In the heat and humidity of a Caribbean evening, England ended their season with a win. In an unexpected turn of events, David Beckham was handed the captains armband, for the 59th time, after relinquishing it in the summer of 2006. With seven players from Wednesday evening's match against the US being rested (due to their participation in the Champions League Final on 21 May), England travelled to Trinidad with a reduced squad of 22 players, which resulted in a number of changes to the starting line-up, and gave Capello the opportunity to try out fringe players. Dean Ashton was handed his first cap, and Joe Hart, Phil Jagielka and Stephen Warnock made their first appearances for the Three Lions in the second half. What a night Gareth Barry had, in scoring his first goal for his country and then taking over as skipper at the start of the second half. The game was apparently held to mark 100 years of football in Trinidad and Tobago, although there are rumours that the England team flew thousands of miles to try to win the backing of FIFA's Vice-President, who is a special advisor to Trinidad's Football Assocation, should the England FA bid for the 2018 World Cup Finals.
The night got off to a disappointing start for Trindad and Tobago when they lost Jones to a knee injury after he collided with David James. It didn't get much better for the homeside when they went a goal down in the 12 minute when Gareth Barry met a cross from Wayne Bridge and volleyed the ball past Ince from 8 yards. And four minutes later, England increased their lead when Downing played a through ball to Defoe who scored his first goal for his country since September 2006. Both Edwards and John caused problems for England's defence but the visitors were in control.
After both sides made subsitutions during half-time, Bentley (on for Beckham) sent in a lovely cross to Peter Crouch, who played the ball to Defoe, and he volleyed home his second goal of the evening. He should have had a hat-trick in the 54th minute but his effort went just wide of Ince's goal. Trinidad and Tobago did have some shots on England's net, and Hyland's 25 yard shot in the 52nd minute narrowly missed the target.
So England head into the summer break with another win under their belts. The real test will come starting late summer when they have a friendly in August before starting their World Cup 2010 qualifying campaign in September. Since starting his job as England coach, Capello has tried out four different captains and is expected to name is permanent captain in August.
TRINIDAD & TOBAGO:
Ince #1, Lawrence #6, Farrier #3, Cupid #2 (Smith 46 mins - #13), Hislop #4, Edwards #7, Whitley #9, Daniel #18 (Connell 76 mins - #12), Hyland #8 (York 76 mins - #19), John #14 (Forbes 74 mins - #24), Jones #17 (Roberts 11 mins - #10 (Telesford 46 mins - #5)).
Subs Not Used: Phillip, Adams, Guerra, Tinto.
James #1 (Hart 46 mins - #12), R Ferdinand #5 (Jagielka 46 mins - #15), Woodgate #6, Bridge #3 (Warnock 84 mins - #13), Johnson #2, Gerrard #10, Barry #4 - 2nd half captain, Beckham #7 - Captain (Bentley 46 mins - #16), Downing #8 (Young 57 mins - #17), Ashton #9 (Crouch 46 mins - #19), Defoe #11 (Walcott 69 mins - #20).
Subs Not Used: Lewis #29, Wheater #31, Huddlestone #27, Agbonlahor #28. (Full Squad)
England Goals: Barry (12 mins), Defoe (16 & 49 mins)
England Caution: Gerrard (30 mins)
Referee: Enrico Wijngaarde (Surinam)