Football

England ease past Mexico

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England marked their final match at Wembley before the World Cup with a flattering 3-1 victory over fellow finalists Mexico.

Goals from Ledley King, Peter Crouch and Glen Johnson sealed victory for Fabio Capello's side with Mexico's sole reply coming from Guillermo Franco.

But Capello will be wary of the need for his side to tighten up defensively with Robert Green twice denying Carlos Vela while Carlos Salcido struck a post.

Such is the impact Capello has had on the national psyche since he replaced Steve McClaren, reservations about quality have been cast aside because Fabio says he has none himself.

However, there were all in clear evidence as Mexico, showing no reservations about the dodgy pitch, repeatedly cut England apart.

Handed his eighth start in 10 internationals, Green made two excellent saves, had a post rattled and conceded in stoppage time. Yet he handed the gloves to Joe Hart at half-time a winner.

England's recurring defensive problems stemmed from an inability to subdue Giovani dos Santos, who hardly set the world alight at Spurs but showed why they paid nearly £5million to sign him.

Capello's deadpan expression possibly had something to do with the contrasting emotions of watching his team struggle, while at the same time edge into a two-goal advantage.

On his first appearance since 2007, King scored a perfect goal for his troublesome knees, pushing off one leg rather than actually jumping to steer home Crouch's nod-back from six yards after the Tottenham striker had pulled to the far post to meet Steven Gerrard's deep corner.

It has long since been established that Crouch simply cannot be left out. When Gerrard curled a beautiful cross onto the head of Wayne Rooney and Oscar Perez acrobatically touched it onto the bar, who better to have standing on the line than the 6ft 7in beanpole, who nudged home his 21st England goal - the same number as Kevin Keegan and Mike Channon and joint 16th on the all-time list.

Guillermo Franco did pull one back for Mexico after Leighton Baines' attempted goalline clearance fell kindly, but Johnson responded straight after the interval with a sensational first England goal, collecting Theo Walcott's square ball then stepping past three defenders before producing a thunderbolt finish with his left foot that completed the scoring

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Internationals
Football
Premier League

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