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Wednesday, 16 November 2011



Satu perlawanan yang dipenuhi dengan pelbagai aksi mendebarkan dengan beberapa percubaan yang nyaris-nyaris membuahkan hasil. Dan lebih manis ialah inilah kemenangan pertama England ke atas Sweden dalam tempoh 43 tahun. Dalam 12 pertemuan sebelum ini, Englang mencatat 4 kekalahan dan 8 kali seri. WOW! Dan gol cantik jaringan Gareth Barry merupakan gol yang ke 2000 untuk England.

Artikel asal(klik translator di ruangan kanan) : WELL that's a turnip for the books — a victory over the Swedes.

England had not beaten Sweden for 43 years, drawing eight and losing four of their 12 clashes. It was an annoying itch that Fabio Capello's men were desperate to scratch away and finally they've done it. And it means England have gone unbeaten in the calendar year for the first time since 1994. The Three Lions were knocked out of the European Championships on penalties by Germany in 1996 but officially that does not count as a defeat.

Last night's 22nd-minute winner, England's 2,000th goal, was credited to Gareth Barry by the Wembley scoreboard. But it was clearly turned in by Swedish defender Daniel Majstorovic, who happens to play for Celtic thereby giving the Scots a claim on the landmark moment. England should have won by so many more against a visiting side whose captain Zlatan Ibrahimovic was a disgrace.

The AC Milan striker, who seems to believe he is doing his country a favour just being on the field, was a waste of space and went off at half-time having again failed to prove to an English audience that he is any good. By contrast, the hunger from England's youngsters was a lesson to the Swedish prima donna. There were excellent performances from Jack Rodwell and Phil Jones although both will be cursing missed first-half chances they should have put away.

Jones, 19, was operating in the holding midfield role this time rather than the more advanced position he occupied against Spain. But he broke free of his defensive duties to race half the length of the pitch only to send the ball wide with a flick of his right foot. And Everton's Rodwell missed with an easy header which struck the outside of the right post with the keeper in no-man's land.

Kyle Walker is another who can be pleased with his contribution on his full debut at right-back but for Bobby Zamora the jury is out. Capello believes the Fulham striker, who is now 30, is the best in the country at holding the ball up and bringing others into play. He probably deserves another chance but didn't do enough to show he is a must for Euro 2012.

England had not lost under Capello for 13 months and didn't want to spoil that run in front of the lowest Wembley crowd since 1998 — 48,876 souls. John Terry was back to lead the side even though the investigation is still going on into his alleged racial slur against Anton Ferdinand. He got a reception where the cheers just about outweighed the jeers but put in a solid performance at a time when there are serious questions being asked about his form.

Theo Walcott was instrumental in a 17th-minute move which almost brought the first goal. He played a ball into Zamora, got it back at head height, nodded it across and Zamora shot into the side-netting after his first touch was just a little too heavy. It was the prelude to England's goal as Stewart Downing and Leighton Baines combined on the left and the Liverpool winger's cross picked out Barry, whose glancing header went in off Majstorovic. For the sponsors, who were probably planning a fancy presentation to mark goal number 2,000, an oggie was not what they wanted.

But it will be a handy quiz question in a few years. Joe Hart was nearly caught out with a curling corner from Rasmus Elm which was dipping under the bar until the keeper back-pedalled to keep it out. And, from the resulting corner on the other side, Johan Elmander headed wide of the near post. But England nearly doubled their lead on 37 minutes after great work again by Baines.

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His cross was met by Rodwell with a hooked volley but hit Sebastian Larsson and was inches away from sneaking in the corner. Then Jones shot wide following his storming run and Rodwell headed an easy chance against a post. Scott Carson took over from Hart at the break for his first England appearance in three years. That was soon followed by James Milner replacing the excellent Rodwell and Daniel Sturridge coming on for his England bow in place of Walcott.

Downing got away on the left and crossed well for Zamora but again the visitors got a body in the way and the shot was deflected wide. Downing had a shot which Andreas Isaksson held and the score really didn't show England's dominance. Carson though did have to claw away a cross from Larsson late on and sub Christian Wilhelmson blazed a volley over the top in added time. It would have been a grave injustice had it gone in.

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