Captain Gerrard leads by example

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Football News

Two-goal skipper Steven Gerrard helped England start their post World Cup campaign with a 2-1 victory over Hungary at Wembley.

England fell behind to an own goal from Phil Jagielka although TV replays showed the ball had not crossed the line when Michael Dawson cleared.

But Gerrard equalised after 69 minutes and netted the winner four minutes later to help silence the boos which had greeted most of the players involved in South Africa.

Theo Walcott, who had been overlooked for the World Cup, was looking sharp and was switching flanks with Adam Johnson every few minutes. It was from one of the free-kicks won by the Arsenal youngster that Gabor Kiraly made his first worthwhile save after 33 minutes.

Gerrard's inswinging effort from the left of the box contained plenty of power. Former Crystal Palace player Kiraly was forced to finger-tip the ball over the bar at full stretch. The half-time whistle was greeted with the loudest outburst of boos to that point from the crowd of around 60,000.

Capello made four half-time changes with Kieran Gibbs, Bobby Zamora and Michael Dawson winning their first caps while Ashley Young was also brought into the action. Hungary made three alterations with Zsolt Laczko, Vladimir Koman and Tamas Hajnal replacing Vilmos Vanczak, Dzsudzsak and Szaboics Huszti.

But after 62 minutes England went behind after on the end of another controversial refereeing decision which evoked memories of Frank Lampard's disallowed effort against Germany in the World Cup.

Jagielka deflected a shot from Hungarian skipper Zoltan Gera towards his own goal but Dawson looked to have made the clearance before the ball crossed the line. However, referee's assistant Fredji Harchay thought otherwise and the goal stood. Rooney then left the field to boos when replaced by James Milner.

England needed only seven minutes to draw level through Gerrard who collected a pass from Ashley Young in his stride and beat Kiraly with a swerving shot.

Four minutes later, Gerrard swivelled superbly and tucked home a second. It was the kind of captain's response of which Beckham would have been proud.

Copyright (c) PA Sport 2009, All Rights Reserved.

Kieran Gibbs
Bobby Zamora
Zsolt Laczko
Michael Dawson
James Milner
Gabor Kiraly
Premier League
Phil Jagielka
Ashley Young
Steven Gerrard
Zoltan Gera
Crystal Palace
Adam Johnson
Theo Walcott

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