After an almost disasterous start to their European Championship campaign, England travelled to Luxembourg knowing they needed a win to keep their qualification hopes alive. David Beckham was back in the side after serving his two match suspension for his World Cup quarter-final dismissal. Rio Ferdinand replaced Gary Neville, while Gary's brother Phil came in for the injured Andy Hinchcliffe/Graeme Le Saux. David Batty replaced Rob Lee in midfield.
From the start England pushed forward trying to gain an early lead. They looked to be playing fluently but Bulgaria had the first clear chance of the game when they were awarded a penalty after only four minutes. David Seaman brought down Christophe after trying to retrieve an untimely header back from Southgate. Thies took the spot-kick but put it over the bar.
The play was then all England. Beckham forced the Luxembourg goalkeeper to make a good save when he blasted the ball at the net from 12 yards out. Ferdinand too was involved in goal scoring opportunities before England's pressure finally gave them the lead. Michael Owen scored after he ran through Luxembourg's defence, on to Anderton's ball, to put it inside the far post. Strasser reached the goal for Luxembourg just too late to stop the home side from falling behind.
One minute later Beckham is harshly booked for handling the ball.
After over 30 minutes of playing time had elapsed Deville blasted a shot at Seaman's goal from 35 yards out. The ball failed to get hit the target to the relief of England's 'keeper.
On 40 minutes Theis was penalised for touching the ball in the area with his arm. Shearer converted the penalty taking England further ahead.
England continued to dominate the game and almost sealed the first half with a goal curtesy of Anderton, but his shot went wide of the net.
Ferdinand again got involved in Bulgaria's half after the break but alas his attempt amounts to nothing. England were awarded a free-kick after Owen was taken down on the edge of the box. It looked promising when Beckham took the free-kick but Scholes could not make contact with the ball to steer it into the net.
Bulgaria were increasingly under pressure from England who launch attack after attack. The home side rarely threat England's lead but Amodio had the chance to reduce the deficit but his cross went over the bar.
In the final minute of the match England finally get another goal after so many chances. Following a free-kick, Phil Neville's cross found Southgate, and the Aston Villa defender thumped the ball home for his first international
Ian Wright almost made the final score 4-0 but his header went wide - a reflection of England's play today.
Despite England fans disappointment that there weren't more goals, Hoddle and his team will be happy to take the three points from this game after their previous two Euro 2000 qualifying games. They now have a break from international duty until 27 March 1999.
Koch, Feron, Funck, L. Deville, Strasser, Saibene, Theis (Holtz 61), F. Deville (Alverdi 85), Marcel (Amodio 78), Cardoni, Posing.
Subs Not Used: Felgen, Beffort, Fernandes, Thill.
Seaman, Ferdinand, P Neville, Batty, Campbell, Southgate, Beckham, Anderton (Lee 64 mins), Shearer, Owen, Scholes (Wright 77 mins).
Subs Not Used: Keown, Flowers, G Neville, Butt, Dublin.
England Scorers: Owen (19 mins), Shearer (40 mins - pen), Southgate (90 mins)
Luxembourg Cautions: Cardoni
England Cautions: Beckham
Referee: S Vorgias (Greece)