Prior to the 'international winter fixture break' it was unthinkable that the England team would have a dark cloud hovering above them after a solid run in World Cup qualifying. On 5 February, Fabio Capello relieved John Terry of his captain's armband following allegations concerning the Chelsea player's personal life. The 'then-vice-captain', Rio Ferdinand, was promoted to captain, while the 'then-third-in-line' Steven Gerrard, became vice-captain. In further developements with the John Terry saga came the withdrawal of consideration from the national team by Wayne Bridge. With the team rocked with the scandal, and rumours surrounding the personal life of the injured Ashley Cole, the once solid England team looked a bit shaky.
With time running out for players to stake their claim for a place in Capello's World Cup squad team, this game was certainly not going to be meaningless against the current holders of the Africa Cup of Nations. Robert Green took his place as goalkeeper ahead of David James, and Leighton Baines made his senior team debut.
It was the visitors who took the lead in the 23rd minute. A long ball was played to Zidan and as Upson slipped, Egypt's number 9 hit the ball to the far right side of England's goal, beating Robert Green.
Being a goal down at half-time, Fabio Capello made two substitutions with Michael Carrick replacing Frank Lampard, and Peter Crouch taking over from Jermaine Defoe. It was substitute, Peter Crouch, who got England back on level terms in the 56th minute. Steven Gerrard, captain for the evening in the absence of Rio Ferdinand, played the ball to Gareth Barry who sent the ball back inside to Crouch, who was waiting in the middle of the box, and with his right foot beat an out-stretched Hadari. Theo Walcott was substituted immediately after the goal.
After a nice build-up by the England players in the 75th minute, there was an exchange between Milner, Crouch and Baines. Milner took a shot which was punched away by Egypt's 'keeper. The ball fell to Wright-Phillips and Hadari could only touch the ball as it went sailing into the back of the net. Five minutes later, England's two goalscorers linked up to seal victory for the homeside when Wright-Philips sent the ball in to Peter Crouch, who put the ball into Egypt's net with the inside of his right foot. Crouch was slightly offside but the goal was given by the referee, and the Spurs player notched up his 20th goal in 37 appearances for England, who were in their new red change kit. With this third and final goal for England, the Three Lions racked up their 500th win at Wembley as their countdown to South Africa continues.
Green #1, Upson #5, Brown #2, Terry #6, Baines #3, Gerrard #4 - Captain (Milner 73 mins - #13), Barry #11 - Captain after Rooney was substituted, Lampard #8 (Carrick 46 mins - #15), Walcott #7 (Wright Phillips 57 mins - #19), Defoe #9 (Crouch 46 mins - #20), Rooney #10 - Captain after Gerrard was substituted (C Cole 86 mins - #22).
Subs Not Used: James #12, Hart #24, Lescott #16, Warnock #14, Beckham #18, Downing #23, Heskey #21, Shawcross #17. (Full Squad)
El Hadari #1, Said #6 (Salem 86 mins - #4), Gomaa #20, Moawad #14 (Abdelshafy 76 mins - #24), Al-Muhammadi #3, Ghaly #12, Fathi #7, Hassan #17 (Nagy 64 mins - #15), Abd Rabou #8, Zidan #9 (Aboutriaka 76 mins - #22), Ebdelmaby #10 (Zaki 64 mins - #19).
Subs Not Used: El Sayed #16, El Saka #18, Fathallah #2, Eld #11, Tawfik #13, Raouf #21, Hamdy #25.
England Goals: Crouch (56 & 80 mins), Wright-Phillips (75 mins)
Egypt Goal: Zidan (23 mins)
Egypt Caution: Fathi (67 mins)
Referee: Carlos Manuel Torres (Paraguay)