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Fabio Capello praises Peter Crouch after England win

Peter Crouch celebrates
Substitute Crouch did his World Cup ambitions no harm with two well-taken goals

England coach Fabio Capello highlighted the attributes of Peter Crouch after the striker scored twice to help his country come from behind to beat Egypt.

Substitute Crouch boosted his chances of sealing a place in Capello's World Cup squad with a second-half double to clinch a 3-1 friendly win at Wembley.

"Peter Crouch is a big option for me because sometimes you can play long ball," said Capello.

"But today we did not play long ball. He played well with some good touches."

Capello added: "In the second half that made the difference because when you go forward the other team go for him.

"I am happy he had a lot of chances but I have to pick a lot of players. Crouch is one of the players.


"I wanted to see what happens with Rooney and Defoe. I know what happens when Rooney is with Crouch and Heskey and Carlton Cole.

"It is important for the World Cup to see how they can play together."

Egypt stunned Wembley when Mohamed Zidan made the most of Matthew Upson's slip to open the scoring after only 23 minutes.

Goals from Crouch, either side of a strike from another substitute Shaun Wright-Phillips, saw the hosts fight back to ultimately win the game in style - and Crouch, 29, admitted he had been eager to stake his claim for a starting spot.

"Any time you come on as a sub for England you try and make an impact and try and catch the managers eye," said Crouch, who has scored six goals in his last five England appearances.

"I'd like to think I have done that and hopefully given the manager something to think about.

"Obviously everyone wants to start games but when you come off the bench you want to make an impact."

Crouch has now scored 20 goals in 37 appearances for England since making his debut against Colombia in May 2005, a record the Tottenham striker credits to the quality of the players around him.

"I'm very proud of my record for England with goal scoring," said Crouch.

"I always feel so confident in this team that I'm going to get chances and when they come I have been putting them away."

However, Capello revealed it was a tactical improvement, rather than personnel changes that contributed to the second-half comeback.

Wayne Rooney - 58 caps, 25 goals
Peter Crouch - 37 caps, 20 goals
Jermain Defoe - 39 caps, 11 goals
Emile Heskey - 57 caps, 7 goals
Carlton Cole - 7 caps, 0 goals
Darren Bent - 5 caps, 0 goals
Michael Owen - 89 caps, 40 goals

"In the first half we had a lot of chances but we didn't score a goal," Capello said.

"I changed some players. In the first half we stayed a lot of time before winning back the ball.

"I tell the players we need to press ball and win back the ball quickly."

The game was England's final friendly before Capello names his pre-World Cup training squad on 16 May.

England will then play two warm-up games against Mexico at Wembley and Japan in Austria, before Capello announces his final World Cup squad of 23 players on 1 June.

Egypt manager Hassan Shehata said: "It was a serious game. An open game and we gave a good performance.

"The English team were successful in the second half. The second goal was offside but the referee was fair in the match.

"It was our first match since the African Nations Cup and we are preparing our team for a new system and a new style. We missed some chances which could have changed the result.

"Our changes were not as good for us as the England team's were. Also we have come from the African Nations Cup and our players were exhausted."

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see also
Terry grateful for crowd support
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England 3-1 Egypt
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Wednesday's football photos
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Internationals as they happened
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England U21 1-2 Greece U21
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