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Northern Ireland


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Saturday, 26 March 2005
World Cup 2006 UEFA Group 6 qualification match

England 4 Northern Ireland 0 [0-0]

Old Trafford, Sir Matt Busby Way, Stretford, Greater Manchester
Attendance: 65,239; Kick-off: 2:58 pm GMT 
Live on BBC One (UK) - Commentator: tbc

England - Joe Cole (twenty-yard low curling shot 46 45:59), Michael Owen (nine-yard strike 52 51:32), Chris Baird (tapped-in own goal from Rooney cross 53 52:55), Frank Lampard (thirty-five yard shot deflecting off Murdoch's head 62 61:51).  Match Summary
England Squad
Northern Ireland Squad
Results 2000-2005 Northern Ireland - Damien Johnson (50).

Northern Ireland kicked-off. 92 minutes (45 & 47)


Match Summary


Officials from Germany



Northern Ireland

Referee (black) - Wolfgang Stark
35 (20 November 1969), Landshut, FIFA listed 1999.

Assistant Referees - Markus Scheibel, 40 (30 October 1964) and Peter Henes, 42 (1 May 1962).

Fourth official - Peter Sippel, 35 (6 October 1969), München, FIFA-listed 2003.

22 Goal Attempts 2
9 Attempts on Target 1
2 Hit Bar/Post 0
11 Corner Kicks Won 0
3 Offside Calls Against 1
9 Fouls Conceded 13
57.5% Possession 42.5%

England Team



FIFA (23rd March 2005) 8th
EFO ranking Group 3

ELO rating 5th to 4th
Colours: The 2005 home uniform - White collared jerseys with large red cross on right shoulder, navy blue shorts with thin white narrowing stripe on right thigh and red hem, white socks with navy blue half-striped tops.
Capt: David Beckham, 43rd captaincy,
Michael Owen  72nd minute.
Head Coach: Sven-Göran Eriksson, 57 (5 February 1948), appointed 30 October 2000, took post 12 January 2001, 
50th match, W 27 - D 15 - L 8 - F 96 - A 46.
England Lineup
1 Robinson, Paul W. 25 15 October 1979 G Tottenham Hotspur FC 11 6 GA
2 Neville, Gary A. 30 18 February 1975 RB Manchester United FC 75 0
3 Cole, Ashley 24 20 December 1980 LB Arsenal FC 38 0
4 Gerrard, Steven G., off 72nd min. 24 30 May 1980 CM Liverpool FC 33 5
5 Ferdinand, Rio G. 26 7 November 1978 CD Manchester United FC 37 0
6 Terry, John G. 24 7 December 1980 CD Chelsea FC 16 0
7 Beckham, David R.J., off 72nd min. 29 2 May 1975 RM Real Madrid CF, Spain 79 15
8 Lampard, Frank J. 26 20 June 1978 CM Chelsea FC 31 7
9 Rooney, Wayne M., off 80th min. 19 24 October 1985 F Manchester United FC 22 9
10 Owen, Michael J. 25
103 days
14 December 1979 F Real Madrid CF, Spain 68 30
11 Cole, Joseph J. 23 8 November 1981 LM Chelsea FC 20 3
England Substitutes
scoreline: England 4 Northern Ireland 0
15 Dyer, Kieron C., on 72nd min. for Beckham 26 29 December 1978 M Newcastle United FC 27 0
16 Hargreaves, Owen L., on 72nd min. for Gerrard 24 20 January 1981
born in Canada
M FC Bayern München eV, Germany 26 0
18 Defoe, Jermain C., on 80th min. for Rooney 22 7 October 1982 F Tottenham Hotspur FC 9 1
result: England 4 Northern Ireland 0

unused substitutes:

12-Jamie Carragher, 13-David James, 14-Ledley King 17-Emile Heskey.

team notes:

Gary Neville and squad member, Phil, are brothers.
4-4-2 Robinson -
Neville, Ferdinand, Terry,
A.Cole -
(Dyer), Lampard, Gerrard (Hargreaves), J.Cole -
(Defoe), Owen

Averages (Starting XI):

Age 25.0 Appearances/Goals 39.0 6.4


Northern Ireland Team



FIFA (23rd March 2005) 111th
EFO ranking n/a

ELO rating 86th to 88th
Colours: Made by Umbro - Green v-necked jerseys with a navy blue shoulder panels with white collar, white shorts with navy blue/green trim, green socks with white tops and navy blue pinhoops;
Capt: Aaron Hughes Manager: Lawrence Philip Sanchez, 45 (22 October 1959 in London) appointed 21 January 2004,
13th match, W 3 - D 6 - L 4 - F 14 - A 19.
Northern Ireland Lineup
1 Taylor, Maik S. 34 4 September 1971
born in West Germany
G Birmingham City FC, England 43 0
2 Baird, Christopher P. 23 25 February 1982 RB Southampton FC, England 14 0
Wayne Rooney beat two defenders on the right, charges into the area close to the goalline and sees his pass deflect into the net off Baird.
3 Capaldi, Anthony C. 23 12 August 1981
born in Norway
LB Plymouth Argyle FC, England 10 0
4 Hughes, Aaron W. 25 8 November 1979 CD Newcastle United FC, England 42 1
5 Murdock, Colin 29 2 July 1975 CD Crewe Alexandra FC, England 27 0
6 Johnson, Damien M. 26 18 November 1978 AM Birmingham City FC, England 36 0
Johnson cautioned in the 50th min. for Dissent, for kicking the ball away after disagreeing with the referee's decision to award a free-kick. Suspended.
7 Gillespie, Keith R. 30 18 February 1975 RM Leicester City FC, England 60 1
8 Doherty, Thomas E., off 59th min. 26 17 March 1979
born in Bristol
CM Bristol City FC, England 9 0
9 Healy, David J., off 88th min. 25 5 August 1979 CF Leeds United AFC, England 41 16
10 Whitley, Jeffrey, off 88th min. 26 28 January 1979
born in Zambia
CM Sunderland AFC, England 18 2
11 Elliott, Stuart 26 23 July 1978 LM Hull City AFC, England 25 3
Northern Ireland Substitutes
scoreline: England 3 Northern Ireland 0
14 Davis, Steven, on 59th min. for Doherty 20 1 January 1985 M Aston Villa FC, England 2 0
scoreline: England 4 Northern Ireland 0
15 Jones, Stephen G., on 88th min. for Whitley 28 25 October 1976 F Crewe Alexandra FC, England 15 1
13 Kirk, Andrew, on 88th min. for Healy 25 29 May 1979 F Northampton Town FC, England 7 0
result: England 4 Northern Ireland 0

unused substitutes:

4-Mark Williams, 12-Roy Carroll, 16-Warren Feeney, 17-Steve Craigan.

team notes:

Manager Lawrie Sanchez is the first Ireland manager, against England, since 1950 (when they were under a committee) to not have played for the country before managing them.
4-4-1-1 Taylor -
Baird, Murdock, Hughes, Capaldi -
Gillespie, Whitley
(Jones), Doherty (Davis), Elliott -
Johnson -

Averages (Starting XI):

Age 26.5 Appearances/Goals 29.5 2.1


    Match Report (Mike Payne's exclusive report coming shortly)

England turned on the style and struck four second-half goals to end Northern Ireland's stubborn resistance in the World Cup qualifier at Old Trafford.  Northern Ireland had frustrated England with Wayne Rooney hitting a post and keeper Maik Taylor in outstanding form.  But Joe Cole sparked a spell of three goals in nine minutes after the break. Michael Owen added a second from close range before Chris Baird turned Rooney's cross into his own net and Frank Lampard hit a deflected fourth.

England were impressive in killing off the Irish once the deadlock was broken, and coach Sven-Göran Eriksson will be delighted to see his side take another giant stride towards next year's World Cup in Germany.  Eriksson, as expected, played Chelsea's Cole on the left-flank and he was prominent in a first 45 minutes played almost exclusively in Northern Ireland territory.  Lampard released Owen clear on goal after 17 minutes, but he did not finish with his usual assurance and goalkeeper Taylor saved low down.  And England came even closer to breaking the deadlock two minutes later, when Rooney headed against the post from Gary Neville's cross.

The Manchester United teenager was in rampant mood, and he tested the Northern Ireland defence on two more occasions, bringing a diving save from Taylor with a 25-yard drive, then shooting narrowly wide from distance.  Taylor was single-handedly keeping England at bay, saving well from David Beckham's free-kick and turning another effort from Lampard around the post.  The visitors were playing with more composure as the interval approached, but after surviving the opening half, they were blitzed by three England goals inside nine minutes at the start of the second period.

Joe Cole broke the deadlock a minute after the break, with a careless pass from Tony Capaldi undoing all the Irish resistance, allowing the England midfield man to curl home a precise finish from 20 yards.  England doubled their lead five minutes later, Lampard surging into the area to leave Owen to score from six yards.

Lawrie Sanchez's side had crumbled, and a piece of brilliance from Rooney created the third after 54 minutes.  He escaped the attentions of Colin Murdock tight to the byline, and his cross was turned into his own net by Baird at the near post.  England were fortunate when another cruel deflection provided their fourth after 61 minutes, Lampard's shot from outside the area coming off Murdock's head and leaving Taylor hopelessly wrong-footed.  Rooney was running defenders ragged and he helped substitute Kieron Dyer set up another chance for Lampard, but he struck the bar with the goal at his mercy.

Source Notes

BBC Sport