World Cup 2010
Match Reports

England 2 Georgia 0
1998 World Cup Qualifying Game - Group 2
Wembley Stadium, London, England - Wednesday 30 April 1997

For the first time since the European Championships in June last year, England coach Glenn Hoddle was able to play Shearer and Sheringham together as England's front men. The reunion was to pay dividends by the final whistle, as it did last summer when Shearer and Sheringham were Euro '96's deadliest striking duo.

In a game which wasn't pretty (full of theatrics), Georgia had the first opportunity to score when Ketsbaia played the ball to Arveladze, but he was prevented from giving his country the lead, and their first goal of the '98 World Cup qualifying games, when Campbell made a vital tackle.

England soon after appeared to have a grasp on the match when Sheringham just put the ball wide of the left post in the 16th minute with a header. Robert Lee (replacing McManaman today) was unlucky when his fierce shot went a fraction over the goal, half way through the first period of play. And moments later Lee was involved again in a promising attack when he crossed from the left. The ball grazing the crossbar went to Beckham, but his shot was blocked. Georgia, not seriously testing Seaman throughout the first 45 minutes, seemed to be a tough nut to crack.

Three minutes from the interval England broke Georgia's resolve when Le Saux found Shearer on the left. The England captain volleyed the ball across the goal mouth where Sheringham was there to head the ball home. At the break England had the advantage.

Georgia started the second half with more determination, and nearly levelled the score 3 minutes after the re-start but Gogrichiani's (a first half substitute) shot was saved by Seaman's foot after a bad back pass from Le Saux. Tskhadadze had a screaming shot which hit the crossbar. The Georgians also threatened through Kinkladze, and Ketsbaia but Campbell provided the defence England needed to keep Georgia locked out.

In the 60th minute Kinkladze went off injured giving England some hope of victory as the Manchester City player had been providing some excellent passes to Ketsbaia.

Despite Georgia's valiant effort to obtain their first point in this campaign, England ended the game with a goal from Shearer after receiving the ball from Sheringham. Unfortunately the mood from winning was dampened slightly when news came through that Italy had beaten Poland 3-0. Still, it's highly probably that England will finish the group in second place at worst.

Hoddle's after match comments: "I'm pleased both scored (Shearer and Sheringham) and both made the other. The first goal was the type you see on the training ground and hope one day we'll put one in. It's the first time since I became England coach that I've been able to go with them both and it worked out well. We saw tonight two international players playing with each other and using their brains. They're on the same wavelength. They're well-suited and in many ways Shearer and Sheringham have a nice balance because they're opposites."

"I was very pleased with the first half. We had good movement and good chances and the goal was magnificent. My disappointment was in the 20 minutes after that. We should have got the second earlier and then we could have punished them."


Seaman, G Neville, Campbell, Batty, Adams (Southgate 88 mins), Le Saux, Beckham, Ince (Redknapp 78 mins), Shearer, Sheringham, Lee.
Subs Not Used: Flowers, P Neville, McManaman, Fowler, L Ferdinand.

Zoidze, Shekiladze, Tskhadadze, Shelia, Chikhradze, Machavariani (Gogrichidze 33 mins (A Arveladze 76 mins), Nemsadze, Jamarauli, Ketseaia, Kinkladze (Gokhokidze 61 mins), S Arveladze.
Sub Not Used: Togonidze, Lobzhanidze, Kavelashvili, Tskitishvili.

Match Details

England Scorers: Sheringham (42 mins), Shearer (90 mins)

England cautions: Le Saux, Lee
Georgia cautions: Nemsadze, Kinkladze, Gogrichidze, Shelia

Referee: R Harrel (France)

Attendance: 71,208