the 2010 World Cup and that is all that matters.

Full time: England 5 Croatia 1
 Goal scorers England: Lampard  7’, 59’Gerrard 18’, 66’Rooney 77’ Goal scorer Croatia: Eduardo 71’

Attendance 87,319 Official: Alberto Undiano Mallenco  

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Three Lions
England 5 Croatia 1
Three Lions (IP Logged)
10/09/2009 11:03
What do you think? You can have your say by posting below.
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MESSAGES->author
Re: England 5 Croatia 1
11/09/2009 11:30
Nice one Carlykins.



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MESSAGES->author
Re: England 5 Croatia 1
BBC 2 (IP Logged)
12/09/2009 06:10
Felt sorry for Green again, played really well but his defence let him down badly for the goal.

 
MESSAGES->author
Re: England 5 Croatia 1
12/09/2009 11:00
Don't think Johnson was entirely to blame either Warren, He even got back to challenge at the last min. Terry went straight to the goal line instead of the player.



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The Lords My Shepherd.
The future is bright. The future is Stripes.


www.wbabaggies.co.uk

 
MESSAGES->author
Re: England 5 Croatia 1
BBC 2 (IP Logged)
12/09/2009 19:53
Not Johnson or Terry, but the defence as a whole. I felt the ball could have been cut out at source, then when the initial header was saved, the players seemed to freeze, then another shot left Green open again, then finally when the ball dropped to Eduardo, only Green was close enough to even attempt to stop the shot.

 
MESSAGES->author
Re: England 5 Croatia 1
14/09/2009 15:16
Although like i say if Terry hadn't gone to the line he should have been able to cut that out.



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The Lords My Shepherd.
The future is bright. The future is Stripes.


www.wbabaggies.co.uk

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