England claimed a comfortable victory in their first competitive match under Steve McClaren as they struck five without reply against opening UEFA EURO 2008™ Group E rivals Andorra in Manchester.
In-form Peter Crouch broke the deadlock on five minutes when Jermain Defoe played the ball forward to new Chelsea FC signing Ashley Cole, who squared for the Liverpool FC totem to shoot inside the post. Defoe fired wide moments later, but the second was not long to arrive; Cole crossed to the right of the penalty area where Steven Gerrard calmly chested down and blasted past Koldo Álvarez.
Defoe on target
On the half-hour Owen Hargreaves curled a free-kick on to the post, but eight minutes later Gerrard turned creator with a perfect centre from the right turned in by Defoe. The Tottenham Hotspur FC striker nearly added another before the break only for Koldo to keep out his acrobatic volley.
Two minutes into the second period Defoe did have his second, running on to a long-range Phil Neville header, controlling and beating Koldo. Andorra lost midfielder Marc Puyol to a leg injury at this point after a tangle with Cole, but they continued to show spirit and Koldo made a superb reaction save from hat-trick chasing Defoe. Hargreaves rattled the woodwork again on 64 minutes with a long-range effort.
Aaron Lennon was then introduced and took only two minutes to lay on England's fifth, advancing on the right and swinging in a high cross that the rangy Crouch leapt to head in for his tenth goal in nine internationals. England will hope to carry their goalscoring form under McClaren into Wednesday's trip to F.Y.R. Macedonia, as Andorra meet Israel in the Dutch town of Nijmegen.