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Page last updated at 19:31 GMT, Thursday, 20 November 2008

Capello delights in England win

Fabio Capello
Capello was impressed with his young England side in Berlin

Fabio Capello was overjoyed to have ended his first year as England boss with a 2-1 friendly win over Germany.

A youthful England side impressed in becoming the first team since Brazil in 1973 to beat the Germans in Berlin.

"We had a lot of chances to score goals and I like that we played with confidence and personality," said Capello after the victory.

"I'm very happy because I saw some players play very well and I needed to know them better."

The Italian was full of praise for his experimental side's convincing performance and dismissed critics who said the friendly match was meaningless.

With a number of England regulars such as Wayne Rooney, Steven Gerrard and Frank Lampard missing, Capello opted for a youthful side.

And despite England needing a late John Terry winner after Germany's Patrick Helmes had equalised Matthew Upson's opener, his faith in them was rewarded as his players largely dominated the flow of the match.

"The result is important but the performance was very good," said Capello.

"We played here in Berlin against Germany, who are a very good team, and we played very well.

"I have confidence in my team and we had the opportunity to get to know some players better who have not played a lot of games with me."

Debutant Aston Villa striker Gabriel Agbonlahor was particularly impressive and Middlesbrough's left winger Stewart Downing looked a constant threat going forward, while Michael Carrick and Gareth Barry bossed the midfield.

"Gabriel did very well," said Capello. "He used space and his movement was excellent.

"He gave us balance when we went forward and when we defended. But I don't like to speak about one player because the whole performance was so good."

Captain and match-winner Terry took full blame for the misunderstanding with substitute goalkeeper Scott Carson which allowed Helmes to score into an open net for Germany.

"I'm disappointed with the goal, I should have cleared it," said Terry.

"It was not Scottie's fault, it was my fault. But I was delighted to get on the score-sheet and win us the game.

"It was a good performance from the lads. But it was a young squad with the pull-outs, and they've given the manager a problem now.

Video reaction - Terry, Upson and Carrick

"The first half was really difficult and the pitch was bobbly. The youngsters had the confidence to get and the ball and were fearless.

"Gabriel Agbonlahor has been showing what he's about week-in week-out with Aston Villa, long may his form continue."

The win represents England's fifth consecutive victory while an experimental but toothless Germany, led by coach Joachim Loew, were booed off the field by some of the 74,000 watching fans at the end of the match.

"England were better, period," admitted Loew. "We were caught on a bad day. We deserved to lose.

"We had no organisation, we lost too many balls; our passing game was bad, we were not aggressive, we did not cover well.

"They were always dangerous in dead-ball situations. Our young players did not have the maturity to beat England today."

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see also
International football photos
19 Nov 08 |  Football
Germany 1-2 England
19 Nov 08 |  Internationals
England Player Rater
28 Mar 07 |  Internationals
Capello 'calm' over withdrawals
17 Nov 08 |  Internationals
Walcott ruled out after surgery
20 Nov 08 |  Arsenal
Terry supports Mancienne call-up
16 Nov 08 |  Internationals
Pick your England XI
31 Aug 07 |  Internationals
Alan Hansen's column
10 Nov 08 |  Football
England 1-2 Germany
22 Aug 07 |  Internationals

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