England Head Coach Sven-Goran Eriksson revealed that skipper David Beckham has b
England Head Coach Sven-Goran Eriksson revealed that skipper David Beckham has been credited with England`s first goal after the 2-1 win over Slovakia in Bratislava.
Michael Owen celebrated as if he had got the faintest of touches with his head to Beckham`s 64th-minute freekick which fired England level. But afterwards Eriksson revealed that Owen had admitted that the goal should go to Beckham.
"I asked Michael Owen about the first goal and he said that he did not touch it so it goes to David Beckham," explained Eriksson.
And Beckham too confirmed the generosity of the striker who has returned to scoring form silencing his critics yet again: "Michael said to me straight away he hadn't got a touch".
The Manchester United midfielder admitted it had been a tough game where none of the players held back.
"Tackles were flying in, it was on the edge at times and it was always going to be like that in the game."
Beckham admitted the England players were happy to repay their supporters for enduring a difficult night. "It's nice to repay them," he said.
There was no doubt however, that Owen got England`s winner, a close-range header eight minutes from time - his 19th in 43 matches, securing England three vital points.
"It was a relief, yes of course, as it was a very difficult game," admitted Sven afterwards.
"We did not play as well as we wanted to so to come back and win was very important and I am happy.
"We didn't play well for the first 30 minutes and were not aggressive enough.
"We came into the game after 30 minutes and started to play better and better. To have won against a good team on such a pitch shows how good the team spirit is.
"We have got the three points we wanted and we have not picked up any serious injuries for next Wednesday's game against Macedonia."
England had trailed to a 24th-minute goal from Middlesbrough striker Szilard Nemeth and Sven was impressed with the way his side battled their way back into the game after the break.
"I`m happy that we took the points and I thought everyone did extremely well in the second half.
"To win after losing 1-0 at half-time showed a lot of spirit. When the pitch is like it was it is good to be physically strong.
"We came out in the second half with a good spirit and showed how much we wanted to win the game."
Now Eriksson can look forward to the trip to St Mary`s Stadium on Wednesday with a winning start to the campaign under his belt.