ENGLISH LUCKY AS TWO OWN GOALS SINK JAPS
ENGLAND missed a penalty but came from behind to beat Japan 2-1 in a World Cup friendly match yesterday, thanks to two own goals.
Marcus Tanaka gave Japan a seventh-minute lead while the Japanese goalkeeper Eiji Kawashima saved a penalty by Frank Lampard ten minutes later.
But Tanaka later headed a cross by Joe Cole into his own net and Yuji Nakazawa deflected a cross by Ashley Cole past his goalkeeper scoring the Japanese second own goal.
The game was played in the Austrian city of Graz because the teams wanted to get used to playing in high altitude conditions they would encounter in South Africa during the World Cup, which kicks off on June 11.
It was England's final test before manager Fabio Capello decides on his 23-man World Cup squad tomorrow.
Capello gave fringe players such as midfielder Tom Huddlestone and striker Darren Bent the chance to make an impression yesterday.
"It was a very interesting game for me because I saw a lot of players that didn't play before and I learned more," Capello said.
"I wanted to try some different style (in the first half and) the result was not good."
Capello refused to discuss his own future as England manager ahead of his meeting with football authorities today. There were rumours of him possibly moving to Inter Milan to replace Jose Mourinho.
"I don't speak with some people from Inter Milan. I know nothing about this," Capello said. "The situation will be clear in two days."
Goalkeeper David James gained his 50th England cap as Capello gave him his first start in the team for 13 months.
Also returning were Chelsea players Ashley Cole, Frank Lampard and John Terry. - Sapa-AP