A brace from Joe Cole has given England three points in their opening World Cup Qualifier against Andorra.
Andorra 0-2 England 2010 FIFA World Cup Qualifier
7pm, Saturday 6 September 2008
Olympic Stadium, Barcelona
Live on Setanta
A second half brace from Joe Cole ensured England began their World Cup Qualifying campaign with a relatively comfortable 2-0 win over Andorra in Barcelona.
With the score goalless at the break, England Manager Fabio Capello introduced Cole for Stewart Downing on the left flank and he made an immediate impact, volleying England into the lead just three minutes after the re-start.
Cole's strike allowed England to breathe a collective sigh of relief; despite dominating proceedings in the opening 45 minutes, the Three Lions could not break the deadlock with Andorra getting plenty of men behind the ball.
However, England started brightly with Theo Walcott showing great pace on the right flank and twice hitting the by-line only for the presence of several Andorran defenders to snuff out the opening for awaiting forwards in the box.
Had Walcott been able to find an England shirt in the first move of the game, the first half may have turned out very different.
Combining with Glen Johnson, the Arsenal forward showed early promise on the wing and Frank Lampard looked to feed him at every opportunity.
Equally Ashley Cole and Stewart Downing enjoyed a great deal of early possession, allowing both players to move the ball up the pitch quickly to link up with Wayne Rooney and Jermain Defoe up front.
A lot of the ball and an opposing team defending extremely deep - just what England had expected to face.
Glen Johnson, making his competitive debut for England, almost opened the scoring with a fierce left-footed effort that flashed wide of Koldo's goal.
Lampard saw a similar drive narrowly miss the far post, but still Andorra stood firm and resisted the weight of pressure that built with every passing moment.
Rooney saw possibly the best chance of the first 45 minutes, latching on to a neat move involving Lampard and Defoe the Manchester United forward hit his volley over the bar from the edge of the area.
Lampard had cut a delightful reverse pass into the path of Defoe who in turn headed the ball into the path of the onrushing Rooney, but it wasn't to be.
Despite all the possession and pressure England went in at half-time level with Andorra, and Fabio Capello made two changes at the break.
Cole replaced Downing, while Emile Heskey joined Wayne Rooney up front in place of Jermain Defoe.
The change reaped instant rewards as Joe Cole smashed home a tremendous volley to put England in front, getting on the end of a Joleon Lescott knock down.
Glen Johnson earned the free-kick with a bursting run that drew the first yellow card of the game - Fernando Silva the culprit.
John Terry almost scored with his left foot from all of 25 yards just two minutes later, as England began to look more composed having taken the lead at last.
Making an incredible impact in just nine minutes of the second period, Joe Cole then doubled England's lead with a poacher's finish.
Cole made the space in the area and was found by Rooney with a slide-rule pass, perfectly weighted for Cole to nudge the ball under Koldo.
It was to be the final goal of the match as England claimed all three points and with Croatia next up for the Three Lions, Fabio Capello's men will now head to Zagreb full of confidence.The Teams
1 Jesus Luis Koldo Alvarez, 2 Jose Manuel Ayala, 3 Jose Manuel Txema Garcia, 4 Oscar Sonejee Masand (C), 5 Antoni Lima (12 Juli Fernandez, 90+2), 6 Ildefons Lima, 7 Marc Pujol (17 Marc Vales, 90), 8 Marcio Vieira, 9 Fernando Silva (14 Juan Carlos Toscano, 65), 10 Manolo Jimenez, 11 Xavi Andorra.Substitutes not used
13 Josep Antoni Gomes, 15 Gabriel Riera, 16 Jose Escura, 18 Sergi MorenoCoach
1 David James, 2 Glen Johnson, 3 Ashley Cole, 4 Gareth Barry, 5 Joleon Lescott, 6 John Terry (C), 7 Theo Walcott, 8 Frank Lampard (15 David Beckham, 80), 9 Wayne Rooney, 10 Stewart Downing (18 Joe Cole, 46), 11 Jermain Defoe (17 Emile Heskey, 46)Substitutes not used
12 Paul Robinson, 13 Wes Brown, 14 Wayne Bridge, 16 David BentleyGoals
Joe Cole 48 & 55Manager
Fabio CapelloMatch Officials
Cuneyt Cakir (Turkey)Assistant Referee
Bahattin Duran, Cem Satman (Both Turkey)Team colours Andorra
Blue Shirts, blue shorts, blue socksEngland
Red shirts, white shorts, red socks
GK: Sky blue shirt, navy blue shorts, sky blue socks