England 2-1 Serbia and Montenegro
Joe Cole's first goal for England earned Sven-Göran Eriksson's side a 2-1 victory against Serbia and Montenegro in their friendly international at the Walkers stadium in Leicester tonight.
Steven Gerrard opened the scoring after 35 minutes, Nenad Jestrovic levelled for the visitors in added time at the end of the first half but substitute Cole ensured victory with a superb free-kick in the 83rd minute. Both sides made plenty of substitutions ahead of forthcoming qualifying fixtures: England meet Slovakia on 11 June, while the visitors will play Finland and Azerbaijan away on Saturday and Wednesday week.
Made in Liverpool
England enjoyed the majority of the first-half possession and went ahead through Gerrard. The midfield player fed the ball wide left to captain Michael Owen and then steered home a first-time shot from his Liverpool FC team mate's return pass. Serbia and Montenegro equalised with almost the final kick of the half as Jestrovic thumped in a header from Zvonimir Vukic's corner.
Half-time substitute Wayne Rooney injected some spark, curling in a shot from 20 metres, while a drive from Cole was punched out by substitute goalkeeper Dragan Zilic after 75 minutes. The 21-year-old midfielder went one better, though, with his free-kick, giving Zilic no chance as the ball swerved around the wall in his ninth England appearance.
Cole said of his winning goal: "It hasn't really sunk in yet. It's always important to score your first goal. It's such a great feeling and hopefully I'll get a chance to do it again next Wednesday. I had a feeling before the match that I'd score, luckily enough I got the chance from the free-kick. The important thing, though, is that we won the game."
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