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Last Updated: Tuesday, 31 May, 2005, 21:53 GMT 22:53 UK
Colombia 2-3 England
Michael Owen celebrates one of his goals against Colombia
Michael Owen's hat-trick helped England round off their American tour with a hard-fought win against Colombia.

Owen steered home from close range after 35 minutes, then took advantage of a pass from debutant Peter Crouch to add a second nine minutes later.

Goalkeeper David James gifted Mario Yepes a headed goal on the stroke of half-time before Owen steered home David Beckham's cross after 58 minutes.

Aldo Ramirez scored a second for Colombia late on, but England held on.

It was a personal triumph for Owen, who equalled the 30 goals scored by Sir Tom Finney, Alan Shearer and Nat Lofthouse with his first goal and surpassed them with his second.

Only Jimmy Greaves, Gary Lineker and 49-goal record holder Sir Bobby Charlton stand in front of the Real Madrid foward now.

It would be hard to find a better finisher in the world
Sven-Goran Eriksson on Michael Owen
England had an opportunity inside the first minute when Joe Cole cut inside, but the finish was high and disappointing from 18 yards.

Colombia had attacking ideas of their own, with Gabriel Rey driving at the heart of England's defence only to see his effort turned away by James.

England took the lead after 35 minutes, courtesy of a trademark finish by Owen, who chipped over the advancing Farid Mondragon from Cole's clever pass.

And they doubled their lead on the stroke of half-time, when Beckham found Crouch, even though the England captain appeared to be cynically elbowed from behind by John Restrepo.

Crouch played in Owen, who scored easily to take his England tally to 31 goals and put his name fourth in the all-time list.

But there was still time for England to concede a bitterly disappointing goal before the interval, with a tame header from Yepes trickling past James and Ashley Cole on the line.

It was James' final contribution on a poor American tour for the Manchester City keeper as Eriksson gave a debut to Norwich goalkeeper Robert Green after the break.

Owen completed his hat-trick after 58 minutes, finishing neatly at the near post from an inviting Beckham cross.

The Real Madrid striker was almost in for his fourth two minutes later, but he was unable to beat Mondragon from Cole's pass as he advanced into the area.

Rey was a lively figure for Colombia, and he almost threw them a lifeline with a shot from the edge of the area that struck the bar and was clutched on the line by Green.

Colombia continued to pose a threat, and it was no surprise when they pulled a goal back with 12 minutes left, Ramirez firing low past Green at the near post with the aid of a slight deflection.


Colombia: Mondragon, Benitez, Palacio (Diaz 72), Yepes (Mendoza 80), Restrepo (A Ramirez 72), Viafara (Anchico 59), Soto, Rey, Hurtado (Vargas 46), Angel (Edixon Perea 59), Luis Amaranto Perea.
Subs Not Used: Calero, Cordoba, Juan Ramirez.

Booked: Yepes.

Goals: Yepes 45, A Ramirez 78.

England: James (Green 46), Glen Johnson, Neville, Knight, Ashley Cole, Beckham (Richardson 73), Jenas, Carrick, Joe Cole (Young 86), Crouch (Defoe 72), Owen (Smith 73).
Subs Not Used: Carson, Campbell, Brown, Andrew Johnson.

Goals: Owen 36, 42, 58.

Att: 58,000

Ref: B Hall (USA).


WATCH AND LISTEN
Interview: England striker Michael Owen


Interview: England head coach Sven-Goran Eriksson


Interview: England skipper David Beckham




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