Welcome to the World of Beckham blog, we aim to keep you up to date with developments in the career of David Beckham a footballer from the UK who has played for some of the top teams in the world.

Wednesday, 10 September 2008

Croatia 1 England 4

First half:
In a period of football which must have disappointed the home fans, England showed determination to press forward from the start. Although they didn't enjoy the possession that they did in the Andorra game at the weekend, they certainly controlled much of the game. Beckham did not start the game, instead Walcott was favoured on the right hand side and Walcott did not disappoint. He showed speed and skill whilst retaining an air of calmness throughout. On 25 mins after a movement of rare England fluidity and getting an equally rare 'luck of the bounce' moment, Walcott was able to slot the ball past the keeper with terrific composure for the England goal that would see them reach the half-time whistle at 1-0. Just two minutes later a similar chance presented itself again, this time the keeper got fingertips to Walcotts unhurried shot.
On 39 minutes Walcott was dancing his way through the field and got the ball away to his right hand side only to be cynically body-checked badly enough to see him briefly stretchered off and the yellow card shown to the Croatia No.3. England withstood the Croatian pressure to go into the half-time break one up.
Second half:
The second half was a very different story with the Croatians losing their grip on the game completely and showing their frustrations. On 49 mins our friend wearing No 3 tried the same body check on Rooney and ended up on his backside, he was lucky not to give away a goal from the resulting free-kick which bounced off the keeper from Frank Lampard.
On 51 mins, the Croatia No.4 went up for a header and led with his elbow against Joe Cole to such an extent that Cole staggered covered in blood before collapsing in a heap and had to be stretchered from the pitch. the resulting red card was well-deserved. Jenas came on as Cole was strapped to a stretcher and headed for the treatment room or more probably the hospital.
On 58 minutes Walcott strikes again as England are firmly in control right outside the Croatian penalty area. Heskey gains control, back to goal, passes to Rooney who puts it straight into that same spot where Walcott knocks it home again - same strike, same spot, same result another England goal.
Just 4 minutes later Jenas rescues the loose ball from an Ashley Cole challenge, takes it to the by-line and cuts it back to the penalty spot where Rooney is lurking to place it in the back of the net again, England rampant - first to congratulate Rooney is Walcott... 25 minutes to go and England look as comfortable as they have ever looked against the 10 man Croatian team - home fans are leaving the stadium, away fans are starting a party. Croatia go looking for a consolation goal and make some rare forays into the England half.
On 75 minutes Lampard is denied after waltzing through the defence and beating the keeper as an inactive Heskey is adjudged offside. Two minutes later Terry is challenging for the ball on the halfway line and nearly has his head taken off by a Croation boot, the ref finds no fault and Croatia are able to catch a relaxed England on the break, slotting the ball home for 3-1.
Just four minutes later Rooney turns a lovely reverse ball into the path of a speeding Walcott who takes it across the box and puts it away for his hat-trick and Englands fourth goal of the night. Phew what a game...
Beckham comes on for the last 6 mins and gets to knock the ball around a bit, but the game is done and what a result for England emphatically beating Croatia in their home fortress. A hat-trick for the young hopeful Walcott and a much needed goal for the old(?) hand Rooney. A success for the new England and their manager if not much of a test for Beckham...

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