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Rediff.com  » Sports » Lampard header gives England victory over Spain

Lampard header gives England victory over Spain

November 13, 2011 09:30 IST

England claimed a memorable and unlikely 1-0 win over World champions Spain thanks to a headed goal from Frank Lampard and some resolute defending during the closing stages of a hugely entertaining friendly at Wembley Stadium on Saturday.

Spain, who are also European champions and will defend their title next year, displayed their now typically brilliant short-passing game in the first half although for all their dominance before the break they created few scoring chances.

The game changed after halftime when Spain coach Vicente Del Bosque replaced master passer Xavi, allowing England to get a foothold after almost constantly watching Spain's magical moves.

The game swung England's way after 49 minutes when James Milner whipped in a freekick that Darren Bent met with a powerful header that hit substitute keeper Pepe Reina's post. As the ball bounced along the line Lampard reacted first to nod into the empty net.

It was his 23rd goal for England in his 90th international on his second appearance as skipper, standing in for his Chelsea team mate John Terry who will return to the side for Tuesday's friendly against Sweden.

It was also enough to give England their first win over Spain after three successive defeats since 2001 and only their third victory over the reigning world champions since they won the World Cup in 1966 on home soil.

Their only other victories both came at Wembley -- in 1975 when they beat West Germany 2-0 and in 1980 when they overcame Argentina 3-1 --- but Saturday's success was almost denied them in the final minute.

Source:
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