South Africa 1-2 England
England captain David Beckham suffered a fractured wrist in a morale-boosting victory against South Africa in Durban.
Beckham fell awkwardly in a challenge with South Africa's Thabang Molefe and was substituted early in the second half before being taken to hospital.
The incident threatened to take the gloss off a workmanlike England triumph, but the injury was not as serious as first feared.
Gareth Southgate gave England the lead after 36 seconds - but South Africa replied quickly with a Benni McCarthy penalty.
Emile Heskey scored England's second-half winner, but by then attention had turned to the extent of Beckham's injury.
The problem was not as serious as it might have been for England, with Beckham suspended for the forthcoming Euro 2004 qualifier against Slovakia.
KEY MOMENTS IN DURBAN
36 secs: Gareth Southgate heads England in front.
16 mins: South Africa's Benni McCarthy equalises from the spot.
49 mins: David Beckham is substituted with a wrist injury.
63 mins: Emile Heskey scores England's winner.
Eriksson chose to start Heskey with Michael Owen up front and restored Phil Neville to the left-back berth.
Southgate deputised for the injured Sol Campbell alongside Rio Ferdinand in central defence - but made an immediate impact in attack when he put England ahead after 36 seconds.
South African goalkeeper Brian Baloyi was caught out of position by Beckham's free-kick and Southgate flashed home a near post header.
But the South Africans were bright in attack and were level after 16 minutes from the penalty spot.
It was an important part of our preparation and a very good win
Referee Lim Kee Chong harshly adjudged that Danny Mills had handled Delron Buckley's cross, and McCarthy scored with ease.
England's main hope was the catastrophic handling of goalkeeper Baloyi, and he almost gave Heskey an opportunity when he fumbled Steven Gerrard's shot.
Mills almost made amends for giving away the penalty when he burst on to Heskey's flick only to shoot over the top after 35 minutes.
Eriksson made two changes at the interval, replacing David James and Ferdinand with Paul Robinson and debutant Matthew Upson.
Beckham had been struggling since he was tackled by Molefe, and he was clearly in pain when he was replaced by Jermaine Jenas four minutes after the interval.
Eriksson's next substitution, replacing Trevor Sinclair with Frank Lampard, reaped an instant reward after 63 minutes.
Baloyi's handling was poor again, fumbling Lampard's drive into the path of Heskey, who completed an easy finish.
It gave England victory - but it was a triumph that came at a price for captain Beckham.
South Africa: Baloyi, Mabizela, Aaron Mokoena, Radebe, Molefe, Tebeho Mokoena (Mendu 69), Macbeth Sibaya,
Fredericks (Mazibuko 77), Buckley, McCarthy (Manyathela 67),
Subs Not Used: Lekgwathi, Evans, Coyle, Khanyeza, Josephs.
Booked: Mabizela, Molefe.
England: James (Robinson 46), Mills, Phil Neville,
Ferdinand (Upson 46), Southgate, Gerrard (Barry 82),
Beckham (Jenas 51), Scholes (Cole 75), Sinclair (Lampard 58),
Heskey (Vassell 65), Owen.
Subs Not Used: Walker.
Referee: Lim-Kee Chong (Mauritius).