England’s first 11 were left embarrassed and fearing fortheir international career’s after being humiliated by Australia at Upton Park last night.
In the first half, Sven Goran Eriksson’s senior-team, were outplayed and conceded two goals to Frank Farina’s Socceroos. The second half saw Eriksson introduce 11 new players, all aged under-26, to the fray. The youth side faired much better with a second half score of 1-1.
England started the game well and had a Sol Campbell header blocked in the first ten minutes, however the Socceroos soon found their form and on 17 minutes Tony Popovic rose above Gary Neville, who struggled throughout, to head home a Stan Lazaridis free-kick.
Australia’s second goal came when Harry Kewell rounded David James to slot home on the 42 minutes. The second half saw England pull a goal back through a brilliant cross from Jermaine Jenas and a header by Francis Jeffers. Just before the end Brett Emerton clinched victory for Australia when on 84 minutes he latched onto a John Aloisi pass and netted past Paul Robinson.
European Champions, France, also suffered an unexpected defeat when they lost 2-0 to the Czech Republic in Paris. The defeat was France’s manager, Jacques Santini, first defeat after taking over the job.
“The players produced a performance which did not match what I was expecting from them tonight. We were too slow and too shy,” Santini said afterwards.
The Czech’s outclassed France from the start and were rewarded on 7 minutes when French keeper, Ulrich Rame, let a 25-yard shot by Zdenek Grygera slip through his hands. Milan Baros secured the win on 30 minutes.
Raul became Spain’s highest ever goal scorer when he netted two in Spain’s 3-1 defeat of Germany last night. Spain went ahead on 31 minutes when Raul scored his 30th goal to become Spain’s leading scorer at the age of 25. Germany equalised eight minutes later when Fredi Bobic scored. The second half saw Raul add another goal to his tally, this time from the penalty spot. Guti finished the game off on the 82 minutes.
Italy and Holland both enjoyed 1-0 victories over tough opposition as Italy beat Portugal, voached for the firstt time by Felipe Scolari, while Holland beat Argentina.
Holland won their seventh straight match thanks to 35-yard wonder-strike by midfielder Giovanni Van Bronckhorst, Italy’s goal was scored by Bernardo Corradi on 62 minutes.