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Page last updated at 20:51 GMT, Wednesday, 11 August 2010 21:51 UK

England 2-1 Hungary

Steven Gerrard celebrates scoring for England
Gerrard celebrates scoring the England equaliser with Adam Johnson

By Paul Fletcher
BBC Sport at Wembley

Steven Gerrard scored twice in four second-half minutes as England came from behind to defeat Hungary in their first outing since their awful World Cup campaign.

England, by and large, received warm backing from the 72,024 inside Wembley, with applause comfortably outweighing booing after a performance during which Fabio Capello's team produced some eye-catching attacking moves.

But the crowd voiced their dissatisfaction when Phil Jagielka unfortunately guided a low cross into his own net after 62 minutes.

In truth, England had grounds for complaint that are sure to once again raise the subject of goal-line technology.

A Frank Lampard strike that clearly crossed the line was not awarded during England's humiliating 4-1 defeat against Germany at the World Cup.

And at Wembley on Wednesday replays suggested substitute Michael Dawson had cleared the ball before it had crossed the line.


However, Gerrard levelled the contest with a long-range strike and then struck the winning goal with a deft finish to ensure England ended victorious as they attempt to put events in South Africa behind them and look towards the Euro 2012 qualifying campaign that starts on 3 September.

Capello had apologised for the team's performance at the World Cup in the build-up to the friendly, while Gerrard admitted that he expected his team to be booed.

And while it is true that the likes of Ashley Cole and Wayne Rooney were the subjects of jeers as they were substituted, with the latter responding by waving to the crowd, the large-scale outpouring of frustration did not materialise and England were applauded from the field at the final whistle.

England began the match with seven of the team thrashed by Germany in the starting line-up, but there were few comparisons to be drawn with their abject performance in Bloemfontein as Capello's men started at a crisp pace and looked full of energy and invention.

The coach had moved away from the much-maligned 4-4-2 formation, opting instead to play Barry, Gerrard and Lampard in a central midfield area, with Adam Johnson and Theo Walcott, who were both left out of the World Cup squad, providing the width as Rooney operated as a lone striker.

Rooney was rarely isolated as both Lampard and, particularly, Gerrard showed a willingness to push into advanced positions.

Steven Gerrard scores England's equaliser
Gerrard thumps home from outside the box to level for England

Crisp one-touch football allied to swift movement soon opened up the Hungarians, with a completely unmarked Adam Johnson blazing wastefully over from 14 yards after Walcott collected a pass from Glen Johnson and burst into the opposition box before playing a precise cut-back.

Gerrard came the closest to a first-half opener with a free-kick from a wide area that had Hungary keeper Gabor Kiraly scrambling before palming the ball over his crossbar.

But, although England looked organised and determined, the pace dropped as the match wore on, allowing Hungary to take a toe hold in the contest.

And the fact the home team had failed to open the scoring by the break saw them booed from the field.

Terry, Walcott, Lampard and Cole made way for Michael Dawson, Ashley Young, Bobby Zamora and Kieran Gibbs at the start of the second-half with the latter two making their debuts as England reverted to a 4-4-2 formation.

There were few signs of the quick, incisive football of the early part of the contest but England had near misses through Gerrard and Johnson before Hungary took the lead.

Even if the ball did not completely cross the line for the Hungary goal, England were to blame for not snuffing out the danger at an earlier point.

A poor touch by Dawson allowed Zoltan Gera to gain possession in a dangerous area and the Hungarian had plenty of time to pick out a team-mate on the left, with the subsequent low cross heading goalwards via the decisive touch off the unfortunate Jagielka.

The goal brought with it a crescendo of boos from the crowd but Gerrard's quick-fire double ensured a change in atmosphere.

The midfielder equalised with a thunderous 20-yard strike and put England ahead with a deft right-foot finish after collecting a pass from Young and turning sharply to elude the attentions of several opposition players.

Hungary almost pulled level but Joe Hart made a good save to deny Gera, while the lively Zamora went close to a debut goal with a long-range strike.

Gerrard left the field to a wonderful reception from the crowd after 82 minutes, with replacement Jack Wilshere becoming the 10th youngest England international as Capello signalled his intent to build for the future.

England: Hart, Glen Johnson, Jagielka, Terry (Dawson 46), Ashley Cole (Gibbs 46), Barry, Lampard (Zamora 46), Walcott (Young 46), Gerrard (Wilshere 82), Adam Johnson, Rooney (Milner 66).
Subs Not Used: Loach, Cahill, Carlton Cole, Fielding.

Goals: Gerrard 69, 73.

Hungary: Kiraly, Liptak (Komlosi 55), Vanczak (Laczko 46), Juhasz, Szelesi, Vadocz, Dzsudzsak (Koman 46), Rudolf (Priskin 83), Elek (Toth 59), Gera, Huszti (Hajnal 46).
Subs Not Used: Fulop, Czvitkovics, Vermes.

Booked: Rudolf, Laczko, Koman.

Goals: Jagielka 63 og.

Att: 72,024.

Ref: Stephane Lannoy (France).

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see also
Wednesday football as it happened
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International football photos
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Coach Capello casts Beckham aside
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I would boo England, says Gerrard
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Capello seeks mental improvement
09 Aug 10 |  Football
Uncapped trio in England overhaul
07 Aug 10 |  Football
Hungary expect refreshed England
09 Aug 10 |  Football
Football on the BBC
11 Aug 10 |  Football

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