England defeated Mexico, 3-1, at Wembley Stadium tonight in one of six friendly matches on the international schedule. Head coach Fabio Capello gave 17 players some minutes, including 45 apiece for goalkeepers Robert Green and Joe Hart.
Mexico brought some pace and threatening runs to a somewhat porous England defense throughout the match, but early goals by England's Ledley King and Peter Crouch, followed by a nice second-half strike by Glen Johnson -- voted Man of the Match -- sealed the win for the Three Lions in front of 88,638 fans at home.
Mexico's lone goal -- its first on English soil -- was scored just before halftime by Guillermo Franco.
England's starting lineup (from left to right, back to front):
L. Baines, L. King, R. Ferdinand, G. Johnson
S. Gerrard, J. Milner, M. Carrick, T. Walcott
W. Rooney, P. Crouch
Subs: Joe Hart for Green (45), Jaime Carragher for Ferdinand (45), Jermain DeFoe for Crouch (45), Tom Huddlestone for Carrick (62), Aaron Lennon for T. Walcott (77), Adam Johnson for Milner (85).
-- England was playing without its Chelsea and Portsmouth players, who featured in the FA Cup final last week. Usual starters Frank Lampard, center back John Terry and left back Ashley Cole had to sit this one out.
-- Interestingly, their three replacements all made costly or near-costly errors in the first half. Carrick's weak clearance in the 9th minute led to a dangerous shot by Mexico, King almost drew a card in the box for getting beaten and grabbing a jersey in haste and Baines' poor clearance off the line led to Mexico's lone goal.
-- The Telegraph's instant analysis of the game focused on Steven Gerrard's uncomfortable outing on the left side in the first half. Things turned around for the Liverpool skipper after the break.
-- Robert Green was tested twice form close range by Carlos Vela of Arsenal, and the West Ham keeper came through on both occasions. Joe Hart didn't get much action.
-- Mexico legend Guauhtemoc Blanco entered in the 72nd minute. Commentator Martin Tyler: "He's 37 years old, he's overweight, but he's got that X-factor ... "
-- Theo Walcott, a terror on the right wing, proved why it's so important for the U.S. to find an able left back to contain him -- or Aaron Lennon -- on that side of the field. He's deadly.
-- Crouch's goal came from about 4 inches from goal -- and it was a hand ball.
Other results from around the globe: Australia 2, New Zealand 1; South Korea 2, Japan 0; South Africa 1, Bulgaria 1; Argentina 5, Canada 0; Portugal 0, Cape Verde Islands 0 (Wow).