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Late Owen double delights England

Published: Saturday 12 November 2005, 20.05CET
Argentina 2-3 England Michael Owen struck twice in the final three minutes to give Sven-Göran Eriksson's team a dramatic victory.
by Simon Felstein

Published: Saturday 12 November 2005, 20.05CET

Late Owen double delights England

Argentina 2-3 England Michael Owen struck twice in the final three minutes to give Sven-Göran Eriksson's team a dramatic victory.

Argentina 2-3 England
England forward Michael Owen struck twice in the final three minutes to give Sven-Göran Eriksson's side a remarkable win against fellow FIFA World Cup qualifiers Argentina in Geneva.

Late drama
Walter Samuel's header looked to have given the South American team a friendly international victory in Switzerland, the FC Internazionale Milano putting his country ahead for the second time early in the second half after Wayne Rooney had cancelled out Hernán Crespo's opening goal. Owen headed in an equaliser three minutes from time, however, and then nodded in another moments later to complete a spectacular late turnaround.

Robinson reflexes
England started on the back foot with Paul Robinson doing well to deny Villarreal CF playmaker Juan Román Riquelme and Carlos Tevez twice. Sven-Göran Eriksson's team threatened for the first time when Frank Lampard headed narrowly wide from David Beckham's corner, while Rooney hit the post after being put through on goal by Steven Gerrard.

Goal flurry
When a breakthrough did arrive, however, it was Argentina who found it as Maxi Rodríguez beat Wayne Bridge on the left and delivered a low cross which was turned in by Bridge's Chelsea FC team-mate Crespo. Gerrard almost restored parity a minute later with a long-range effort, before England equalised after 39 minutes when Roberto Ayala's misplaced clearance was flicked on by Beckham for Rooney to sidefoot into the net.

Samuel strikes
Juan Pablo Sorín almost restored the South American side's lead with a diving header five minutes into the second half only to be denied by Robinson, but the Tottenham Hotspur FC goalkeeper was beaten again four minutes later by Samuel's header. England had chances to level once more with Lampard twice going close, but their best chance looked to have gone with 17 minutes remaining when a Beckham free-kick was spilled by Roberto Abbondanzieri, who then kept out Owen from the rebound.

Owen heroics
However, the Newcastle United FC forward was not to be denied, heading in Gerrard's cross with three minutes remaining to level. With both sides throwing everything forward in search of a last-gasp winner, England snatched a morale-boosting victory in added time as Owen flicked in Joe Cole's cross to finally settle an engrossing contest.

Last updated: 15/04/12 4.46CET

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