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Defoe´s double helps England defeat Trinidad and Tobago

SoccerNews in English Premier League 2 Jun 2008


Jermain Defoe's double strike helped England cruise to a 3-0 friendly victory against Trinidad and Tobago on Sunday.

Fabio Capello must wish every match could be as easy as this stroll in the Caribbean sunshine at Port of Spain's Hasely Crawford Stadium.

England flexed their muscles through Gareth Barry's first international goal and a neat finish from Defoe within the opening 16 minutes.

But, while Defoe staked his first-team claim with another goal in the second half, Capello can have learnt little else because Trinidad were the most obliging of hosts. They allowed England the time and space to dominate without ever needing to raise the tempo much beyond walking pace.

Yet the prospect of flying thousands of miles for a meaningless game at the end of a gruelling season could have produced a less than committed display from Capello's team. So it is to the Italian's credit that England gave the match their full attention for as long as it took to ensure a comfortable victory.

They could have scored more but Capello will be happy enough that his team go into the more serious business of qualifying for the 2010 World Cup with two successive wins.

The absence of seven Manchester United and Chelsea players rested by Capello gave England's understudies a rare chance to shine.

Dean Ashton finally made his debut two years after a broken ankle denied the West Ham forward his first international appearance.

There was also a first start in 15 months for Tottenham defender Jonathan Woodgate, while Capello used his fourth captain in four matches as David Beckham took the armband for the 59th time.

In stifling heat approaching 90 degrees, Trinidad's hopes of a famous victory suffered an early blow. Kenwyne Jones chased a long ball over Rio Ferdinand and David James rushed out to tackle the Sunderland striker.

James won the ball but Jones crumpled into a heap and had to be stretchered off.

It took England 83 minutes to score against Trinidad when they last met in the 2006 World Cup. This time they broke the deadlock after just 12 minutes.

Stewart Downing chipped a pass to Wayne Bridge, whose cross was met by Barry with a close range volley that gave Clayton Ince no chance.

England doubled their advantage four minutes later. Downing's pass sent Defoe clear down the left edge of the penalty area and, with no defender tracking back, he steered a low shot past Ince into the far corner.

The hosts backed off again before half-time to allow Steven Gerrard to cross towards Defoe, but the Portsmouth striker blazed his volley well over.

Capello sent on Manchester City goalkeeper Joe Hart and Everton defender Phil Jagielka for their debuts at half-time.

It didn't disrupt England's dominance. They added a third goal in the 49th minute as David Bentley, on for Beckham, swung in a cross that was headed weakly out to Defoe, who tapped-in from close-range.

Peter Crouch came on to jeers from Trinidad fans still bitter at his goal against their team at the World Cup. He nearly produced the perfect response with a low shot that Ince smothered well.

Hart had one or two nervous moments, including a weak punch that almost let Trinidad in, but England were never seriously threatened.

There was time for Stephen Warnock to make his debut before Capello's stars could start thinking about the beach at last.


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