WC Qual - UEFA

March 26, 2005

Full-time

England

4 - 0

Northern Ireland

Group F

15:00 +00:00, March 26, 2005

Old Trafford, England

Referee: Wolfgang Stark

  • 92'

    FULL TIME: England's quality finally shone through in a superb spell at the start of the second half. A devastating spell, and they will go in to Wendesday's qualifier with great heart.

  • 92'

    Neville lofts over a cross towards Owen, but Taylor is alert enough to claim the ball.

  • 91'

    Terry dives in to prevent Jones working space for a shot. England break well, and Murdoch is forced to put the ball out for a corner as Defoe broke in to the box.

  • 90'

    Two minutes of added time.

  • 88'

    Cole and Defoe combine well, and Joe Cole's works enough space to fire in another right-foot shot, but his effort is blocked on the six yard line.

  • 87'

    SUBS: Healy, Whitley off, Jones and Kirk on for Northern Ireland. They have little time to make an impact. A little bit pointless, really.

  • 86'

    Apart from that brief spell at the start of the second half, Northern Ireland have defended well.

  • 84'

    Neville passes in to Joe Cole in the box, but he can't quite work the space to have a shot. The ball eventually finds its way to Hargreaves, who hits a left-foot volley which Taylor saves easily.

  • 83'

    Elliot nearly gets in behind Terry as Northern Ireland make a rare venture forward, but Ferdinand is on hand to clear up the danger.

  • 82'

    Hargreaves lines up a free-kick after Owen is fouled 30 yards out. The Bayern Munich midfielder curls a tame shot towards goal, and Taylor claims easily.

  • 81'

    I wonder whether Sven will make any changes to the side for England's next qualifyer on Wednesday? Of course, Soccernet will be covering the match; join us, please.

  • 80'

    A great run from Dyer down the right, He cuts in to the box and finds Owen, but the striker hooks his shot over the bar from eight yards out.

  • 79'

    SUB: Rooney off, Defoe on. The teenage Man United star has never completed 90 minutes for England, I'm told. What a remarkable fact.

  • 78'

    Healy breaks down the right channel, but his centre towards Elliot is easily intercepted by Terry.

  • 77'

    Good play from Rooney as England try to work another shooting chance. The ball finds Owen, but he can't control Lampard's pass.

  • 75'

    Lampard swerves past two defenders, but runs the ball out of play. A third England substitute is being prepared; Defoe has taken his tracksuit off, perhaps Rooney might the man to make way.

  • 75'

    Lots of poessession for England, but they seem to have lost some drive.

  • 73'

    Healy swings in a free-kick after Neville fouls Gillespie, but England head clear and break at speed.

  • 72'

    Oooh! Dyer makes an immediate impact, beating a couple of defenders and finding Lampard eight yards out. Unmarked and with plenty time, Lampard strikes his shot against the bar.

  • 71'

    SUBS: Hargreaves and Dyer on for Beckham and Gerrard. Sven gives two of his major players a rest, and two of his squad men the chance to impress in a competitive international.

  • 69'

    Northern Ireland enjoy a short spell of possession, but England are maintaining their discipline in defence. Healy shoots from 30 yards out, but Robinson collects easily.

  • 68'

    England prepare to make some substitutions, with Dyer and Hargreaves stripping off.

  • 67'

    Beckham finds Owen with an incredible 60-yard pass. A one-two with Rooney works him some space, but Northern Ireland flood back and manage to clear.

  • 66'

    Joe Cole lays the ball back to Beckham after Taylor palms a cross in to his path. The England captain shoots low from distance, but his effort is well wide.

  • 65'

    Owen is found by Joe Cole inside the box, but the striker hesitates a little and the defender pokes the ball out for a corner.

  • 64'

    England are still getting players forward, but Northern Ireland counter well through Davis.

  • 63'

    England will be chasing a few more goals in the final stages of this match; Northern Ireland will be in for a tough half-hour.

  • 62'

    I think Lampard will claim the goal; his shot was goal-bound before Murdoch inadvertently steered it past the helpless Taylor.

  • 61'

    GOAL! A nice spell of possession ends with the ball being worked to Lampard. His shot from 25 yards is deflected in to the net by Murdoch's head.

  • 60'

    A swift counter-attack from England results in a corner when Murdoch turns the ball away under pressure from Rooney.

  • 59'

    Some very calm defending from Neville and Ferdinand thwarts a rare Northern Ireland attack.

  • 58'

    Ashley Cole is back on the field now after receiving some treatment on his hip. He looks to be running freely.

  • 57'

    SUB: Docherty off, Davis on. The young midfielder has made a good start to his career at Aston Villa, and will get a chance to impress Sanchez in the last half-hour.

  • 56'

    Ashley Cole is down on the turf, holding his hip. He looks in some discomfort after falling awkwardly.

  • 55'

    Beckham shoots from distance, but his shot flies narrowly over the bar. Taylor had it covered, but Beckham had a lot of time to get his shot away.

  • 54'

    An incredible start to the second half from England. Northern Ireland's only hope now is to prevent a drubbing.

  • 53'

    Owen was lurking close by, but replays have shown that the ball was flicked in by the Northern Ireland defender.

  • 53'

    GOAL! Superb play from Rooney on the touchline. He beats two players, breaks in to the box, and his his low pass is turned in to his own net by Baird.

  • 52'

    England are playing with real confidence, stroking the ball about and making some good runs down the channels.

  • 51'

    GOAL! Lampard breaks in to the box, combines well with Gerrard, and the ball falls to Owen six yards out. The Real Madrid man stabs his shot over Taylor and England celebrate gleefully.

  • 49'

    Nice play from Owen and Gerrard wins England a corner. The home side have started the second half really well; the midfielders are combining better than in the first half.

  • 48'

    Johnson is booked after kicking the ball away as Rooney is fouled. Lampard shoots from distance from the free-kick, but his effort is blocked.

  • 47'

    Gillespie fouls Ashley Cole, who gets up a little gingerly. Nice play from Gerrard and Lampard around the edge of the area, but Cipaldi tackles.

  • 47'

    Cole bursts down the left wing but is adjudged to have fouled his man as they sprinted in to the box.

  • 46'

    Great effort from Cole. His third goal for England, and he has deserved it after a great first half. The Northern Irish will be forced to push forward a little more now.

  • 46'

    GOAL! Joe Cole curls a low shot in to the bottom corner from the edge of the area. England have the breakthrough.

  • 45'

    The teams are back out on the pitch; no substitutions made at half-time, and England kick-off knowing they need to remain patient and keep pressing.

  • 45'

    HALF-TIME: No stoppage time at all, and the visitors will go off delighted with the way they have defended. England have some thinking to do.

  • 44'

    Lampard shoots again with his left-foot, but again his effort is blocked. Murdoch has been very prominant in the Northern Irish defence.

  • 42'

    Gillespie tugs at Ashley Cole's shirt, and England win a free-kick in a dangerous position. Beckham attempts to curl the ball in, but the wall blocks his cross.

  • 41'

    More good play from England, but they can't work a shooting opportunity. The home side have played well, and will go in at half-time satisfied, I think.

  • 40'

    Beckham flights the corner in. The ball falls to Lampard around eight yards out, but the Chelsea star can't quite bring the ball under control, and the visitors clear.

  • 39'

    A good break by England, led by Beckham. The ball eventually is worked to Lampard, who hits a low left-foot shot towards goal. Taylor palms away for a corner.

  • 38'

    Gerrard drives a long pass towards Neville on the right wing, but it is over-hit and drifts out of play.

  • 37'

    Rooney wins the ball back after a long spell of possession from the visitors, and his run down the left wing wins England a throw.

  • 35'

    Capaldi curls the free-kick in to England's penalty box, but Terry heads clear.

  • 34'

    Northern Ireland finally manage to get hold of the ball ans tring a few passes together. They win a free-kick when Cole slides in on Healy.

  • 33'

    Healy is off-side after being found by a pass over the top from Gillespie. Healy is Northern Ireland's all-time top scorer with 16 goals.

  • 32'

    This time Gerrard has a shot blocked as he cracked a right-foot effort goalwards. Beckham is playing very centrally, and so the middle of the park is very congested.

  • 31'

    Most of England's attacking play is coming down the left-hand side, with the two Coles combining well.

  • 30'

    Rooney shoot low, from distance, but his shot drifts narrowly wide of the post. Taylor had to scramble across his goal, but seemed to have it covered.

  • 29'

    There's a good atmosphere inside Old Trafford; the England fans aren't getting too frustrated yet.

  • 28'

    Cole again works a yard of space and swings over a right-foot cross, but Murdoch clears.

  • 27'

    Oooh! Beckham takes the free-kick, curls the ball in towards the goal, but Taylor punches clear. Good effort from the England captain, but Taylor stayed alert.

  • 26'

    Rooney is fouled by Murdoch 35 yards from goal.

  • 25'

    Baird plays a ball down the right channel, but Healy had slipped and Terry clears up. There is very little support for Healy, even if he wins the ball.

  • 24'

    Lampard and Gerrard are getting a lot of the ball in midfield, but the Northern Ireland defenders are working so hard to close down their men that it is difficult for England to find a decisive pass.

  • 23'

    England win a free-kick when Owen is fouled by Murdoch. Beckham flights the ball in, but Terry is adjudged to have fouled his marker as he climbed to head back across goal.

  • 22'

    England have completely dominated this game, but Northern Ireland will take great heart from the fact that the score is still 0-0.

  • 21'

    Gerrard almost finds Beckham with an ambitious pass with the outside of his boot, but Hughes cuts out the danger.

  • 20'

    Oooh! Rooney strikes a great shot from 30 yards, but Taylor palms away for a corner. It was heading for the top corner. England are piling on the pressure now.

  • 18'

    Ooooh! Rooney heads against the post after being found by a cross from the right. Great effort from the youngster; a looping header when under pressure from his marker.

  • 18'

    It was a great chance for Owen, but he seemed to lack the conviction to finish the chance. England should certainly be one-up.

  • 17'

    Ooooh! Owen is put through by Lampard, but, one-on-one with Taylor, he shoots weakly with his right foot and the goalkeeper saves easily.

  • 17'

    Joe Cole has started very well; he is very willing to get the ball and is using it well.

  • 16'

    It has been a solid start from the Northern Irish. They have managed to block all that England have thrown at them so far. Joe Cole shows more skill to send Owen down the left channel, but the ball is run out of play.

  • 15'

    A speculative shot from Docherty from 30 yards flies well over the bar. He struck the shot well with his left-foot, but it was always rising.

  • 14'

    Good play from Joe Cole down the left; he cuts back on to his right foot and curls a cross in towards Beckham, but the England captain can't quite reach the cross.

  • 13'

    England will have to stay patient; NI are keeping plenty of players back behind the ball in an effort to frustrate the home side.

  • 13'

    The corner is again curled in to a dangerous area, but the visitors win a goal kick as Terry heads well wide.

  • 12'

    Murdoch fouls Lampard, but England can't do anything with the free-kick. They win a corner when Baird is forced to head behind, under pressure from Ashley Cole.

  • 11'

    England are being given plenty of time on the ball at the back. Lampard almost breaks through the back line, but he can't quite collect Rooney's pass.

  • 10'

    Gerrard fouls Hughes. The free-kick is lofted in to the box, but Murdoch is adjudged to have fouled his marker as he jumped for the ball.

  • 9'

    Northern Ireland are enjoying a spell of possession, with every pass being cheered by their fans.

  • 8'

    Owen and Rooney combine well. Owen lays the ball back to Cole, but his left-foot shot is blocked and eventually cleared. Good incisive attacking from the England forwards.

  • 8'

    Cole is given off-side as he makes a run forward down the left wing. The England defenders seem to have been encouraged to get forward whenever they can.

  • 7'

    Cole makes a good run in from the left and is found by Beckham. He tries to cut the ball back, but his pass is deflected safely back to Taylor.

  • 6'

    England win their first corner. Beckham curls the ball in from the left, and Terry heads narrowly over the bar. Good effort from the Chelsea man.

  • 5'

    Northern Ireland's first effort at goal comes from Healy, who shoots from just outside the area. Ferdinand blocks his shot before it can threaten Robinson.

  • 5'

    All England so far - as expected

  • 4'

    Clever interplay bewteen Owen and Rooney almost sees the latter in on goal but it's a corner. It's worked deep to Joe Cole but his shot is blocked this time

  • 3'

    Joe Cole shows a bit of tricky to create a bit of space 20 yards out - only to drag his effort harmlessly wide of Taylor's right-hand post

  • 3'

    Lampard looked to be blocked off when trying to meet the nod on by Rooney - no dice from the ref, though

  • 2'

    England enjoy passing it around in the early moments while Sanchez's side seem happy to make their opponents try and force a way through

  • 1'

    Ireland get the game started at Old Trafford.

  •  

    Northern Ireland manager Lawrie Sanchez recalls Damien Johnson and Stuart Elliott. Both players were sidelined last month through injury when the province lost 1-0 to Canada in a friendly at Windsor Park. They replace George McCartney, who has returned to Sunderland with a groin strain, and Aston Villa's Steven Davis, who is on the bench today.

  •  

    Chelsea midfielder Joe Cole is handed his first competitive start. Cole has previously started two games for his country in friendlies, as well as making 17 substitute appearances. However, he is given his chance this afternoon after impressive performances for Chelsea.

  •  

    Lawrie Sanchez brings his side of battlers to Old Trafford looking to cause an almighty upset. Join us live from 15.00 GMT.