In a wonderful game in Switzerland, England came out the victors over old enemy, Argentina. Despite being a friendly, there was a lot of excitement and great play between the two countries. You may be wondering why this game was played on neutral ground....apparently it was due to so many players plying their trade in Europe.
Paul Robinson was forced to make a great save in only the fifth minute when Riquelme made a nice strike from 20-yards out. Two minutes later England fans thought their side had taken the lead thanks to a Michael Owen header but he was offside.
A free-kick in the 12th minute saw Argentina with the ball in England's net, but Crespo's effort was disallowed due to a foul (pushing) on an England player. Then in the 26th minute Beckham's corner connected with Lampard's head who saw his attempt to break the deadlock go just wide of the target. England looked sure to score in the 30th minute when Gerrard's through ball went to Rooney, and after beating the Argentinian goalkeeper the Manchester United player's shot hit the post. Owen tried to make amends but couldn't get to the ball.
Unfortunately in the 35th minute Argentina took the lead through Crespo. However, it was short-lived as Rooney put away a 12-yard shot after a pass from Beckham to beat Abbondazieri in the 39th minute.
In the 54th minute England conceded a free-kick which was taken by Riquelme. The ball was chipped over England's defence to Samuel's head and the Argentinian knocked the ball into England's goal. Rather than sitting back and admitting defeat, England dug deep and tried to level the scoring in the 72nd minute but Abbondazieri produced a great double save from Beckham and Owen. in the 83rd minute it was Robinson's turn to shine when he stopped two shots from Argentina.
With the game still in high tempo in the 87th minute, Gerrard made a lovely cross to Owen who headed the ball past Abbondazieri into the far corner. A level game and the race was on to try to secure a win in the dying minutes of the game. England piled on the pressure and their persistence paid off in great style one minute into time added on. An Owen header again no less, after the ball was played into the area by Joe Cole. What a wonderful end to a thrilling game. This was one of the more truly entertaining friendlies you could hope for and a magnificent result over England's great rivals.
Abbondanzieri #1, Ayala #2 (Coloccini 74 mins), Sorin #3, Zanetti #4, Demichelis #21, Samuel #6, Riquelme #8 (Gonzalez 84 mins - #15), Rodriguez #19, Cambiasso, Tevez #11 (Cruz 80 mins),
Crespo #9 (Saviola 70 mins).
Subs Not Used: Franco, Placente #15, Milito #14, Battaglia #5.
Robinson #1, Young #2 (Crouch 80 mins - #16), Terry #6, Ferdinand #5, Bridge (Konchesky 46 mins), Lampard #8, King #4 (J Cole 58 mins - #11), Beckham - captain #7, Gerrard #4, Rooney #9, Owen #10.
Subs Not Used: James, Campbell, Wright-Phillips, Defoe #18, P Neville #12, Smith #15, Green, Carrick, Jenas. (Full Squad)
Argentina Goals: Crespo (34 mins), Samuel (53 mins),
England Goals: Rooney (39 mins), Owen (86 & 90+2 mins)
Argentina Cautions: Samuel (32 mins), Rodriguez (79 mins)
England Caution: Young (26 mins), Lampard (48 mins), J Cole (68 mins)
Referee: Philippe Leuba (Switzerland)