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Defoe fires England into the last 16

[ 2010-06-24 11:28]     字号 [] [] []  
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England's World Cup campaign finally took off on Wednesday at the third attempt as Fabio Capello's side qualified for the last 16 with a 1-0 win over Slovenia to secure the runners-up spot in Group C.

But the United States took top spot in the group with an injury-time winner from Landon Donovan over Algeria, meaning England finished runnersup and Slovenia - who had begun the day on top of the table - were eliminated.

Jermain Defoe started for England in place of Emile Heskey in one of the biggest gambles of manager Capello's career and the move paid dividends with the Tottenham striker's 23rd-minute volleyed goal.

"This was the team which I loved to see in qualifying," said Capello. "We played with freedom, our minds were free."

Defoe was delighted with his contribution.

"The victory was more important than my goal. We came out fired up for the game, we passed the ball well and got the early goal. We're through to the next round and that's the important thing."

England skipper Steven Gerrard cautioned against over-optimism after a stuttering campaign.

"You are always anxious when you need to win but we showed passion, quality and desire," he said.

"We rolled up our sleeves and produced the goods. But we know that if we produce another performance like we did against Algeria, it'll be our last."

An opening 1-1 draw with the United States followed by the lame goalless stalemate with Algeria had left England staring at the possibility of failing to make it out of the group stage for the first time since 1958.


1. What was the score?

2. Who scored?

3. When was the last time England failed to make it out of the group stage?


1. 1:0 .

2. Jermain Defoe.

3. 1958.


(中国日报网英语点津 Helen 编辑)

Defoe fires England into the last 16

About the broadcaster:

Defoe fires England into the last 16

Lee Hannon is Chief Editor at China Daily with 15-years experience in print and broadcast journalism. Born in England, Lee has traveled extensively around the world as a journalist including four years as a senior editor in Los Angeles. He now lives in Beijing and is happy to move to China and join the China Daily team.