Injuries & Suspensions
-- Sin Bin
-- Leading Goalscorers
| The Walking Wounded
Sunday June 2nd, 2002
Saitama -- (1-1)
England needed to win this game..... after Argentina's victory against Nigeria earlier in the day.
The question was could the walking wounded rise to the occasion and overshadow the Queen's
And the simple answer is...... no they couldn't!
The first-half looked promising as David Beckham's foot
seemed to hold out and Sol Campbell rose to one of his high, inswinging corners..... to
powerfully head England into the lead.
But in the second-half, England's performance left a lot to
be desired. The defenders looked like headless chickens and relied on David Seaman to save
them for a draw.
The English fans created a great atmosphere in Saitama but
the England team needed to have enough character to lift themselves above mediocrity as
This wasn't an English Premier League game in rainy
Lancashire (as the line-ups might have suggested) but a World Cup group game in sweaty
-- GOAL -- 1-0
England earn a corner.... Beckham takes it.... a high curler... and Sol Campbell
rises high to power a header past the approaching Magnus Hedman -- 24 mins.
Instead of consolidating their lead while David Beckham was
still on the pitch, England seemed to take their foot of the pedal and the English fans
tried a chorus of Rule Britannia to liven them up.
Playing week in and week out together, most of the Swedish
players knew the England team too well and Svengali Eriksson proved he didn't have the
magic touch to get his players to spring a surprise.
Predictability at it's worse, England soon let Sweden get
back into the game and run at them more with the ball. Beckham and co. were tiring.
Half-time: England 1 -- Sweden 0
The second-half started as the first ended, with Sweden
looking the more dangerous and Rio Ferdinand was lucky to get away without a penalty
decision going against him.
Sweden felt more confident and continued to attack the
Seaman goal. Without the attacking French contingent in front of him, David Seaman always
looked vulnerable when Sweden had possession.
-- GOAL -- 1-1
England paid the price for not taking the game to Sweden. A poor clearance from Danny
Mills fell to Niclas Alexandersson, who was allowed to run at, and
through, the defenders rooted to their spots on the left -- 59 mins.
Two minutes later, Sweden almost scored a second. Time for
the tiring David Beckham to be replaced by the equally unfit Kieron Dyer.
Without a conductor, the aspiring symphony's notes played
flat. David Seaman had to make a number of crucial saves to keep England in the game; his
England defense, with three lions on their chests looked like little kittens with their
eyes still stuck shut at birth.
Owen Hargreaves tried to display some of the qualities that
make him a Bayern Munich starter and Michael Owen had a shot that shaved the outside of
Apart from Joe Cole nipping at the heels of the Swedish
players in midfield, the rest of the England team seemed to feel they'd done their day's
work.... it is a Sunday after all.... and seemed to think about the length of the grass at
home that they could be cutting.
In the last minute of the game, another mistake from Ashley
Cole let Henrik Larsson in, with a clear view of the goal. Only David Seaman's long hair
put the clean shaven Swede off the ball... and his drive went wide.
England were very lucky to get away with a draw and will
need a whole new outlook against Argentina if they're to stay in the tournament.
Perhaps that was the problem..... the walking wounded
wanted to be fit for the Argentina game and used this as another of those unimportant
friendlies, while trying not to wound their pride as well.
England 1 -- Sweden 1
-- Add Your Comments
Player of the
David Seaman -- for making some crucial save to keep England's World Cup dreams
alive...... at least until they meet Argentina.
Sol Campbell (12 mins)
Marcus Allbäck (45 mins)
Andreas Jakobsson (73 mins)
1 David Seaman; 2 Danny Mills, 3 Ashley Cole, 5 Rio Ferdinand, 6 Sol Campbell; 7 David
Beckham (23 Kieron Dyer -- 63 mins), 8 Paul Scholes, 18 Owen Hargreaves; 11 Emile Heskey,
20 Darius Vassell (19 Joe Cole -- 74 mins), 10 Michael Owen.
1 Magnus Hedman; 2 Olof Mellberg, 15 Andreas Jakobsson, 16 Teddy Lucic; 4 Johan Mjallby, 6
Tobias Linderoth, 7 Niclas Alexandersson, 9 Fredrik Ljungberg, 17 Magnus Svensson (8
Anders Svensson -- 56 mins); 10 Marcus Allbäck (22 Andreas Andersson -- 80 mins), 11
Referee: Carlos Simon (Brazil)
The last 16 continue on the road to
Yokohama, with four games in South Korea and
four games in Japan.