Football

England keep up 100% record

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England survived an early scare in Almaty before cruising to a 4-0 victory against Kazakhstan and maintaining their 100% record in qualifiers for next year's World Cup.

The hosts caused chaos in Robert Green's penalty area within seconds of the kick-off at Central Stadium. Then Sergey Ostapenko had a header disallowed.

It was not pretty at times from Fabio Capello's men but they established a half-time lead through Gareth Barry and Emile Heskey before Wayne Rooney and Frank Lampard added more in the second half.

Heskey was on hand to effectively kill off the contest in first-half stoppage-time with the simplest of tap-ins, after his former Villa team-mate Barry had settled England's nerves with the opener minutes earlier.

For Barry it was the perfect end to a week in which he had ended his 12-year stay at Villa Park and made the £12million switch to Manchester City.

Then Rooney - with his eighth goal in his last six England appearances - and a Lampard penalty gave a flattering look to the scoreline in the second period.

England were as inept in the opening half hour as they were in the first half of a Euro 2008 qualifier against Andorra in Barcelona, during Steve McClaren's reign.

But under Fabio Capello they have acquired the habit of being able to eke out results when not firing on all cylinders, as well as producing majestic performances such as the one when they demolished Croatia nine months ago.

Victory maintained their perfect record in Group Six, and they will have one foot in the finals in South Africa next summer if they dispose of bottom-placed Andorra at Wembley on Wednesday.

But Capello will not be fooled by the margin of victory, and there are sure to be plenty of harsh words when he sits down with his players to watch a re-run of this game next week back at the team's Hertfordshire base.

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Topics:
Football
Manchester City
Gareth Barry
Emile Heskey
Premier League
Wayne Rooney
Robert Green

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