World Cup 2010
Match Reports

Colombia 2-3 England
Friendly
Giants Stadium, East Rutherford, New Jersey, USA - Tuesday 31 May 2005


This was the final game for England in the US as they wrapped the tour up with another win. It did seem that it would be a draw towards the end of the match, as England looked like they may squander what was a 3-1 lead. With Saturday's starting team containing only two regulars, it was good to see David Beckham and Michael Owen join up with the squad, and they did leave a mark on the match. Owen scored his second hat-trick of his international career and in doing so moved up the table to become England's 4th highest goalscorer with 32 goals.

Owen's first goal in the 35th minute came thanks to a great run by Joe Cole. The Chelsea midfielder played the ball beautifully to Owen, and as Colombia's defence looked for an offside decision, Owen comfortably put the ball passed Mondragon. The second goal for the Real Madrid forward came thanks to quick thinking by Peter Crouch. Beckham was knocked on the head by Restrepo and with England's captain still protesting to the referee, Crouch, making his debut, took the free-kick quickly and found Owen on the right who pounced to put his team two goals up.

Joe Cole could have put England 3-0 up, but his shot went high over the crossbar. Despite being two goals up, England's defence looked shaky. David James made a good save from Viafara, but then the defenders stood watching and James failed to stop a soft header from Yepes.

England substituted David James at half-time, replacing him with Norwich City's Robert Green. With not much to talk about in the open period of the second half, Owen set the stadium alight with a superb strike in the 58th minute. Jermaine Jenas sent Beckham flying down the right, the Real Madrid midfielder whipped in the ball to Owen, who was arriving at the near post, and the striker hit the ball into the net with his knee! Nevertheless, it was a great goal.

England fans had their hearts in their mouths in the 62nd minute when Rey's 20-yard shot beat Green, hit him on the back, dropped down from the crossbar and seemed to be crossing the line, but England's replacement 'keeper reacted quickly and pounced on the ball before it rolled over the line. With 12 minutes remaining in the game, Colombia pulled a goal back after testing England a few times during the latter stages of the game. Smith tried to clear the ball from Benitez's chip, but the ball ended up at the feet of Ramirez who put the ball into the left of England's goal.

The England team will look back on this tour as being successful. There were good performances by veterans Beckham and Owen, and youngster Richardson, with Carrick putting in a solid display over both games. After a long season, the players will take a much deserved break and will be back on international duty in August when they face Denmark in a friendly in preparation for more World Cup qualifying games in September.


Teams

COLOMBIA:
Mondragon, Benitez, Palacio (Diaz 72 mins), Yepes (Mendoza 80 mins), Restrepo (A Ramirez 72 mins), Viafara (Anchico 59 mins), Soto, Rey, Hurtado (Vargas 46 mins), Angel (Edixon Perea 59 mins), Luis Amaranto Perea.
Subs Not Used: Calero, Cardoba, Juan Ramirez.

ENGLAND:
James (Green 46 mins), G Johnson, P Neville, Knight, A Cole, Beckham (Richardson 73 mins), Jenas, Carrick, J Cole (Young 86 mins), Crouch (Defoe 72 mins), Owen (Smith 73 mins).
Subs Not Used: Carson, Campbell, Brown, A Johnson. (Full Squad)


Match Details

Colombia Goals: Yepes (45 mins), Ramirez (78 mins)
England Goals: Owen (35, 44 & 58 mins)

Colombia Caution: Yepes (38 mins)

Referee: Brian Hall (USA)

Attendance: 58,000