- England win marred by poor performance
- Ronaldo and co struggle against Cape Verde
So, with less than three weeks remaining until the 2010 World Cup in South Africa, last night was an ideal opportunity for those participating to flex their superior muscles.
With Argentina hosting Canada, Portugal playing Cape Verde and England supposedly “entertaining” Mexico, what did we learn from them? In short, nothing we didn’t know before.
England 3 – 1 Mexico Highlights
As soon as Fabio Capello became the new England manager, everyone knew the country would stop attempting to play like Brazil and start to play like winners – boring winners, but winners nevertheless. And yesterday’s match was no different.
The score line doesn’t tell the full story. Basically, England looked either below-par or fatigued – your pick – as Mexico danced their way horizontally and vertically through the hosts without scoring. Sounds a bit like Arsenal really.
Tottenham’s Ledley King scored and…well, that’s about it. Looked clumsy and off the pace at times, which would be a worry, only we have an out-of-form John Terry to come in for him.
James Milner – who the former England manger, now singer, Terry Venables says is worth however much money Man City are willing to pay (too much probably) – was playing like a headless chicken. Initially starting out left, he was soon found further afield, before dropping deep where he continued to make unsuccessful last-ditch challenges on almost every Mexico player.
But as Capello will always tell you, a win is a win.
Portugal 0-0 Cape Verde Highlights
I’m sure Carlos Queiroz thought a game against Cape Verde would allow his Portugese super stars to gain a confidence boost after narrowly escaping World Cup elimination last year.
However, despite having only 35,100 players to pick, the island country still managed to keep Portugal at bay and record an historic goalless draw against a team containing Real Madrid’s Cristiano Ronaldo, Manchester United’s Nani and a Chelsea trio of Deco, Richardo Carvalho and Paulo Ferriera.
Argentina 5-0 Canada
The biggest surprise here was that Diego Maradona’s side managed to keep a clean sheet.
We all know that Argentina can destroy any nation going forward. The problem lies in that for all their fantastic ability offensively, there’s plenty of room for improvement defensively.
Last night’s clean sheet will have given the team confidence at the back and something to sustain and build on heading into the World Cup.
Although Argentina will continue to score at will, defending resolutely is less of a guarantee.