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Last Updated: Saturday, 9 October, 2004, 15:52 GMT 16:52 UK
England 2-0 Wales

Goalscorer Beckham celebrates with Owen
David Beckham scored a spectacular goal to seal England a comfortable World Cup qualifying victory over Wales.

England were ahead from their first attack as Frank Lampard's shot flew in off the heel of Michael Owen.

And Beckham put the gloss on the tie when he curled a shot into the top right-hand corner of Paul Jones' goal.

Jones was outstanding, producing fine stops from Owen, Wayne Rooney and Beckham, whose late booking rules him out of Wednesday's game in Azerbaijan.

Otherwise, there was little to complain about for England coach Sven-Goran Eriksson, who was able to recall fit-again Rooney and Sol Campbell, as well as Rio Ferdinand following his eight-month ban for missing a drugs test.

All three went straight back into the starting line-up, Campbell and Ferdinand effortlessly resurrecting their central defensive partnership for the first time in 20 internationals and at the expense of the unfortunate John Terry and Ledley King.

Rooney was confirmed as a deep-lying striker behind the pacy partnership of Owen and Jermain Defoe.

And, despite playing only twice this season after injury, the teenager ran the game from the off.

Frank Lampard celebrates as England take a fourth-minute lead
Lampard celebrates his shot which led to England's opening goal
Wales, whose preparations were rocked by an injury to Andy Melville during the warm-up, looked on edge every time Rooney got the ball and England's confident start was underlined by a goal inside four minutes.

Nicky Butt's neat ball to the edge of the penalty area was laid off by Owen into the path of Lampard, whose shot clipped Owen's heel and flew past the helpless Jones.

Rooney nearly made it 2-0 after 12 minutes when he eased past Mark Pembridge and sprinted towards goal, before unleashing a low drive that Jones pushed on to the post and behind.

Vindication of Eriksson's decision to field three strikers was served midway through the first half when all three combined in a sweeping England move.

Defoe's deft flick set Rooney free and he teed Owen up for a shot which produced an unorthodox save with his legs by the befuddled Jones.

At the other end, England keeper Paul Robinson was virtually redundant.

He would have been relieved to see Gary Speed's clever flick, turn and volley sail over his crossbar from John Hartson's knock-down on 25 minutes.

And Wales captain Speed was again unfortunate not to test the keeper more when his diving header from a Ryan Giggs free-kick flew straight into Robinson's hands.

But, despite enjoying spells of possession around the half-way line, Wales hardly threatened in the final third, while England looked menacing every time they attacked.

Rooney could have eased the home side into the comfort zone 10 minutes into the second half as he burst into the penalty area after outmuscling Mark Delaney.

But, with Owen and Defoe in space to his right, Rooney opted to shoot from a tight angle and produced a fine save from the alert Jones.

Wayne Rooney takes on Mark Pembridge
Rooney speeds past Pembridge but his shot hit the post
The Wolves keeper also did well to read a Beckham chip after another patient England build-up had threatened a sublime goal for the captain.

But Beckham was not to be denied his moment of glory and he sealed England's win with a superb strike 12 minutes from time.

Butt again provided the pass, easily holding off Hartson's challenge and feeding Beckham for a chip beyond Jones and into the top right-hand corner.

Beckham might have had another two minutes later, only to be denied by a superb point-blank save from Jones after Danny Gabbidon's mistake.

Gabbidon blocked Rooney's goalbound follow-up and then denied the striker with a desperate last-ditch lunge after Rooney had breezed past three defenders.

Beckham limped off injured in the closing stages, but not before a reckless challenge on Ben Thatcher that earned the England captain the booking that means he will be suspended for Wednesday's game against Azerbaijan.

England: Robinson, Gary Neville, Campbell, Ferdinand, Ashley Cole, Beckham (Hargreaves 85), Lampard, Butt, Rooney (King 86), Defoe (Smith 70), Owen. Subs Not Used: James, Terry, Joe Cole, Wright-Phillips.

Booked: Beckham.

Goals: Lampard 4, Beckham 76.

Wales: Jones, Delaney, Gabbidon, Thatcher, Davies, Koumas (Earnshaw 73), Speed, Pembridge (Robinson 59), Giggs, Bellamy, Hartson. Subs Not Used: Collins, Crossley, Fletcher, Oster, Melville.

Booked: Pembridge.

Att: 65,224.

Ref: Terje Hauge (Norway).

Interview: England boss Sven-Goran Eriksson

Interview: Wales manager Mark Hughes

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