ENGLAND beat Mexico 3-1 last night at Wembley in their first warm up game before heading off to South Africa for the World Cup next month.
The match swung to and fro for the whole 90 minutes, and Mexico certainly deserved more than they got out of the game.
They were actually looking more likely to open the scoring until Ledley King scored a close-range header on 17 minutes.
The man who set King’s goal up – Peter Crouch – scored himself (rather dubiously I must admit) on 35 minutes. Mexican keeper Perez tipped the ball onto the crossbar and the ball shot straight up into the air. But Crouch saw that the ball wasn’t going out of play and placed his 6’ 7” self underneath it and knocked it in. But the goal shouldn’t have stood. He was standing in an offside position as the original shot was taken and the ball did appear to roll down his arm and off his hand, but the goal was awarded and England went 2-0 up.
Mexico did manage to scrabble a goal back when Franco scored in first-half stoppage time. This was a shame for England’s first-half keeper Robert Green who had produced two fantastic saves to keep Mexico at bay. England still have much work to do defensively before South Africa.
The highlight of the game came when Glen Johnson scored a beautiful goal after an astounding run through the Mexican team on 47 minutes. I don’t think he’ll score a better goal in his international career.
Both sides continued to create chances but England held on to win their last home game before the World Cup.
Overall, I was happy with England’s performance, but as I’ve written earlier the team must work on their defence. If we give teams like Argentina or Spain chances like we gave Mexico we will get smashed.
Other warm up results:
Argentina 5 – 0 Canada
Australia 2 – 1 New Zealand
Japan 0 – 2 South Korea
Portugal 0 – 0 Cape Verde Islands
South Africa 1 – 1 Bulgaria
I kid you not. A full strength Portugal side containing Nani, Christiano Ronaldo and Pedro Mendes (currently ranked world number 3), couldn’t score at home against a side ranked world 117! Portugal have North Korea in their group who are ranked world 106, so don’t write them off producing another World Cup shock. Note: World Rankings accurate at time of publishing.
England’s next game is on Sunday in Graz, Austria against Japan who are currently hitting the self-destruct button. After their 0-2 home loss to local rivals South Korea their coach Takeshi Okada offered his resignation to the JFA president. The president refused to accept Okada’s notice so he will carry on as Japan’s head coach.