martes, 29 de marzo de 2011

Top Ten: Anglo-African football showdowns - GhanaWeb

Sports Features of Tuesday, 29 March 2011

Source: Charles Perrin

Tonight sees England host Ghana at Wembley for the first time ever and while Fabio Capello may have rested many of his big names, the 21,000 tickets sold to the visitors supporters promises to make the occasion a special one indeed. The Three Lions have never lost to African opposition since meeting Egypt in 1986 – it's a proud record and one which celebrates in our top ten Anglo-African encounters.

England 1- 0 Egypt / 1990 World Cup

Having first encountered Egypt in 1986 at Wembley, Bobby Robson's side were expected to overcome their North African opponents with ease. As it turned out the last match of the 1990 World Cup group stage was a very nervy one for the men in white. With qualification on a knife-edge after draws with the Ireland and the Netherlands, Mark Wright's goal helped seal a win and allowed the nation to breath a huge sigh of relief.  

England 3- 2 Cameroon / 1990 World Cup

If the group stage games and knockout win over Belgium were turgid affairs, the quarter-final showdown against Cameroon was anything but.  England took the lead through David Platt, playing in his first World Cup, before Cameroon stormed back through Emmanuel Kunde and Eugene Keke. However, their wind was taken out of their sails when Gary Lineker popped up with an equaliser seven minutes from time before he scored again from the spot in extra-time to send England through.

England 2-0 Cameroon / International / 1991

Ian Wright won his first cap for England in front of a raucous 60,000 fans at Wembley as the two sides who had famously clashed in the previous World Cup came together for a quick-fire reunion. Gary Lineker was again the scourge of the Indomitable Lions as he bagged a brace in a comfortable home win.

England 1- 0 Nigeria / International / 1994

Boasting the likes of Beardsley, Barnes and Shearer England took on a Nigeria side who'd made it to the knockout stage of the World Cup in the USA the previous summer. Despite a plucky performance by the Nigerians, David Platt proved to be the difference between the two sides, scoring the winner from a set-piece.

England 2- 1 South Africa / International / 1997

A match notable predominantly for the fact that Glenn Hoddle handed Paul Scholes his first cap, England prevailed in a rather drab 2-1 victory thanks to goals from Ian Wright and Rob Lee .

England 2- 0 Cameroon / International / 1997

Fielding an almost unrecognisable side to that which snatched a 0-0 draw with Italy in Rome to qualify for the World Cup in France, Hoddle opted to play the likes of Nigel Martyn, Andy Hinchcliffe, Phil Neville, Steve McManaman, Paul Scholes and Robbie Fowler in an experimental XI. The latter pair scored the two goals to ease the Three Lions to another victory over Cameroon. After the match Hoddle predicted of Scholes, "He has a very, very bright future." He wasn't wrong.

England 2- 2 Cameroon / International / 2002

In their final warm-up game ahead of the 2002 World Cup, England played out an entertaining draw with Cameroon in Kobe, Japan. The team in green took a surprise lead in the 5th minute through Samuel Eto'o before Darius Vassell restored parity seven minutes later. Geremi, later of Chelsea and Newcastle, restored Cameroon's advantage before Robbie Fowler grabbed a last-gasp equaliser to spare England's blushes.

South Africa 1-2 England / International / 2003

This game was remembered more for the England captain, David Beckham, breaking hiswrist. However, England won in a hard-fought match. Gareth Southgate gave the tourists the perfect start within the opening minute of proceedings. Benni McCarthy slotted a penalty in the 18th minute before Emile Heskey clinched the win shortly after the hour mark.

England 3- 1 Egypt / International Friendly / 2010

In a bid to prepare for the World Cup showdown with Algeria, Fabio Capello hastily organised this fixture with fellow North African side Egypt. Recouping after the 'international winter break' England overcame the distraction of John Terry's off pitch shenanigans to sweep aside a lively Egypt. Zidan gave the visiting team a first-half lead before England stormed back in the second half with goals from  Shaun Wright-Phillips and Peter Crouch (2) to secure the win.

England 0-0 Algeria / 2010 World Cup

While the Egypt game was supposed to act as a dress-rehearsal for the competitive match with Algeria in the group stages of the South Africa World didn't appear to do much good. With confidence shot following the 1-1 draw with the USA, an England side bereft of ideas struggled to create anything in front of goal and were roundly booed by travelling support when the final whistle blew on the 0-0 draw.

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