On paper you would expect England to score a number of goals against tonight's opposition. Andorra (the team is made up of part-time players) are ranked 186th in the FIFA World Rankings, England are ranked in 15th place. However, we know from the last encounter between the two sides that these factors do not count for much, as in 2007 England only managed to score 3 goals against Andorra. Still, this time, under a different coach, the expectancy was higher. Vice-captain, Rio Ferdinand, was ruled out of the game with a back injury, and Capello rested Beckham, although the LA Galaxy player did see some action late in the game.
There is no question that England dominated possession but they failed to capitalise on this advantage, especially in not scoring in the first half. Theo Walcott, who made his first England full appearance, made a good start and was involved in what could have been two scoring opportunities for England within the first three minutes of the match.
With the match at stalemate at half-time, Capello made two changes with Joe Cole and Emile Heskey replacing Downing and Defoe respectively. Within four mintues of the re-start the substitution was paying off when Joe Cole scored his 9th England goal. Silva brought down Johnson and the resulting free-kick, taken by Lampard, was initially met by Lescott, who then sent the ball to Cole who volleyed the ball into Andorra's net. Finally, England were on the scoresheet and looked to add more.
John Terry almost scored England's second goal, but his shot went into the side netting. Joe Cole got his brace in the 55th minute after he latched on to a lovely Rooney ball, and knocked the ball past Alvarez. Just minutes later, Johnson thought he had increased England's lead but his goal was disallowed as Joe Cole was ruled offside.
While this wasn't the emphatic win that England wanted, they did leave Barcelona with the three points they set out to get. The team really needs to turn up the tempo in the next match when they face Croatia on Wednesday in their second World Cup qualifier. Wednesday's match will not be as easy, and England will need to finish their chances against a very good Croatian side (they are ranked 5th by FIFA).
Alvarez #1, Txema #3, Sonejee #4 - Captain, A Lima #5 (Fernandez 90 mins - #12), I Lima #6, Ayala #2, Pujol #7 (Vales 90 mins - #17), Jimenez #10, Andorra #11, Vieira #8, Silva #9 (Toscano 65 mins - #14).
Subs Not Used: Gomez #13, Escura #16, Riera #15, Moreno #18.
James #1, Johnson #2, Lescott #5, Terry #6 - Captain, A Cole #3, Barry #4, Lampard #8 (Beckham 79 mins - #15), Downing #10 (J Cole 46 mins - #18), Walcott #7, Rooney #9, Defoe #11 (Heskey 46 mins - #17).
Subs Not Used: Robinson #12, Brown #13, Bridge #14, Bentley #16. (Full Squad)
England Goals: J Cole (49 & 55 mins)
Andorra Cautions: Silva (48 mins), Vieira (52 mins), A Lima (56 mins)
Referee: Cuneyt Cakir (Turkey)