England demolish Reggae Boyz
03 Jun 2006 - 16:42:24
Peter Crouch scored a hat-trick as England strolled to a 6-0 victory in the Old Trafford sun against Jamaica in their final warm-up match before the start of the World Cup finals.
The lanky Liverpool striker also missed a penalty as England secured their sixth successive victory but Paraguay will present far more problems than the hapless Reggae Boyz in seven days' time.
Jamaica were reluctant to close down the England players and were happy to allow Sven-Goran Eriksson's side to have the freedom of Old Trafford.
The first goal came in the 11th minute and it was reminiscent of Wimbledon in their heyday. Paul Robinson's long ball forward found the head of Crouch who teed up Michael Owen. The Newcastle man hooked the ball back to Frank Lampard who rifled a shot past Bradford City keeper Donovan Ricketts.
Just five minutes later it was 2-0 thanks to David Beckham's accuracy. His whipped-in free-kick came off the head of the unfortunate Jermaine Taylor as the ball was deflected into the back of the net.
Jamaica's defending from set-pieces was shocking throughout the game and they conceded a third goal just before the half-hour. Beckham's corner again cased consternation in the visitors defence and Crouch's shot, which appeared to be on target, was deflected into the net off Omar Daley.
Almost immediately Owen beat the offside trap, rounded Ricketts, who had raced way outside his penalty area, steadied himself and slotted the ball into the empty net.
England's first-half domination was tempered by injuries to John Terry and Ashley Cole - both were substituted before the half-hour mark - while Beckham also picked up an ankle knock.
The second half was a more tepid affair with England seemingly happy to see out the game without picking up any more injuries.
They did add a fifth goal in the 67th minute though when Jamie Carragher raced clear down the right before crossing for Crouch to tap home from two yards out.
Crouch had the opportunity to complete his hat-trick with eight minutes left from the penalty spot after Owen had been felled but, to his horror, he chipped the ball over the bar with Ricketts beaten.
However, Crouch atoned for his embarrassing miss in the closing stages when strike partner Owen set him up just inside the area and he fired home with a crisp shot to score the goal of the game.