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Saturday, November 12, 2005

England beats Argentina with Owen double score

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Wayne Rooney equilized after AC Milan's Hernan Crespo scored for Argentina (1-1). Walter Samuel put the second goal in the 54th minute. That was when Michael Owen showed all his power.

Owen scored in the 86th and then jumped to get Cole's pass and makethe winner goal in the second minute of injury time (3 - 2). It was his third goal in three games against Argentina.

"To come back twice was great, these are what these warm up games for the World Cup are for," Owen said. "It was cracking, excitement, so much more to it than a friendly. Even when they scored, their fans and their players were going mad."

Owen's goals came after Argentina took off playmaker Juan Ramon Riquelme, who had a standout game for his team and played a major part in both his team's goals.

Riquelme, who forced goalkeeper Paul Robinson into an acrobatic fifth-minute push over the top, was controlling midfield and regularly brought Crespo and Carlos Tevez into play around the edge of the England area.

In one move, Robinson blocked a close range Tevez shot and England defenders threw themselves in front of drives by Crespo and Maxi Rodriguez. Robinson then forced another powerful drive by Rodriguez around the post.

"There were chances at both ends, it really could have gone either way today," Owen said. "That just shows you there's not much between the top few teams in the world."

Owen had already had the ball in the net when Argentina had a 12th-minute goal by Crespo ruled out for a foul. At the same time there was fighting in the crowd at the other end of the ground.

The trouble was quickly brought under control and the game continued at a fast pace with Argentina taking the lead in the 34th.

Rooney lost the ball to Riquelme on the right flank and the Villarreal playmaker switched the ball to Tevez, with the England defense pulled out of position. Rodriguez fired in a low cross from the right and Crespo was the first of two Argentines waiting to turn the ball home.

Rooney almost made it 1-1 when he took a pass from Gerrard. He floated the ball over goalkeeper Roberto Abbondanzieri but the ball struck the post and bounced clear.

In the 39th, David Beckham challenged two defenders in the air just inside the area. The ball bounced into space and Rooney got past Roberto Ayala to shoot into the net from 12 meters (yards).

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