|Trinidad & Tobago||England|
|2008-06-01||Hasely Crawford Stadium||Port-of-Spain, Trinidad and Tobago||25001|
England rounded off their season in style as they comfortably overcame a Trinidad and Tobago side spurred on by a passionate and colourful crowd in Port of Spain.It was a winning end to an important ten days for England, as Fabio Capello and his coaching team were able to spend a prolonged period with the players for the first time.
Jermain Defoe built on his performance against USA with two well-taken goals, while Gareth Barry scored his first goal for England before donning the captain's armband in the second half when Beckham left the field.
After the joyous scenes that greeted the team's arrival, their training sessions and visit to a local soccer clinic, England were now the opposition and the singing and dancing crowd were cheering for the likes of Carlos Edwards and Dwight Yorke.
The first half was played out in humid sunshine of late afternoon, in an open air stadium with views of Mount Hope to the north and the ships docking at the harbour of Port of Spain to the south.
The grand occasion for the hosts, celebrating their centenary this summer, was a significant one for a number of the visitors also.
Dean Ashton made his first start for his country, whilst Joe Hart, Phil Jagielka and Stephen Warnock also made England debuts in the second half and Barry marked the occasion with his first goal.
David Beckham whipped his first cross into the box after little more than a minute and with Stewart Downing lurking menacingly it took a composed clearance from Khaleem Hyland to avert the danger.
Captaining the side for the first time since England faced Portugal in the World Cup two years ago, Beckham then had an early opening from a free-kick.
Both Jermain Defoe and Steven Gerrard were felled on the edge of the area, giving the LA Galaxy midfielder an opportunity from 20 yards, but his effort was bravely blocked.
Sunderland forward Kenwyne Jones created a moment of apprehension as he looked to steal between Rio Ferdinand and David James. Jones came off worse in the challenge with James and was forced to leave the field.
Moments later, England were in front as Gareth Barry forced home a Wayne Bridge cross, just reward for early dominance by the visitors. Barry could not dull the enthusiastic drummers behind the goal, but he did show bravery to notch his first goal for his country and set Capello's men on their way.
The pitch was green but dry, though it did nothing to affect the rhythym of the Three Lions as they doubled their lead four minutes later. Stewart Downing was the supplier and this time it was Jermain Defoe who cooly slotted the ball past the 'keeper with his left foot.
Carlos Edwards had Trinidad and Tobago's first effort with a free-kick, and turned provider for Darryl Roberts moments later but David James was not unduly tested by either effort.
Hart and Jagielka both came on at the break to win their first caps for England, while David Bentley replaced Beckham and Peter Crouch came on for Dean Ashton.
With Beckham leaving the field, it was Aston Villa skipper Barry who took the armband in the second period to become the fifth captain of Capello's reign.
Defoe scored within four minutes of the restart, a poacher's finish after a fine cross from Bentley. The Blackburn Rovers midfielder lifted the ball towards Crouch at the back post, only for substitute Kareem Smith to head down to a grateful Defoe.
Arsenal's Theo Walcott came on for the last half hour to win only his second cap for England, with a gap of two years almost to the day since he made his debut against Hungary at Old Trafford.
With a quarter of the game to play and calls from the stands of 'we want Dwight' reaching a crescendo, Yorke, the hero of the island, entered the fray for the final few minutes.
In the heat of Trinidad, England entertained their hosts and ultimately got what they came for - a win and further preparation for Capello ahead of the crucial World Cup qualifiers in September.
|46' Carl Smith|
|76' Kevaughn Connell|
|76' Dwight Yorke|
|9.||Aurtis Whitley (capt.)|
|74' Jerol Forbes|
|11' Darryl Roberts|
|46' Osei Telesford|
|11'||Darryl Roberts for Kenwyne Jones|
|46'||Osei Telesford for Darryl Roberts|
|46'||Carl Smith for Kern Cupid|
|74'||Jerol Forbes for Stern John|
|76'||Kevaughn Connell for Keon Daniel|
|76'||Dwight Yorke for Khaleem Hyland|