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England 2-0 Trinidad and Tobago
Thursday, 15 June 2006

England heroes Peter Crouch (left) and Steven Gerrard celebrate their goals
Crouch and Gerrard left it late to earn England victory
Peter Crouch and Steven Gerrard spared England's blushes with late goals against Trinidad & Tobago to book their place in the last 16 of the World Cup.

Crouch, who had missed several chances, met David Beckham's right-wing cross to power a header past Shaka Hislop.

Gerrard wrapped it up in stoppage time with a stunning left-foot drive after England made hard work of the contest.

Wayne Rooney came on, but it was fellow subs Aaron Lennon and Stewart Downing who helped turn the game England's way.

It had looked like being a major embarrassment for England coach Sven-Goran Eriksson, with his team short on ideas and confidence.

They created plenty of chances without ever being in total control of the match and can count themselves fortunate to have got out of jail.

Yet it all seemed so different in the opening stages, as England played with an ease that suggested they were playing in a training game rather than a crucial World Cup contest.

606 VIEW

After Michael Owen miscued in front of goal, Crouch went close twice, first denied an attempt at a volley five yards out by Brent Sancho's timely intervention and then foiled by Hislop's claw away after Joe Cole's left-wing cross.

But as so often with Eriksson's England, early promise soon turned into increasing frustration as passes were misplaced with alarming regularity.

They were nearly made to pay for their laboured approach, as Paul Robinson uncharacteristically flapped at a corner only for Stern John to head wide at the far post.

As the clock ticked towards half-time the England fans began to chant for Rooney's introduction with real fervour, not helped by a moment of calamity from Crouch.

Spotted by Beckham standing in the penalty area eight yards out, with no-one anywhere near him, Crouch hoplessly caught the volley on his right shin and sent it several yards wide of Hislop's goal.

His miss could have proved even more costly. Carlos Edwards beat Robinson to a cross and as John bundled the ball towards goal, John Terry typically managed to get back in time to clear the ball off the line.

John Terry clears Stern John's first-half header off the line
John Terry clears Stern John's first-half header off the line

It was equally bad for the first 13 minutes of the second half, before the fans finally got their wish and Rooney was introduced, along with Lennon.

The double change galvanised the side, but England continued to be sloppy in front of goal.

Eriksson's stock 4-4-2 became 3-5-2 and Beckham and Lennon began to dovetail down the right - the captain crossing for the wasteful Crouch to head over, again unmarked.

Lampard then had three chances in two minutes but could not convert any, scooping one over, hitting the next at Hislop and dragging the last one wide.

But just when it seemed England's profligacy would cost them, Crouch popped up with the most important goal of his life.

Putting the misses firmly behind him, England's giant hitman powerfully headed Beckham's cross into the roof of the net past Hislop.

Having come so close Trinidad visibly wilted, and Gerrard took advantage with a brilliant left-foot screamer that flew in from the edge of the area.

England: Robinson, Carragher (Lennon 58), Terry, Ferdinand, Ashley Cole, Beckham, Lampard, Gerrard, Joe Cole (Downing 74), Owen (Rooney 58), Crouch.
Subs Not Used: Campbell, James, Bridge, Hargreaves, Jenas, Carrick, Carson, Walcott, Neville.

Booked: Lampard.

Goals: Crouch 83, Gerrard 90.

Trinidad and Tobago: Hislop, Edwards, Sancho, Lawrence, Gray, Birchall, Whitley, Yorke, Theobald (Wise 85), Stern John, Jones (Glen 70).
Subs Not Used: Cox, Latapy, Samuel, Charles, Scotland, Ince, Wolfe, Andrews, Jack.

Booked: Theobald, Whitley, Jones, Hislop, Gray.

Att: 41,000.

Ref: Toru Kamikawa (Japan).

Fifa man of the match: David Beckham


England scored in the second half of a World Cup match for the first time since 1998 when Michael Owen netted against Romania, a streak of eight matches.

Aaron Lennon's appearance in the second half made him England's second youngest player at a World Cup, exactly eight years after Michael Owen set the record. Wayne Rooney is the fifth youngest. Six of England's 10 youngest players at World Cups have been selected by current coach Sven-Goran Eriksson.

England have won their last eight matches since losing to Northern Ireland in September 2005. The winning streak equals the best under Eriksson and is two matches short of the all-time England record of 10 successive wins which was set nearly 100 years ago. They have won all nine matches they have played with Peter Crouch on the field.

The defeat for Trinidad & Tobago means that none of the debutants at World Cup 2006 have yet won.



67 33
England Trinidad and Tobago


  • 01 P Robinson
  • 15 J Carragher (58 A Lennon )
  • 06 J Terry
  • 05 R Ferdinand
  • 03 A Cole
  • 07 D Beckham
  • 08 F Lampard yellow card
  • 04 S Gerrard
  • 11 J Cole (75 S Downing )
  • 10 M Owen (58 W Rooney )
  • 21 P Crouch

Trinidad and Tobago

  • 01 S Hislop yellow card
  • 11 C Edwards
  • 05 B Sancho
  • 06 D Lawrence
  • 08 C Gray yellow card
  • 07 C Birchall
  • 09 A Whitley yellow card
  • 19 D Yorke
  • 18 D Theobald yellow card (85 E Wise )
  • 14 S John
  • 15 K Jones yellow card (70 C Glen )

Ref: Toru Kamikawa
Att: 41000

Alan Shearer's England verdict
15 Jun 06 |  England
England stumble on
15 Jun 06 |  England
Trinidad & Tobago match reaction
14 Jun 06 |  Trinidad & Tobago
Build-up to England kick-off
15 Jun 06 |  World Cup 2006
Nuremberg - Franken-Stadion
03 Dec 05 |  Venues


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