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Wednesday, October 14, 1998 Published at 21:18 GMT 22:18 UK


Sport: Football

England fail to impress

Alan Shearer (right): Blasts in his penalty

Luxembourg 0-3 England


BBC Radio 5 Live final whilstle match summary
Glenn Hoddle will only be able to breathe a little easier after England chalked up a far from convincing victory against Luxembourg.

Goals from Michael Owen, Alan Shearer and Gareth Southgate were enough to keep England's hopes of qualifying for Euro 2000 alive after the let-down of Saturday's goal-less draw against Bulgaria.


[ image: Michael Owen is congratulated by Darren Anderton]
Michael Owen is congratulated by Darren Anderton
However, many fans will be disappointed that England did not add two or three more against their part-time opponents.

England are only third in their qualifying group after three games after Sweden got the better of Bulgaria in a tight game.

Hoddle's side had a remarkable let-off after only six minutes when Luxembourg's Dany Theis, a 30-year-old civil servant, missed a penalty.


Luxembourg give England an early scare
Owen opened the scoring 13 minutes later with his fourth international goal. Beckham and Anderton were involved in the build-up before the latter threaded a pass into Owen's path.


Michael Owen gives England the lead
The teenage star coolly slipped the ball past Luxembourg keeper Paul Koch before drilling home a right-footed shot from a narrow angle.

Shearer shoots into history

The second goal came in the 40th minute after England were awarded a penalty for a handball by Theis.

Shearer stepped up to the spot and blasted his shot into the back of the net leaving Koch clutching his face in his hands.


Alan Shearer scores his 22nd England goal from the spot
It was his 22nd goal for England and took him to 10th place in the all-time list of his country's international scorers ahead of Kevin Keegan and Mick Channon.

England failed to capitalise on their lead for most of the second half. It was only in the 90th minute that they regained a little lost pride with Southgate claiming his first international goal.


[ image: Under pressure: Glenn Hoddle leaves the pitch]
Under pressure: Glenn Hoddle leaves the pitch
A quickly-taken free-kick by David Beckham found Philip Neville, and his left-wing cross dropped invitingly in the box for the Aston Villa defender who made no mistake from close range.

For most of the game Beckham, making his return to international duties, appeared keen to make amends for his World Cup sending-off.


Gareth Southgate scores England's third just before the final whistle
However, his own shots at goal failed to hit home and he picked up a first-half booking for handling the ball as he tried to go past a Luxembourg defender.




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