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BBC Sport's Alan Green
"England.. had a great first half"
 real 14k

England manager Sven Goran Eriksson
"I am very happy"
 real 14k

Captain David Beckham
"It doesn't come better than that"
 real 14k

Debutant Joe Cole
"I'm proud as punch"
 real 14k

banner Friday, 25 May, 2001, 20:52 GMT 21:52 UK
Clinical England brush Mexico aside
Paul Scholes opens the scoring for England
Scholes lets fly for England's third-minute opener
England 4-0 Mexico

It was rollover week at Pride Park as Sven Goran Eriksson's England hit the jackpot again.

Mexico did the rolling over as England gave themselves a massive confidence boost ahead of the crucial World Cup qualifier in Greece.

If the side which started this friendly is the one which takes the field in Athens, then England fans have every right to feel buoyant.

  Key moments
3 mins: Scholes lets fly from 30 yards to put England in front
14 mins: Fowler sweeps home Gerrard's cross for 2-0
30 mins: Captain Beckham smashes a trademark free kick beyond Sanchez
65 mins: Abundis fires wide from the penalty spot
74 mins: Sheringham lets loose with a 30-yard free kick to complete the rout
Superb goals from Paul Scholes, Robbie Fowler and David Beckham put England in complete control at half time, before substitute Teddy Sheringham capped an impressive night for England with a 30-yard free kick 16 minutes from time.

England's passing was slick and fluent and their football was played at a pace that defied the friendly status - not to mention the energy-sapping season most of these players have just completed.

Three goals to the good at half time, Eriksson took the opportunity of resting his first-choice players and offered first caps to Alan Smith, Joe Cole, Michael Carrick and Danny Mills.

They could not have had a safer introduction to international football.

The game had long-since been won, with England establishing a stranglehold on the match inside three minutes.

Scholes, England's most prolific goalscoring midfielder, made the breakthrough, picking up Steven Gerrard's pass and letting fly with an unstoppable drive from fully 30 yards.

Fowler sidefoots home England's second goal
Fowler sidefoots home England's second goal
It was just the start England fans had craved and Scholes' early thunderbolt set the scene for an entertaining game that few could have predicted.

The visitors were swamped by wave after wave of England pressure and it was little surprise when Fowler doubled the account on 14 minutes.

The goal was a cameo of the first half, as fast and fluent England passing saw David Beckham play Gerrard into space down the right and his low centre was swept home by the alert Fowler.

The goal was Fowler's fourth for his country and came against the same opposition as his first England strike.

In fairness to Mexico, England did not have it all their own way.

When the visitors had the ball, they looked keen and dangerous, with Nigel Martyn forced into a couple of smart saves by the lively Antonio De Nigris.

Yet, without the ball, it was as if Mexico were only playing with nine men.

Ashley Cole is tackled by Mexico's Hugo Chavez
Ashley Cole is tackled by Mexico's Hugo Chavez
England enjoyed acres of space and chances flowed freely before captain Beckham struck a third goal that was as sharp as his mohican haircut.

Joaquin Beltran baulked Michael Owen 25 yards out and Beckham stepped forward to dispatch a trademark right-foot free kick beyond the despairing dive of Oswaldo Sanchez.

It could have been worse for Mexico, as Owen and Gerrard both wasted gilt-edged opportunities to add to the first-half goal frenzy.

Joe Cole and Smith should also both have marked their debuts with goals but were guilty of glaring misses.

But, as the game descended into an effective B international in the second half, Mexico should at least have scored their first-ever goal on English soil.

Emile Heskey's clumsy challenge on substitute Osorno gave Jose Abundis the chance to create a little bit of history for his country. Instead, the Mexican drought continued as Abundis drilled his penalty wide.

Instead, it was England who added to the scoreline as Teddy Sheringham celebrated his imminent return to Spurs with a sensational goal for his country.

Joe Cole was fouled 30 yards out and, in the absence of the substituted Beckham, Sheringham stepped forward to rifle a right-foot shot in off the inside of a post.


England: Martyn, P Neville, Ferdinand, Keown, A Cole; Beckham, Gerrard, Heskey, Scholes; Owen, Fowler.

Mexico: Sanchez; Suarez, Beltran, Oteo, Coyote, A Ruiz, V Ruiz, P Rodriguez, Abundis; De Nigris, Chavis.

Referee: Lucilio Batista (Portugal).

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