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762 vs. Belgium

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981 vs. Belgium
Saturday, 2 June 2012
A Vauxhall European Championships Finals warm-up Friendly Match

England 1 Belgium 0 [1-0]

The National Stadium, Wembley, Brent, Greater London
Kick-off (BST): 5.15pm.
Attendance: 85,091.

96 minutes 47:00 & 48:59 Belgium kicked-off
[1-0] Danny Welbeck 36
12-yard left-footed chip over Mignolet following an Ashley Young thro' ball
[0-0] Dries Mertens scores disallowed for foul 16:19  
[1-0] Jermain Defoe hits the post from 12 yards
[1-0] Guillaume Gillet hits the post from 27 yards

Scott Parker 30 29:42
Dries Mertens 17 16:20
Commentator: Clive Tyldesley with Andy Townsend

Match Summary

Officials from Denmark

England Squad



Belgium Squad  
Referee (yellow) - Peter Rasmussen
36 (15 October 1975), Odense, FIFA-listed 2006.

Assistant Referees - Henrik Sønderby, 39 (12 December 1972) and Niels Høg, 36 (26 July 1975)
Fourth official -
Anthony Taylor, 33 (20 October 1978), Wythenshawe.

UEFA honoured the five England players who have surpassed 100 appearances for their country with a commemorative cap and medal during a presentation on the pitch at half time. David Beckham, Sir Bobby Charlton and Peter Shilton, along with Bobby Moore's widow Stephanie and Billy Wright's daughter Babette, received their awards.

7 Goal Attempts 15
1 Attempts on Target 6
1 Hit Bar/Post 1
3 Corner Kicks Won 4
3 Offside Calls Against 3
7 Fouls Conceded 11
41% Possession 59%

England Team



FIFA (9 May 2012) 7th
EFO ranking Group 3

ELO rating 6th
Colours: The 2012 home uniform - White v-neck collared jerseys with red piping on collar, white shorts with red trim, white socks with two-tone red hoop.
Capt: Steven Gerrard
(17th (38) captaincy (3))
 Wayne Rooney, 83rd minute.
Manager: Roy Hodgson, 64 (9 August 1947), appointed 1 May 2012,
2nd match, W 2 - D 0 - L 0 - F 2 - A 0.
England Lineup
1 Hart, C. Joseph J. 25
44 days
19 April 1987 G Manchester City FC 18  11ᵍᵃ
2 Johnson, Glen M. 27
284 days
23 August 1984 RB Liverpool FC 36 1
3 Cole, Ashley 31
165 days
20 December 1980 LB Chelsea FC 94 0
4 Gerrard, Steven G., off 83rd min. 32
3 days
30 May 1980 CM Liverpool FC 92 19
5 Cahill, Gary J., injured off 19th min. 26
166 days
19 December 1985 CD Chelsea FC 9 2
6 Terry, John G., injured off 70th min. 31
178 days
7 December 1980 CD Chelsea FC 73 6
7 Milner, James P. 26
150 days
4 January 1986 RM/LM Manchester City FC 26 0
Parker, Scott M. 31
233 days
13 October 1980 CM Tottenham Hotspur FC 13 0
Parker cautioned in the 30th min. after he is late and wild when lunging in on Jan Vertonghen near the halfway line.
Welbeck, Daniel N.T.M., off 53rd min. 21
189 days
26 November 1990 CF Manchester United FC 5 1
Young, Ashley S., off 67th min. 26
329 days
9 July 1985 AM Manchester United FC 21 6
11 Oxlade-Chamberlain, Alexander M.D., off 67th min. 18
292 days
15 August 1993 LM Arsenal FC 2 0
England Substitutes
15 Lescott, Joleon P., on 19th min. (18:42) for Cahill 29
291 days
16 August 1982 CD Manchester City FC 16 11 0
scoreline: England 1 Belgium 0
20 Rooney, Wayne M., on 53rd min (52:56) for Welbeck 26
222 days
24 October 1985 RF Manchester United FC 74 69 27
Defoe, Jermain C., on 67th min (66:02) for Young
239 days
7 October 1982
Tottenham Hotspur FC
47 17 15
record 30 sub apps
22 Walcott, Theo J., on 67th min. (66:17) for Oxlade-Chamberlain 23
78 days
16 March 1989 RM Arsenal FC 24 19 3
16 Jagielka, Philip N., on 70th min. (69:30) for Terry 29
290 days
17 August 1982 CD Everton FC 12 8 1
17 Henderson, Jordan B., on 83rd min (82:40) for Gerrard 21
351 days
17 June 1990 CM Liverpool FC 3 1 0
result: England 1 Belgium 0
unused substitutes: 12-Phil Jones, 13-Robert Green, 14-Leighton Baines, 18-Stewart Downing, 21-Andy Carroll, 23-Jack Butland.

team notes:

Remarkably, the last six fixtures against Belgium have all been under different managers, Sir Alf Ramsey (1970), Ron Greenwood (1980), Bobby Robson (1990), Glenn Hoddle (1998), Kevin Keegan (1999) and now Hodgson.
Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain's father, Mark Chamberlain, also played for England (1982-84).
Gary Cahill was injured (16:17) "after a nasty, needless push by Dries Mertens that caused him to collided with goalkeeper, Joe Hart, an incident that left the Chelsea defender requiring a precautionary X-ray at Wembley."
National Stadium records: Gareth Barry has played in 24 of England's 29 home matches at the new National Stadium. He is now just two ahead of Steven Gerrard. Who, in turn, is three ahead of Ashley Cole.
Manager Roy Hodgson was in charge of Finland against Belgium for the European Championships qualifying matches on June and October 2007 (2-0 & 0-0).
4-4-2(1-1) Hart -
Johnson, Cahill
(Lescott), Terry (Jagielka), Cole -
Milner, Gerrard
(Henderson), Parker, Oxlade-Chamberlain (Walcott) -
(Defoe) -
notes: After Walcott entered the field, he and Milner swapped flanks.
Averages (Starting XI): Age 27 years 87 days Appearances/Goals 35.2 3.1


Belgium Team



FIFA (9 May 2012) 44th
EFO ranking Group 7

ELO rating =42nd
Colours: Made by Burrda - Black crew neck jerseys with red/black collar, yellow side panel/waved pinstripes and yellow cuffs/trim/piping, black shorts with yellow waved pinstripes/trim, black socks with red tops.
Capt: Thomas Vermaelen Caretaker Manager: Marc Robert Wilmots, 43 (22 February 1969), appointed as caretaker manager 15 May 2012,
2nd match, W 0 - D 1 - L 1 - F 2 - A 3.
Belgium Lineup
1 Mignolet, Simon L.H. 24
88 days
6 March 1988 G Sunderland AFC, England 10 9ᵍᵃ
2 Gillet, Guillaume 28
85 days
9 March 1984 RB RSC Anderlecht, Netherlands 15 0
5 Vermaelen, Thomas 26
201 days
14 November 1985 CD Arsenal FC, England 35 1
6 Simons, Timmy 35
174 days
11 December 1976 CD 1. FC Nürnberg, Germany 91 6
3 Vertonghen, Jan B.L. 25
39 days
24 April 1987 LB Amsterdamsche FC Ajax NV, Netherlands 38 2
8 Witsel, Axel L.A.L. 23
142 days
12 January 1989 RM Sport Lisboa e Benfica, Portugal 29 5
11 Fellaini-Bakkioui, Marouane 24
193 days
22 November 1987 CM Everton FC, England 35 5
Mertens, Dries, off 72nd min. 25
27 days
6 May 1987 LM Philips Sport Vereniging NV, Netherlands



Mertens cautioned in the 17th min. after he sprinted after a ball into the penalty area and pushed Gary Cahill into his goalkeeper.
9 Mirallas y Castillo, Kevin A.J.G., off 59th min. 24
241 days
5 October 1987 RF Olympiacos Club of Fans of Piraeus, Greece 27 5
10 Hazard, Eden M. 21
147 days
7 January 1991 CF LOSC Lille Métropole, France 28 2
18 Dembélé, Moussa S.Y. 24
322 days
16 July 1987 LF Fulham FC, England 39 5
Belgium Substitutes
scoreline: England 1 Belgium 0
16 Chadli, Nacir, on 59th min (58:51) for Mirallas 22
305 days
2 August 1989 RF FC Twente, Netherlands 8 2
20 Lukaku Bolingoli, Romelu M., on 72nd min (71:55) for Mertens 19
20 days
13 May 1993 LF Chelsea FC, England 15 2
result: England 1 Belgium 0
unused substitutes: 14-Igor de Camargo, 15-Sebastien Pocognoli, 17-Christian Benteke, 19-Jelle Vossen, 21-Olivier Renard, 22-Denis Odoi, 23-Radja Nainggolan, 24-Benjamin De Ceulaer, 25-Steven Defour.
team notes: Vincent Kompany, the Belgian captain, pulled out thirty minutes before kick-off. His place going to Timmy Simons.
Caretaker coach Marc Wilmots played for Belgium the last time these two countries played each other, in October 1999 in Sunderland.
4-3-3 Mignolet -
Gillet, Simons, Vermaelen, Vertonghen -
Witsel, Fellaini, Mertens
(Lukaku) -
(Chadli), Hazard, Dembélé.
Averages (Starting XI): Age 25 years 285 days Appearances/Goals 32.5 2.8


    Match Report by Mike Payne

England began their second game under new manager Roy Hodgson with an interesting contest with Belgium at Wembley, a final warm-up match before the Euro 2012 competition gets under way in a week's time. Belgium, a side packed with familiar players who operate in our Premier League, are an up and coming team, so it was to be a tough test. Once again though, England played solidly, without being spectacular and they again managed a 1-0 win.

It took over seven minutes before any semblance of a chance was created, and it fell to Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain, making his first full appearance.  The Arsenal player completely fluffed his shot though after James Milner teed up the ball for him.  That was probably the highlight of the first 13 minutes of the game, but the same player had another effort around that time, and although he hit his 25 yard shot better this time, the ball flew over Simon Mignolet's goal.  England then suffered yet another injury blow, they have had a spate of them recently.  Gary Cahill was trying to shepherd the ball back to Joe Hart and Dries Mertens came in and blatantly pushed the Chelsea man in the back.  The force of the shove pushed him into Hart and he suffered a nasty jaw injury as a result, which ended his night prematurely.  He was replaced by Joleon Lescott and Mertens was rightly booked for the foul.

Belgium were playing neat possession football but rarely threatened a disciplined England back four, although Axel Witsel did see one long-range shot fly just over on 23 minutes, the first decent attack on goal by Belgium.  The other bank of four home players across the midfield also coped admirably with the best that the visitors could muster, and England had a solid look about them again.

Glen Johnson fouled Mertens and the Belgian player made a meal of the challenge, performing a double somersault, twist and roll, with pike!  He was lucky not to receive a second yellow for that wonderful piece of acting.  Mind you, both sides were guilty of some late challenges and Scott Parker was the next to go in the book on the half-hour mark.  The game was going through a scrappy phase at this time, with Oxlade-Chamberlain struggling to get into the game, and Danny Welbeck hardly seeing the ball at all.  Having said that, on 35 minutes came the moment that eventually settled the match.

Welbeck challenged Moussa Dembele in the middle of the pitch, and he was helped by skipper Steven Gerrard.  They managed to win the ball and Gerrard fed Ashley Young.  Young spotted Welbeck's run to his left and threaded a superb pass through to him.  As Mignolet came out the Manchester United youngster stayed cool and chipped the ball over the sprawling goalkeeper and into the open net.  It was a well-taken goal and it lifted the crowd.  England were playing like an away team, in as much as they were soaking up the Belgian attacks and looked to catch them on the break.  On this occasion it worked to perfection, 1-0 to the Eng-er-land!

Hot property Eden Hazard showed some good footwork to fire in a dipping shot for Belgium, but Hart was equal to it.  Before the break it was Gerrard who nearly increased England's lead.  Welbeck again worked hard to charge down an attempted clearance and Gerrard came storming in to side-foot a shot goalwards.  That was blocked by Timmy Simons but it ran back to him and again he tried a shot, this time Guillaume Gillet made a splendid block, which was just as well as Mignolet was struggling.  So at half-time England led 1-0, and with Lescott and John Terry looking in no particular trouble the lead was comfortable.  Overall it had been a scrappy game though, with the England players showing some understandable fears of being injured.  As for Belgium, they lacked the guile to break England down and rarely threatened.

England started the second half well and good attacks came in from Ashley Cole and Oxlade-Chamberlain before Terry headed over the bar.  On 52 minutes Hodgson took goalscorer Welbeck off and Wayne Rooney came on up front.  It was to be the first of several substitutions which were to disrupt the game.  On 60 minutes Hazard tried a curler, but the shot didn't trouble Hart, and then the goalkeeper had to get down smartly to stop Marouanne Fellaini's drive.  England, meanwhile, were guilty of some sloppy passes and they had an irritating habit of giving the ball away too often.  Johnson was particularly annoying at this, and several of the management team on the bench looked as frustrated as the fans were.

On 65 minutes Jermaine Defoe replaced Young and Theo Walcott replaced his Arsenal teammate Oxlade-Chamberlain.  The youngster had tried hard but nothing seemed to come off for him, and several times he lost his footing.  But he has massive potential and his time will come, of that there is no doubt.  Another slight injury worry came when Terry went off to be replaced by Phil Jagielka, and Belgium made several changes too.

Rooney and Defoe combined well in one attack and then Cole did well to block a shot by Romelu Lukaku.  On 77 minutes Belgium had their nearest miss yet as the ball rolled out to the incoming Gillett, who lashed in a terrific shot from 20 yards, that beat Hart all ends up but struck the outside of a post.  It was a good effort and he was unlucky.  Fellaini then had another chance but again Hart saved from him.  A minute later play was down the other end and great work by Walcott set Defoe up, and the Spurs player fired in a terrific cross-shot which cannoned back off the far post with Mignolet beaten.  The ball was cleared and went straight down the other end where Hazard shot over the bar.  At this stage it was end to end football but only because the players were tiring and all the changes disrupted the organisation of the defences.

Fellaini had another chance and Jan Vertonghen headed over for Belgium, whilst Lescott almost reached a Rooney free-kick.  A great turn and run by the lively looking Defoe ended with him combining with Walcott before shooting into the side-netting from a difficult angle.  Two late saves from Hart protected England's lead, the second of those from the hard-working Fellaini again.  In the end though the one goal was enough and with another clean sheet England and Hodgson can be pleased with many aspects of their display.  It wasn't a particularly good game but England are going to be a hard side to beat in the tournament, and they always look capable of getting at least one goal in a game.

Gerrard was given the official man of the match award, but I thought Lescott was the outstanding player, and winning the Championship title has given him a new confidence in his game.  Hart and Terry also played well, Milner did nothing wrong, and both Walcott and Defoe were lively when they came on.

It means that England go into the tournament with a habit of winning, and that's not a bad habit to have.  Long may it continue.

Source Notes

BBC Sport

Mike Payne - football historian and contributor
Official Matchday Programme