Argentina v England
Saturday 12th November 2005
Stade de Genève
Set the Scene
England faced Argentina in a lucrative friendly in Geneva in November 2005 and it was one of the most entertaining friendly matches for many years. When these two nations come together on a sporting field it is always fiercely contested and although this was earmarked as a friendly it was apparent from the opening whistle that both sides wanted to win this game. It ebbed and flowed and was only settled in the dying minutes
The bar was set as early as the 2nd minute in this game when Ashley Young was shown a yellow card for a crunching tackle on Riquelme when it apeared he took the ball but was booked none the less. England thought they had scored inside the opening 10 minutes but Michael Owen’s header was ruled out for an offside. Walter Samuel then became the second player into the referees book when he barged into the back of Wayne Rooney. Hernan Crespo thought he had given Argentina the lead but like Owen he was denied, this time he had been adjudged to have committed a foul.
The Opening goal arrived soon after though and it was Crespo who got it, Maxi Rodriguez got the better of Wayne Bridge who was playing his first England game for a year and crossed for Crespo to stab home. Wayne Rooney responded for England and was unlucky not to score when his shot came thudding back of the woodwork but the Man Utd man wasnt to be denied just before half time when he latched onto a David Beckham flick to fire past Roberto Abbondanzieri to tie it up at 1-1 at the break.
Argentina regained the lead in the 53rd Minute when the influential Riquelme crossed a free kick for Walter Samuel to nod past Robinson. The intensity did not drop and further yellow cards were issued to Lampard and Cole for England and Maxi Rodriguez for Argentina. Argentina should have been further ahead on 72 Minutes but Saviola missed a glaring chance just 2 minutes after entering the field. Another substitute Julio Cruz should have done better when he had a free header with 10 minutes remaining but the game remained in the balance.
Peter Crouch had been thrown on by Fabio Capello and he was causing the Argentine defence problems with his height and he was involved in the equaliser when his pass to Steven Gerrard was whipped in by the Liverpool man and Owen got to the ball first to head past Abbondanzieri in the 86th Minute and it looked like it would end it stalemate but England and Owen had other ideas and with the clock past 90 Owen got on the end of a Joe Cole cross to head home the winner and the thousands of England fans in attendance could not believe what they had witnessed.
Abbondanzieri, Ayala, Sorin, Zanetti, Demichelis, Samuel, Riquelme, Rodriguez, Cambiasso, Tevez, Crespo
Subs Used : Coloccini, Gonzalez, Cruz, Saviola
Robinson, Young, Terry, Ferdinand, Bridge, Lampard, King, Beckham, Gerrard, Rooney, Owen.
Subs Used : Crouch, Konchesky, Cole