Terry seals England victory

19 November 2008 10:09
John Terry atoned for an earlier mistake as he headed England to a 2-1 friendly victory over Germany in Berlin. Terry rose above Heiko Westermann in the 84th minute to plant Stewart Downing's pinpoint free-kick into the net with a determined diving header. The skipper had earlier been at fault for gifting Germany their second-half equaliser when he attempted to shepherd the ball back to a reluctant Scott Carson and allowed Patrick Helmes to nip and slot through the keeper's legs. Matthew Upson had stabbed a much-changed and largely experimental side into a first-half lead on a night of many positives for coach Fabio Capello. Capello was forced to make seven changes to the side that started England's last game against Belarus, with the likes of Wayne Rooney, Steven Gerrard, Frank Lampard, Rio Ferdinand and Theo Walcott all missing due to injury. But the young guns given the opportunity by the Italian coach certainly created a positive impression as Gabriel Agbonlahor on his debut was a menace with his pace, while Shaun Wright-Phillips and Stewart Downing excelled on the wings. England had settled into their stride first and opened the scoring in the 23rd minute. Goalkeeper Rene Adler flapped at a Downing corner and Upson was the first to react as he slid the loose ball into the empty net from six yards. The visitors were making life uncomfortable for a more experienced Germany side and Michael Carrick and Gareth Barry combined superbly to shield their defence and then set the pacey attacking players free with accurate passes. Agbonlahor had the ball in the net in the 37th minute but his effort was ruled out for a borderline offside following a Wright-Phillips through-ball. Downing ended the first half on a high for England when he stung the palms of Adler with a 20-yard strike which the keeper pushed wide. Capello sent on Carson for David James and Darren Bent for the hard-working Jermain Defoe at half-time, while Germany made three changes and came out fired up for the second half. However, it was Bent who passed up the chance to kill-off a resurgent Germany when he latched onto Barry's through-ball after beating the offside trap, but slipped after taking the ball around the keeper and watched on as his shot bounced the wrong side of the upright. England then had salt rubbed into their wounds as play switched to the other end and the mix-up between Terry and Carson handed the home side a gift-wrapped equalising goal. To England's credit their heads did not drop and Wright-Phillips crashed a 20-yard swerving shot off the upright with substitute keeper Tim Wiese beaten. But there was little Wiese could do about Terry's winner five minutes later when the England skipper set his sights on beating Westermann to the ball and headed home to the delight of the 8,000 travelling fans.

Source: ESA