A five-star showing in the second half saw England complete a comprehensive victory over Kazakhstan.
England 5-1 Kazakhstan
2010 FIFA World Cup Qualifier, Group Six
5.15pm, Saturday 11 October 2008
Live on ITV
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Five second half goals ensured Fabio Capello’s men maintained their 100 per cent start to this World Cup Qualifying campaign with a comfortable 5-1 dismissal of Kazakhstan at Wembley Stadium.
Manchester United forward Wayne Rooney scored a brace to cap an impressive individual performance as The Three Lions secured a valuable three points on the road to South Africa 2010.
It was Rooney’s United team-mate - and Captain for the day - Rio Ferdinand, that gave England a deserved 52nd minute lead, heading home a Frank Lampard corner at the far post.
This lead was doubled 12 minutes later, when another Lampard dead ball caused concern in the Kazakhi box. Under pressure from Rooney, the unfortunate Alexandr Kuchma inadvertently guided the ball past his ‘keeper Alexandr Mokin and England began to enjoy some reward their continued pressure merited.
Sabrykhan Kukeyev took advantage of a stray pass by Ashley Cole to give Kazakhstan hope with just over 20 minutes remaining, but Rooney’s brace effectively settled the contest and a fifth goal in the final minute from Jermain Defoe sealed the victory.
Despite the scoreline, the visitors did cause England a few problems, with Tanat Nusserbayev threatening to be England’s nemesis on three separate occasions. Early in the first-half, he momentarily evaded Cole and attempted a snapshot which rolled comfortably past David James’ right hand post.
However, with the score goal-less just after the break, he was presented with a glorious opportunity to give Kazakhstan the lead, but will rue his lack of composure in front of goal.
With Cole and newly-introduced Shaun Wright-Phillips advancing down the left flank, Sabrykhan Ibrayev took advantage of the space left in behind the former Chelsea team-mates.
Getting to the by-line, his cross broke to Nusserbayev, who failed to find the back of the net from barely three yards out, his shot blazed over the bar.
This miss was to prove decisive as Ferdinand headed England into lead just over five minutes later.
Fabio Capello will be pleased with the score line, the possession his team enjoyed and the pressure they continually forced upon Kazakhstan, despite being unable to break the deadlock sooner.
Although England dominated proceedings in the first-half, their only reward was a flurry of corners and free-kicks in the opening 25 minutes. Matthew Upson twice climbed well, but could not direct either of his headers goalwards.
In his first start at Wembley Stadium, Theo Walcott looked bright on the right hand side of midfield and almost created the opening goal for Emile Heskey after just three minutes.
Walcott broke down the right flank after being released by a smart Wes Brown dummy. His low, measured cross found Heskey at the far post, but with Alexandr Kislitsyn in close proximity, he was unable to convert the early opportunity.
A mix up involving Upson and James warned England that things might not entirely go their way, as the Pompey stopper’s clearance bounced off the head of Kazakhstan captain Rulsan Baltiyev, but bounced harmlessly wide.
As England continued to press, Rooney - on the left hand side of a three-pronged attack - found Walcott with a fine cross field ball and the Arsenal man cut in from the right flank, unleashed a curling left foot drive which sailed just high and wide.
Some England fans behind the Kazakhstan goal though Frank Lampard had given The Three Lions a 28th minute lead, after he received the ball from Steven Gerrard, but his 20-yard drive only rippled the net after rebounding off the stanchion.
With England unable to turn their dominance into goals, Wright-Phillips was brought on at half-time in place of Gareth Barry as Fabio Capello sought more attacking intent from his charges and this paid off almost immediately, as his low drive forced the corner through which Ferdinand scored.
This first goal allowed the Wembley crowd to relax and four further goals put a fine gloss on a determined England performance.
Rooney’s first goal was created on the right flank after Walcott pulled the ball back to Brown and his centre was met by an unmarked Rooney, to head England into a 3-1 lead.
His second was a neat finish at the near post and soon after he left the field to a standing ovation. Jermain Defoe, on in place of Rooney, scored England’s fifth, racing on to a Heskey flick in the final minute to calmly seal England’s victory from the edge of the box.
England now head into Wednesday's Qualifier against Belarus on top of Group Six with nine points from nine.England
1 David James (Portsmouth), 2 Wes Brown (Manchester United), 3 Ashley Cole (Chelsea), 4 Steven Gerrard (Liverpool), 5 Rio Ferdinand (Manchester United), 6 Matthew Upson (West Ham United), 7 Theo Walcott (Arsenal) (15 David Beckham (LA Galaxy), 79) 8 Frank Lampard (Chelsea), 9 Emile Heskey (Wigan Athletic), 10 Wayne Rooney (Manchester United) (17 Jermain Defoe (Portsmouth), 87), 11 Gareth Barry (Aston Villa) (16 Shaun Wright-Phillips (Manchester City), 46)Substitutes not used
12 Scott Carson (West Bromwich Albion), 13 Glen Johnson (Portsmouth), 14 Wayne Bridge (Chelsea), 18 Peter Crouch (Portsmouth)Goals
Ferdinand 52, Kuchma OG 64, Rooney 76, 86, Defoe 90 Manager
1 Alexandr Mokin (Alma-Ata), 3 Alexandr Kirov (Alma-Ata) (13 Talgat Sabalakov, 85) 4 Alexandr Kuchma (Astana), 5 Alexandr Kislitsyn (Shakhtyor), 7 Tanat Nusserbayev (Ordabasy), 8 Sergey Skorykh (Tobyl), 9 Sergey Ostapenko (Alma-Ata) (17 Gleb Maltsev, 76) 10 Rulsan Baltiyev (Tobyl), 16 Sabyrkhan Ibrayev (Tobyl), 21 Zhambyl Kukeyev (Alma-Ata), 14 Yuriy Logvinenko (Aktobe)Substitutes
18 Andrey Morev (Aktobe), 2 Kairat Nurdauletov (Tobyl), 15 Ilya Vorotnikov (Alma-Ata), 20 Maxim Azovskiy (Alma-Ata), 23 Bekzat Beissenov (Ordabasy)Goals
Paul AllaertsAssistant Referees
Vincent DespiegeleerFourth Official
Peter VerveckenTeam Colours
White shirts, white shorts, white socksKazakhstan
Blue shirts, blue shorts, blue socksAttendance: