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Page last updated at 16:06 GMT, Sunday, 30 May 2010 17:06 UK

Sunday's football as it happened


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By Pranav Soneji

1705: So there it is, from the sublime (League Two play-off final) to the quite ridiculous (England's jammy 2-1 win over Japan in Graz), it's time for me to say adieu. Thanks for all your attentions and comments. Until the World Cup... World Cup, my two favourite words in the world.

1702: Mark Arber holds aloft the silverware which confirms Daggers's place in League One next season while manager John Still blows kisses to the overjoyed and disbelieving fans. Great stuff this, truly what the game is all about.

1658: "We're a pub team from Essex - and we're in League One!" The words of veteran goalkeeper Tony Roberts on Radio 5 live. The former QPR stopper is truly gobsmacked. He played non-league footy for over 10 years for the club and is now two promotions away from the Premier League. Ambitious? You probably would've said the same about League One status six years ago.

From Tans, Holland, text 81111: "Any chance you can announce Tiffany's just went bankrupt? Looks like she'll be getting an Argos wedding band instead..."

Full time

1654: Unbelievable scenes as Tony Roberts punches numerous crosses away from danger, but the Millers earn a corner right on the cusp of the four minutes of injury time. The ball goes deep where a red shirt makes contact, but his header goes wide. And there goes the final whistle - Dagenham & Redbridge are promoted to League One.

1651: Outrageous confidence from Mark Arber, who chests down a dangerous ball inside the box for his veteran keeper to collect. "Nothing to see," imitates the Daggers captain.

1649: Millers boss Ronnie Moore urges his side to press forward as the touchline official indicates four minutes of injury time. Heart in mouth time...

Yellow card
1647: Nasty challenge from Romain Vincelot as he scythes down Gavin Gunning on the left, a deserved yellow card. A hark back to the days of the Crazy Gang as the entire Daggers defence sprint en mass to leave at least five Millers players off-side from the resulting free-kick. Haven't seen that in years.

1644: Tony Roberts, all 40 years of him, calls early and confidently claims a cross following a Rotherham corner. Dagenham are inching closer to their second promotion in four seasons. A second overhead kick, this time with Paul Benson, but the first goalscorer fires wide following pandemonium in the Millers box.

1640: Anon, no wonder you didn't want to give your name, everyone in the world will be drinking down your local. Nine minutes to go at Wembers, the Rotherham fans are chomping down their nails to the cuticles.

From Anon, text 81111: "I put on an accumulator for Inter, Blackpool, Millwall and Dagenham and Redbridge all to win. Will be nice beer money for the World Cup."

1634: Spare a thought for poor old Tans's missus (see 1615), that Tiffany's brochure is ripped into pieces. Daggers on the attack as Danny Green takes a corner.

1632: "To me, to you, to me" - not a glum-looking Chuckle Brothers, who have just appeared on our screens, but the ever-changing scoreline. Daggers regain the lead following a deflected strike from Jon Nurse which evades Andy Warrington for the third time this afternoon. The deflection is off Kevin Ellison, but the ball would probably have found its way into the net without making contact with the midfielder's right foot.


1626: Excellent defending from Nick Fenton, who shepherds away a dangerous left-wing cross from the goal-line with several Daggers lurking. The resulting corner sees Warrington gather a left-footed Mark Arber strike.

1624: Taylor has gone 34 games without a goal before his double strike today. What a time to break the famine.

Yellow card
1622: Unbelievable! Once again Rotherham are level after Dagenham take the lead. A fine cross from Nicky Law on the right finds an unmarked Ryan Taylor, who controls the ball before unleashing a right-footed strike past Tony Roberts from 14 yards. Incredibly, that's Taylor's second goal of the season - his first was about 30 minutes ago. Foolishly, the red-headed striker is booked for taking his shirt off during his feverish celebrations.


Yellow card
1617:Danny Green takes the ball outside the right-hand edge of Rotherham's box before unleashing a right-footed strike across Andy Warrington and into the back of the net. The veteran Millers keeper will be disappointed with that, especially considering his earlier saves in the first half. And seconds later Green finds himself in the referee's book following an impetuous challenge.


From Tans, Holland, text 81111: "Just told my fiancé that she can have whatever wedding band she wants if the Daggers win 3-1 after Benson scored odds of 85-1!"

1610: Nothing of note so far, but plenty of heart on show from both teams.

1606: From BBC Sport's Paul Fletcher at Wembley: "That was a top drawer half of final football. Open, exciting, plenty of chances, a few good saves and two goals. More of the same, please."

1603: The play-offs have seen Blackpool burst into the Premier League, while Millwall sealed their place in the Championship on Saturday following a 1-0 win over Swindon. Forty-five minutes (or potentially more) until we discover the identity of League One's newest team.

Russell on 606: "Just watching Dagenham in Thailand explaining what it all means to two Japenese guys who have never even heard of Dagenham. Come on you DAGGERS."

1558: The debating is still raging about England's performance in Graz, along with the unlucky seven set for the World Cup axe. Not that Rotherham or Dagenham fans care too much right now about the fate of the national side following a pulsating first-half of the League Two play-off at Wembley.

Half time

1546: Kevin Ellison is absolutely livid with referee James Linnington when his strike clatters into Mark Arber inside the Daggers box. The midfielder believes the ball rebounded off the defender's hand, not chest. Replays suggest the Millers man has a case.

1544: From BBC Sport's Paul Fletcher at Wembley: "This. Final. Has. Just. Exploded. Into. Life. And not an own goal in sight."

1542: Unbelievable - just 20 seconds after the restart, Rotherham are level as Kevin Ellison's left-wing cross is turned in by Ryan Taylor on the edge of the six-yard box past Tony Roberts. Cracking entertainment as ever in a play-off final.

1541: Smart shot on the turn on 10 yards from Paul Benson eventually evades the impressive Warrington in goal for Rotherham as the ball nestles at the bottom of the right-hand side of the net.



Yellow card
1538: Harsh yellow card for Rotherham's top scorer Adam Le Fondre, who takes out Tony Roberts challenging for a high ball.

1536: Just minutes after keeping out Vincelot, Warrington produces another world-class save diving low to his right to keep out Daggers's Danny Green's powerfully struck right-foot free-kick from the edge of the area.

1532: Absolutely world-class bicycle kick from Romain Vincelot from 10-yards out, nailing the ball like Marco van Basten in his pomp, only for Rotherham keeper Andy Warrington to pull out a fine stop to his right. Best bit of football I've seen all day. Brilliant stuff.

1531: England manager Fabio Capello after England's 2-1 win in Graz: "I know my 23 players, yes, I know. As for today - I'm happy for the second half. In midfield we played better, faster and found space. In the first half we were too slow and it was easy for Japan to defend. It was an interesting game for me. I saw a lot of players who didn't play before and learnt more about them." On Joe Cole: "Wait and see. He is a very intelligent player and can play in different positions. On Steven Gerrard and Frank Lampard starting together in midfield: "They've never played together in the centre under me, but they played well. They are good players, fast, with good quality and good going forward. On his future: "I'm focused only on the World Cup and nothing more."

It's sunny
1528: Daggers have settled down a bit now and are making forays into Rotherham territory. And out comes the sun.

1523: Midfielder Joe Cole after England's 2-1 win in Graz: "I think I did all right. The most important thing was we got a win. These games are never easy - you don't want to get injured and there ware some tackles flying in. I think we spent one day me and Rooney plating together - you have to have options and I enjoyed it. I've had a good 10 days training and a good 45 minutes I just want to help England win the World Cup."

1519: It's all Rotherham at the moment at Wembley as the 40-year-old Tony Roberts sees a Pablo Mills glancing header just squeeze past his left-hand post for a goal-kick, while Ryan Taylor nods a header straight at the veteran Daggers defender. Still 0-0 at Wembley.

1515: From BBC Sport's Paul Fletcher at Wembley: "It is official - the Chuckle Brothers are at Wembley. Please, please, please, please let me bump into them."
Turns out Barry and Paul are Rotherham fans.

1514 From Graz to north-west London, where Dagenham & Redbridge are taking on Rotherham for the right to play in League One next season. But keep your 606s and text flying in about England's performance and anything else in between.

1510: So what have we learned so far? That Own Goal isn't going to South Africa, Japan are no pushovers and Joe Cole has to be in that 23-man squad on Tuesday. Let's be fair, that was a pretty woeful performance from England, very little cohesion or invention, especially in the first half. But look at the score. Steven Gerrard is straight down the tunnel into the dressing rooms for what we can only assume is some sort of treatment. Hopefully we'll find out more later.

From Scott, Edinburgh, TEXT 81111: "Good to see Own Goal's form for Man Utd earning him an England call-up."


Someone has struck the woodwork
1503: Joe Hart tips over a long-range strike while Yuke Abe hits the top of the crossbar with a looping cross from the right.

1501: Heskey! Surely! No! The Aston Villa striker somehow turns the most perfect right-footed cross from the right from Steven Gerrard past the post with the goal gaping. The League Two final is under way too.

1459: So Lamps and Gerrard can play in midfield together. Three minutes to go and Japan have a free-kick from about 40 yards out. Keisuke Honda has a left foot and a half and is lining up a long-range strike, but his shot is high and wide, much to the delight of the damp England fans.

It's raining
1457: Unbelievable - England somehow are in front as Ashley Cole's left-wing cross is turned into his own goal by the experienced Yuji Nakazawa, who looks thoroughly aghast as his attempted clearance slides past the outstretched left palm of Kawashima. Thoroughly undeserved. And to make his misery complete, the rain is pelting down now.


1454: Really impressive close-passing interchanges between Steven Gerrard and Wayne Rooney as the Liverpool midfielder thrusts into the Japan box, but Kawashima does well to snuff out the danger with a brave save at the Liverpool midfielder's feet. PS - what of Scott Parker's chances now? No-show here and I think he's a cast-iron absence.

1452: From BBC Sport's Paul Fletcher at Wembley: "Dagenham & Redbridge and Rotherham are both unchanged from their respective semi-final second-leg ties as the minutes tick down to their League Two play-off final encounter. A sparse crowd in at Wembley but those that are here seem determined to enjoy themselves as the curtain comes down on the domestic season."

From Thomas, Durham, text 81111: "Joe Cole HAS to go to South Africa. He's the only one to show real vision and ingenuity going forward and certainly the only England player that's proven capable of unlocking the Japanese defence."

1448: Aaron Lennon is the man making way for Heskey, who will push up alongside Wayne Rooney with Cole slotting in on the right side of midfield.

1447: Another change imminent for England as Fabio Capello summons Emile Heskey to get ready for a final 15-minute joust.

1446: Joe Cole breaks down the right and sends over a cross searching for Wayne Rooney, only for Tulio Tanaka, scorer of Japan's early opening goal, to head the ball past his helpless goalkeeper. Excellent finish, only the centre-back won't see it that way. But England will take any slice of luck they can get considering their lacklustre performance so far.


Andy1991 on 606: "The Japan keeper is playing a blinder, but better from England."

1441: Awesome save from keeper Kawashima, who palms a beautiful right-footed curling strike from Wayne Rooney from 20 yards out just past his left-hand post at full stretch. That save is appreciated by the sizeable English and Japanese supporting contingents

1440: Japan carve open England's fragile defence as Joe Hart produces a fine save to his left following substitute Takayuki Morimoto's left-footed deflected strike off John Terry. Make no mistake, Japan are no album fillers, they have very competent players.

1437: My early second-half optimism is rapidly evaporating. Rooney gives the Jabulani ball a good welly from 30 yards out, but Kawashima is once again solid and catches it without too many issues. This ball has earned the ire of Spain keeper Iker Casillas, who has labelled the ball as "appalling", while Brazil and Inter stopper Julio Cesar is not a fan either.

1433: Oh dear, the red mist is descending on Rooney, who kicks out at Tulio Tanaka before swinging his arm in a not-so-clever way with the centre-backs lurking. Clearly that penalty miss has annoyed him, but I would have put plenty of dosh on Frank to bury that. And to add to the Manchester United striker's frustration, he is flagged off-side from Gerrard's through-ball which would have set up a one-on-one with the goalkeeper. However, replays confirm the striker was on side.

Someone has won a penalty
1429: Frank Lampard curls over the free-kick, but for some reason Keisuke Honda's left hand finds its way towards the ball - and the referee points to the spot. Up steps Frank Lampard, who drills a low kick to the left of the goal, but Eiji Kawashima dives full length and palms away the ball before the rebound is cleared of danger. Great save - that's another saved Lampard penalty following his FA Cup miss.


1426: Concern for Fabio Capello as Rio Ferdinand is struggling with some sort of problem. Not sure what yet. However, tenacious tackling from Shaun Wright-Phillips earns England a free-kick in the edge of the box in a promising position.

1423: Wallop! Absolutely sensational 30-yard left-footed strike from Keisuke Honda, which just fizzes over a sprawling Joe Hart's crossbar. The CSKA Moscow player is incensed as the referee signals a goal-kick, he thinks the Manchester City keeper got a touch to the ball. And replays confirm he did. Superb save, but what a shot. Foot like a traction engine as a famous faux sports reporter once said.

From Justin, Swindon, text 81111: "I hope Joe Cole gets a look in. I know he has not played much but he brings in known and trusted class. The same can not be said for Walcott."

1420: And we're off - and England already look like a completely different team. Fizzing passes tees up Gerrard for a first-time strike about 20 yards outside the box, but keeper Kawashima smothers the ball with ease.

1417: Warming up on the sidelines are Joe Hart, Jamie Carragher, Steven Gerrard, Joe Cole and Shaun Wright-Phillips. So off go David James, Glen Johnson, Tom Huddlestone, Theo Walcott and Darren Bent. Aaron Lennon has switched to the right flank and it looks like Wayne Rooney is the lone man up front with Joe Cole playing "in the hole".

1415: For all you Dagenham & Redbridge and Rotherham fans, we'll be continuing the live text commentary for the League Two play-off final at Wembley. High fives all round.

1412: BBC sports correspondent Dan Roan in Graz: "England have been sloppy and look as though they turned up here expecting to win. Japan seem faster, fitter and hungrier. Bent and Huddlestone have done nothing to stake a late claim for inclusion in the World Cup squad, and Walcott's in danger of playing himself out of a starting place."

1410: To be some sort of winged insect in that England dressing room right now. Fabio Capello's voicebox will be close to bursting point dishing out a rightful earbashing for what can only be described as an inept first-half. However, the Italian has promised at least five changes for the second 45 minutes. The identity of those players will be revealed very shortly.

From Anon, text 81111: "This is all part of Capello's masterplan to take us unnoticed into the World Cup semi-final and then POW we beat Brazil 4-0 in the semi and the Germans in the final! Maybe..."

Half time

From Rich, Reading, text 81111: "If we lose today its because I just tried sushi for the very first time. Sorry Mr Capello. I won't eat any fast food before the USA match."

1359: Better from Theo Walcott, who chests down a pass and surges down the right with his searing pace, but his low right-footed cross on the bye-line is too close to the keeper, who smothers the ball with Darren Bent lurking.

1358: Huddlestone sends a promising pass out to Ashley Cole on the edge of the Japan box on the left. The Chelsea man cuts inside but his right-footed shot lacks venom and direction and lands straight into the gut of Kawashima.

1357: Four minutes to go until half-time. I don't know who wants the interval more, Fabio Capello or the millions holding their heads in disbelief right now.

1356: Tom Huddlestone launches one of his monster right-footed drives, but it's so off target it's embarrassing but fortunately for the Spurs midfielder, a slice of magic from Wayne Rooney, who jumps up and back-heels the ball in mid-air, sees the ball whistle past Kawaskima's right-hand post.

From Luke, Plymouth, text 81111: "I've drawn Japan in every office sweepstake since I've been old enough to work, our time has come."

1351: England are so static, lacking any serious invention and verve. Their performance so far is perfectly encapsulated by Ashley Cole, who miscontrols a pass on the touchline to concede a needless throw-in.

1350: BBC sports correspondent Dan Roan in Graz: "Capello is prowling the technical area 10 yards in front of me, screaming at Bent. If it stays like this his half time team talk will be ferocious."

1347: Walcott temporarily slots in at right-back as Glen Johnson opts for a swift change of footwear. Piercing long ball from Rio Ferdinand from inside his own half is inadequately dealt with by Japan's centre-backs, allowing Darren Bent to challenge goalkeeper Kawashima as the ball loops high inside the penalty area, but the Sunderland striker's header goes a couple of yards wide of the right-hand post. Bent looks apprehensive, maybe in the knowledge he should have done better.

J on 606: "Surely it should be Lennon on the right and Walcott on the left because Lennon can actually cross with his right foot whereas all Walcott has is pace it doesn't matter if he plays on the left?"

1343: Another free-kick about 40 yards out and Lampard once again patrols the dead-ball area. However, he opts for a cross with his target men jostling inside the box, but the wall does its job and Japan clear their lines.

1341: The resulting corner sees a half-hearted England shout for handball as the ball strikes Keisuke Honda, but replays confirm the ball came off the midfielder's shoulder.

1340: Ambitious free-kick lined up by Frank Lampard from a good 40 yards out - must be these new balls giving him the confidence to go for goal. His right-footed strike is spilled by goalkeeper Kawashima, but fortunately (for him) into the path of Tulio Tanaka, who belts the ball out for a corner.

1339: So many sloppy passes not finding their intended targets from England's back four. In contrast, Japan's passing has been crisp and accurate.

1336: First genuine opportunity for England as Tom Huddlestone's pass finds Wayne Rooney in space inside the Japan half. The Manchester United striker runs at Japan's defence before slipping a perfect ball through with the outside of his boot for Aaron Lennon on the left, but the winger's low left-footed strike is well saved by Elji Kawashima. Lennon will be unhappy, he should have found the back of the net there.

1332: Mayhem in the penalty area as the ball bobbles around all sorts of bodies before it is finally cleared to safety. Unconvincing, possibly the worst England have ever started under Capello. Hyberbole? Moi?

1330: Really nice passing from Japan's midfield as Okubu once again tests Glen Johnson, this time on the left wing. His cross is deflected off the Liverpool right-back and it's another corner.

From Jimmy, Musselbrough, text 81111: "What was Huddlestone playing at on the back post? No point being there if you're going to let balls get past you so easily."

1327: Hang on, this wasn't part of the script. Japan look spritely, well organised and very comfortable on the ball. Squeaky-bottom time for Capello? Not quite yet.

1325: Unbelievable scenes as Brazilian-born Tulio Tanaka thumps a spanking strike from the edge of the box following Yasuhito Endo's corner. Looks like a well-worked training ground move with the ball fed to the Nagoya Grampus centre-back lurking on 18 yards. Tulio runs across Glen Johnson and strikes his shot past David James, who is beaten low to his left. Not the ideal start to his 50th cap for England.

1323: GOALFLASH - England 0-1 Japan (Tulio Tanaka)

1322: Glen Johnson heads a looping through ball out for a corner with Yoshito Okubu lurking.

Anon, text 81111: "I'd imagine Capello will swap Parker for Huddlestone at half time rather than starting with two players competing with each other, Scott Parker deserves a chance at the very least!"

It's raining
1318: We've had a bit of rain in Graz but it has abated now, leaving a slick surface for England's midfielders to contend with. Nothing if real note so far in the opening four minutes.

1318: Confirmation, if it was ever needed, that England are playing a 4-4-2 formation with Wayne Rooney dropping off Bent up front.

1315: Looks like hugrrr on 606 has his kick-off times in a muddle. The match starts at 1315 - and Japan duly get the match under way.

Telegraph football correspondent Henry Winter on Twitter: "England's No 9 up on main screen as D Brent. Another day at The Office for the Sunderland striker. Looking forward to his goal celebration."

1312: Fabio and Stuart Pearce share a few words before England, resplendent in 1966 World Cup-winning red, wander out at the UPC Arena in Graz. Strains of God Save The Queen, are heard with a vigour not heard at an international stadium for years.

Kingofkings83 on 606: "This is arguably the biggest game of Bent's career. A good game for him could see him on the plane as a fifth striker at the expense of a defender. Upson will be very nervous."

1307: You know that Japan team I told you about 15 minutes ago? Ignore it. It goes a little something like this: Eiji Kawashima, Yuji Nakazawa, Marcus Tulio Tanaka, Yuto Nagatomo, Yasuyuki Konno, Yasuhito Endo, Makoto Hasebe(captain), Yuke Abe, Keisuke Honda, Yoshito Okubu, Shinji Okazaki.

TheManUtdGuy on 606: "Really looking forward to watching Nakamura today, one of the few players who's good with both feet. Also, is Morimoto on the bench? Very good player. I am sad that Rooney is not being rested. If he gets injured, England have no chance of winning the Cup."

BBC Radio 5 live
5 live summariser Graham Taylor on Darren Bent: "Score or not, I don't think he will pick him just on this performance today. He has seen him in training and knows him now."

1257: Apologies to all you Tulio Tanaka fans out there, I only left out the Brazilian-born centre-back, who plays for Nagoya Grampus, Gary Lineker's old club, from Japan's starting XI. Interestingly, Sao Paulo, the city of Tulio's birth, also has the highest concentration of Japanese outside of the country anywhere in the world. Pub quiz bore available for hire here.

From Anon, text 81111: "Re Jimbohammers, the reason Adam Johnson hasn't been picked is because he's set for a World Cup place already, whereas Capello is still unsure of Walcott . But I too am baffled with the parker omission, he has been playing fantastically."

1252: For England, Fabio Capello makes seven changes to the side that started the 3-1 win over Mexico on Monday. In goal, David James replaces Rob Green while John Terry comes in for Ledley King at the centre of defence while Ashley Cole replaces Leighton Baines at left-back. In midfield, Tom Huddlestone and Frank Lampard will start instead of James Milner and Michael Carrick. Aaron Lennon starts on the left wing, replacing Steven Gerrard. Darren Bent comes in for Peter Crouch to partner Wayne Rooney up front.

1248: So what about Japan you maybe wondering. Well, a 1-0 win over Uzbekistan last June sealed their place in South Africa. Manager Takeshi Okada has named three players who play outside the J-League - midfielders Daisuke Matsui (Grenoble), Makoto Hasebe (Wolfsburg) and Keisuke Honda (CSKA Moscow) - to face England. Familiar names to Arsenal, Fulham, West Brom and Cardiff fans will be Junichi Inamoto, while Celtic fans loved Shunsuke Nakamura during his time in Scotland.
Japan: Seigo Narazaki, Atsuto Uchida, Yuji Nakazawa, Yuto Nagatomo, Junichi Inamoto, Makoto Hasebe, Shunsuke Nakamura, Keisuke Honda, Daisuke Matsui, Shinji Okazaki

1240: So who's feeling in a speculative mood? Let's have your thoughts about the cull via the 606 website or text 81111 or +44 7786200666 (with the word FOOTBALL before your message) if you are outside the British Isles. Capello says he will ring all seven of the omitted players on Tuesday morning. But what I want to know is this - does Fabio do small talk? Would the conversation ever follow a pattern like this: "How's the good lady? Shopping at Cricket again, typical. I hear the roses are coming on a treat, I'm more a fan of Weedol these days. Oh yeah, you're not coming to South Africa." Wallop.

Jimbohammers on 606: "Scott Parker should of started, he has in form and hasnt been given a chance by Capello. I am also bemused at why he has picked Walcott AGAIN, how many chances does this guy get? Adam Johnson is the man in form and deserves a chance. So much for Capello picking players on form!"

1234: Some news from BBC sports correspondent Dan Roan in Graz: "Just spoken to Giancarlo Galavotti of Gazetta dello Sport in the press room - a man who knows Italian football. He says the FA are 'running a risk' of Capello joining Inter Milan because they've yet to tie him in to another two years of his contract. Inter want him, and he could be tempted by Europe's top club. Not the kind of speculation England need at this time."

1230: So what do we know so far? That Fabio believes he knows the identity of 20 of his final 23, that Sunday's newspapers are tipping Chelsea's Joe Cole for the axe and that the greatest footballer this decade has ever seen believes England are one of the leading contenders for the World Cup . If Leo Messi said flattops were back in fashion, I would believe him.

1224: With just two days before Fabio Capello shatters the dreams of seven of his 30-man provisional squad, the England manager will have one final chance to hold his chin in a pensive and thoughtful manner ("The Capose" as I have just dubbed it) to assess the potential of his fringe players. Starting in Graz this afternoon are Tottenham midfielder Tom Huddlestone, his first full appearance for his country, along with former team-mate and now Sunderland striker Darren Bent. Their opponents? None other than the first team to qualify for South Africa - Japan. Welcome one and all.

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see also
England v Japan photos
30 May 10 |  Football
Japan 1-2 England
30 May 10 |  World Cup 2010
20 players certain for World Cup - Capello
29 May 10 |  World Cup 2010
England are a real threat - Messi
28 May 10 |  World Cup 2010
England 3-1 Mexico
24 May 10 |  World Cup 2010
World Cup guide - England
10 May 10 |  World Cup 2010

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