If we ever needed convincing at all, England's Lions produced a courageous and p
If we ever needed convincing at all, England's Lions produced a courageous and passionate performance, as David Beckham told us they would, to leap-frog Turkey and control Group 7.
Now the dust has settled from the euphoria of a magnificent night at the Stadium of Light, we take a look at the thirteen Lions who did themselves and the country proud.
1 David James
An image of the team itself. James has had his critics and has been in the international shadow of David Seaman for some time, but in Sunderland showed the country what he can do. Though he may have been redundant for much of the match, and had a couple of hairy moments with high balls, he dealt with everything Turkey had to offer and made one of the saves of the season at 1-0, keeping England in front.
2 Gary Neville
A solid performance from an England regular who has won many trophies at club level with similar displays of determination. Neville was never going to be overawed by this challenge.
3 Wayne Bridge
Though the Southampton left-back had a nervous opening, he grew into the game to put one of his best peformances for the Three Lions in only his seventh start. First to everything even when he had no right.
4 Steven Gerrard
Operating on the left side of the diamond with Butt in the holding role and, though we didn't see many of his surging runs forward, Gerrard covered much of the middle as he looked to disrupt Turkey.
5 Rio Ferdinand
Took time to settle in to the game but as England became dominant so did he linking well with Ferdinand to snuff out the rare attacks. Broke the off-side trap from Bridge's centre to test Recber, before Vassell turned in for the opener.
6 Sol Campbell
Top class performance from one of the best defenders in Europe. Never flustered by the Turkish front-line and his strength was too much for them as he continued to frustrate. Also caused problems inside the visitor's area from corners and set-pieces.
7 David Beckham
Captain fantastic was true to his word and topped his gritty performance off with his fourth goal in the four qualifiers. Wasn't his usual potent self from crosses, but his free-kicks on a number of occassions worried Recber. Booked early but kept his cool to guide his team to victory.
8 Paul Scholes
Like Gerrard, Scholes was not a major threat going forward with only one strike on the hour from range. Focussed mainly on nullifying the Turks' midfield as he teamed up well with the Liverpool man and his club buddies, Beckham and Butt.
9 Wayne Rooney
Grabbed all the headlines with a wonderful display on his full debut. After half an hour without getting much of the ball, the Everton man dropped deep to help out midfield and bring the ball forward. His touch, strength, passing and turn of pace underlines his promise as he not only had a chance to open his account on 10-minutes, but created England attacks from next to nothing. Not fazed by the occasion - or the size of his opponents, he'll have to wait until October to enjoy his man-of-the-match campagne.
10 Michael Owen
Not one of his best games, but, with the focus on Rooney, Owen did enough to keep the Turkish minds busy. Movement off the ball was good and he found space for three good chances. Replaced by Vassell just before the hour after picking up a back injury.
11 Nicky Butt
Protected the back-four well and gelled with his midfield team-mates as they battled with Turkey. Under pressure for the first half an hour, but began to take control later on. Had to keep his concentration in the second half as England attacked and Turkey look for the counter-attack.
18 Darius Vassell (on for Owen 58 mins) Gave England another dimension as his speed and running helped him get one over his Villa team-mate, Alpay. Came close on three occasions, denied by Recber from two and a defender's hand with a third. Took his goal well stroking neatly under Recber for his 4th in 11 games.
16 Kieron Dyer (on for Rooney 89 mins)
Only had a few minutes at the end but made an impact immediately dispossesing Ergan outside the box before the Turk's slight push helped him to the ground ending his run and handing England a penalty.
When a titanic performance was needed England delivered. Though they took time to settle against the World Cup semi-finalists, Sven's men weathered anything Turkey had to offer before stepping up their own attacking threat.
In the second half, England took full control of the encounter and when the deadlock was finally broken - and David James made a world-class save - the three points were on their way into England's kitty.
A proud display from the Three Lions highlighted by their commitment and desire sends them top of Group 7 and into the second half of the campaign full of confidence.