World Cup 2010
Match Reports

England 4 Paraguay 0
Anfield, Liverpoool, England - Wednesday 17 April 2002

With David Beckham injured, Michael Owen was appointed as England's captain for this friendly, and it didn't take long for the home side's leader to put England ahead. There was four minutes on the clock when Steven Gerrard floated the ball to Owen, for the striker to head the ball into Paraguay's net.

There was a similar display from the Liverpool team-mates six minutes later, but Owen's header went wide of the goal. There was an uncomfortable moment when England conceded a freekick just outside the penalty area, but Seaman collected the ball easily.

Steven Gerrard managed to play a 50-yard ball to Owen in the twenty-second minute of the game, and whilst Owen chested down the ball, his shot left didn't live up to expectations, as it flew into the Kop.

During half-time, England made six changes to the starting line-up while Paraguay made none. Again, England made a quick start and extended their lead to two when Danny Murphy scored. Fowler played the ball to Murphy whose shot was deflected into the corner of the net. Seven minutes later Vassell scored England's third goal. Cole made the goal by back heeling the ball to Vassell who hit the ball from 20-yards out and due to another deflection the ball went by Paraguay's goalkeeper, Tavarelli.

The game was being controlled by England, and they were quite happy to let Paraguay keep possession in their half of the field. Further bad luck for Paraguay came in the seventy-eighth minute when Ayala scored an own goal. Fowler played the ball to Sheringham from the right to Sheringham who got to ball back on the ground which deflected off Ayala, which summed up the night for Paraguay.

With England's satisfaction at being four goals up, the game fizzled out (although there was a streaker!). A good win on home turf for England in their last warm-up game in their own country before playing more friendlies abroad in preparation of the World Cup.


Seaman, G Neville (Carragher 68 mins), Keown (Murphy 46 mins), Southgate (68 mins), Bridge (P Neville 68 mins), Butt (Sinclair 46 mins), Gerrard (Hargreaves 46 mins), Scholes (Mills 46 mins), Dyer (Fowler 46 mins), Owen (J Cole 46 mins), Vassell (Lampard 68 mins).
Subs Not Used: Martyn, James. (Full Squad)

Tavarelli, Arce, Ayala, Gamarra (Julio Cesar Caceres 81 mins), Caniza, Gavilan (Sarabia 57 mins), Bonet (Morinigo 82 mins), Struway, Paredes, Cardozo (Richart Baez 60 mins), Santa Cruz.
Subs Not Used: Villar, Carlos Sanabria, Enciso, Edgar Baez.

Match Details

England Goals: Owen (4 mins), Murphy (47 mins), Vassell (55 mins), Ayala (81 mins - og)

Referee: Cosimo Bolognino (Milan, Italy)

Attendance: 42,713