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Newz Forum: SOCCER: Owen heads England to win

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posted on Oct, 13 2004 @ 01:26 PM
Captain Michael Owen netted the winner as England maintained their unbeaten record with a 1-0 World Cup qualification victory over Azerbaijan in blustery Baku.

Owen's 22nd-minute header secured Sven Goran Eriksson's side their second victory of the week as they made it 10 points from four Group Six games. England made a bright start and went close to scoring in the third minute but the opportunity was missed when Jermaine Jenas slipped in the penalty box and then Owen flipped the ball over the bar from a Gary Neville cross.

Frank Lampard then brought a good save out of Cahangir Hasanzade with a low shot to the Azeri keeper's right as the home defence looked increasingly porous. However, Azerbaijan were creating chances and Emin Guliyev had Paul Robinson flapping at a skidding, bouncing effort from 30 yards which drifted wide.

Owen claimed the winner when he latched onto Ashley Cole's left-wing cross after the ball had been worked across the pitch from the right. It was the stand-in captain's 28th goal for his country but only his second in competitive matches during the past 12 months.

The Real Madrid star has never lost a game when skippering England and the last time he was captain he netted twice against Slovakia at The Riverside Stadium in June 2003.

Azerbaijan started the second half promisingly and it needed Wayne Rooney tracking back in the right-back slot to end a three-man move involving Emin Guliyev, Kamal Guliyev and Karimov.

And Robinson did well when he came bravely off his line to save at the feet of Aliyev after he had been played through by Emin Guliyev. The hosts continued to apply some pressure, though most of their efforts on goal were restricted to long-distance efforts, very few of which troubled Robinson.

England, for their part, posed very little threat on the Azerbaijan goal in the second half with Lampard's 30-yard free-kick, which was tipped over the bar by Hasanzade, and Rooney's 25-yard effort which forced a parry, the only efforts of any note.


posted on Oct, 15 2004 @ 05:36 AM
Terrible second half, drop the new formation and go back to 4-4-2.


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