World Cup qualifying: England ease to comfortable victory over Moldova
Last Updated: 06/09/13 10:51pm
Rickie Lambert was on target again for England as they eased to a 4-0 victory over Moldova in their latest 2014 World Cup qualifier.
The Three Lions took just 12 minutes to break the deadlock at Wembley, with national skipper Steven Gerrard crashing into the bottom corner from 20 yards out after being teed up by Frank Lampard.
Southampton striker Lambert made it two in as many international outings when Moldova goalkeeper Stanislav Namasco inexplicably spilled the ball onto his head two yards out.
Danny Welbeck collected a booking late in the first half which means he will sit out a crucial trip to Ukraine on Tuesday, but he added a third moments later as he slipped through the middle, rounded Namasco and tapped into an empty net.
The Manchester United man also grabbed England's fourth five minutes into the second half, with a fine move allowing him to break into the box and delicately dink the ball over the onrushing Moldovan keeper.
As in England's five-goal romp in Chisinau back in September 2012, Moldova were no threat and it was just a question of how long the hosts would have to wait for their opener.
The answer was 12 minutes, by which time Lambert had rifled a fierce effort wide and Kyle Walker had fizzed a low cross through the six-yard box without an England player managing to get a touch on it.
It took some hard graft from Welbeck and Ashley Cole to create the opportunity, laying the ball into Lampard's path.
So often has it been said Lampard and Gerrard cannot play together. They did okay this time though as the Chelsea man, on his 99th appearance, rolled the ball into Gerrard's path and the skipper drilled a superb shot that nestled in the corner of Namasco's goal.
If Joe Hart has had his critics recently, it would be fair to say Namasco would have a few more if he tried to forge a career in England. The Moldova goalkeeper looked ill at ease virtually every time he was threatened, which was often.
When Theo Walcott lashed a shot goalwards, Namasco could only push it straight onto Lambert's head. For a man brought up on the long-ball tactics of lower leagues, who exactly 10 years ago was an unused substitute for Stockport, it was an opportunity to relish, and he steered the ball in to become the first man in 37 years to score on his first two England appearances.
Welbeck's booking - and Roy Hodgson's fury came shortly afterwards.
The England boss was probably considering how to replace the Manchester United man in Kiev when Welbeck extended his remarkable international scoring record. Showing a neat turn of pace, Welbeck exposed some slack Moldovan defending as he raced onto Lambert's long ball, skipped round Namasco and rolled the ball in.
Lambert was the provider for Welbeck's second too, finding his strike partner with a short pass that allowed him to clip a neat effort into the corner.
James Milner replaced Lambert before the end in what seemed a clear audition for Welbeck's job, although a woeful injury time miss will not have done much to inspire confidence.
FIFA World Cup European Qualifying
Fri 6th Sep - Group F
Russia4 - 1Luxembourg
N Ireland2 - 4Portugal
Fri 6th Sep - Group C
Kazakhstan2 - 1Faroe Isl
Rep Ire1 - 2Sweden
Germany3 - 0Austria
Fri 6th Sep - Group B
Czech Rep1 - 2Armenia
Malta1 - 2Denmark
Italy1 - 0Bulgaria
Fri 6th Sep - Group A
Macedonia2 - 1Wales
Serbia1 - 1Croatia
Scotland0 - 2Belgium
Fri 6th Sep - Group E
Norway2 - 0Cyprus
Slovenia1 - 0Albania
Switzerlnd4 - 4Iceland
Fri 6th Sep - Group H
Ukraine9 - 0S Marino
Poland1 - 1Montenegro
England4 - 0Moldova
Fri 6th Sep - Group D
Turkey5 - 0Andorra
Romania3 - 0Hungary
Estonia2 - 2Holland
Fri 6th Sep - Group G
Latvia2 - 1Lithuania
Bos&Herz0 - 1Slovakia
Liechtenstein0 - 1Greece
Fri 6th Sep - Group I
Georgia0 - 0France
Finland0 - 2Spain
FIFA World Cup European Qualifying Group A
FIFA World Cup European Qualifying Group B
FIFA World Cup European Qualifying Group C
|4||Republic of Ireland||10||14|
FIFA World Cup European Qualifying Group D
FIFA World Cup European Qualifying Group E
FIFA World Cup European Qualifying Group F
FIFA World Cup European Qualifying Group G
|1||Bosnia and Herzegovina||10||25|
FIFA World Cup European Qualifying Group H
FIFA World Cup European Qualifying Group I
England v Moldova
Boss Roy Hodgson says James Milner could be key to guiding England in Tuesday's World Cup qualifier in Ukraine.
Steven Gerrard admits an untimely suspension for the in-form Danny Welbeck has provided a major blow to England's plans.
England are top of Group H with three games to play after beating Moldova on Friday night, which has put the squad in confident mood ahead of Tuesday's trip Ukraine.
- Welbeck slams costly booking
- Hodgson handed ban headache
- Double act
- Striker crisis?
- Action all areas
- Precarious position
- Precarious position
- Carrick vows to continue
- Cahill: No Terry U-turn
- Rooney reveals head injury
- Big stage firing up Cahill
- Roy's shallow pool
- Hoddle calls for quota
- Hart 'victim of own success'
- Walcott: Rooney boots to fill
- Milner warning for England
- Theo hails England youngsters
- England duo sit out training
- Hodgson: Moldova a threat
- Trio out, Caulker called up
- Rooney to miss England games
- Townsend call confuses AVB
- Hodgson: No Wilshere deal