England romp past Iceland
By James Pearson. Last Updated: January 1, 1970 1:00am
England completed their Euro 2004 warm-up preparations in fine style with an emphatic 6-1 victory over Iceland at The City of Manchester Stadium in The FA Summer Tournament.
Everton starlet Wayne Rooney was the star of the show netting twice in the first half, including a long-range stunner, with Frank Lampard opening the scoring and Heidar Helguson netting for the visitors.
Sven Goran Eriksson made a host of changes after the break, and it was substitute Darius Vassell, who scored twice, and fellow reserve Wayne Bridge who added to England's first half tally.
The Three Lions started well in their last run out against Japan, but faded and only drew with the Far East opponents, but this time out the home side built on a solid opening to the match.
Shortly after Paul Robinson, who was making his first international start, got an early touch on the ball with a confident jump for a cross, England were pushing forward and Paul Scholes should have scored after five minutes.
The Manchester United man, who has not scored for his country in almost three years, connected with Gary Neville's right wing cross but sent the effort over the bar.
David Beckham caused Iceland problems when he lofted a pass into the box, however Ashley Cole's cross at the back post was diverted out for a corner with Rooney lurking.
Michael Owen was finding space well although his final touch was letting him down, while Lampard could have scored after 19 minutes, but his close-range header drifted wide.
The Chelsea man did open the scoring after 25 minutes when he ran onto Scholes' lay-off before striking a fierce effort past Arni Arason with the aid of a Herman Hreidarsson deflection.
England had their tails up following the goal and it was two minutes later when Rooney steered home Neville's cross after the defender collected Beckham's throw and burst into the box.
It was almost three shortly after, however Owen's effort was ruled out for offside although the Liverpool marksman looked level with the last defender.
Beckham then tested Arason with a long-range shot that floated wide of the far post, while at the other end Eidur Gudjohnsen tried his luck with an ambitious over-head kick.
Buoyed by his opening goal, Rooney netted his fifth international goal when he collected Scholes' lay-off before lashing a fierce shot past Arason into the far corner.
Just when it looked like England were impregnable, Iceland struck back through Helguson, who was perfectly placed at the back post to nod home after a left wing corner was hooked back across goal.
England made a host of changes at the break, although Beckham was restricted to just 45 minutes as he was due to have hospital treatment for a cyst on his back.
It took the home side a few moments to adjust to the wholesale changes, giving Joey Gudjonsson the chance to try his luck from range, but his 35-yard shot flew over the bar.
Ledley King, who scored against Portugal, went close to netting his second international goal, but his goal-bound header was cleared off the line from Thordur Gudjonsson.
England did have their fourth of the game minutes later when Owen Hargreaves struck a powerful left-footed effort towards goal that hit Vassell and rolled in, although Indridi Sigurdsson may have had the final touch.
Joe Cole should have made it five second later, but with only Arason to beat the Chelsea midfielder fired his close-range shot wide after an excellent cross from Kieron Dyer.
Third choice keeper Ian Walker was then handed a taste of the action after coming on for Robinson and earning his first cap since appearing under Glenn Hoddle against Italy seven years ago.
Wayne Bridge scored his first-ever England goal after 68 minutes when he continued his surging run and latched onto Emile Heskey's header from Nicky Butt's long-ball to net at the far post.
King almost scored an own goal after 73 minutes but his interception rolled just wide of goal and from the resulting corner Gudjohnsen's shot from the edge of the box skimmed Walker's goal.
There was no doubt when Vassell scored after 77 minutes when he played a one-two with Heskey before curling an unstoppable left-footed drive past Arason.
Spurs striker Jermain Defoe was given the last five minutes to impress, although he is not part of Eriksson's squad that will be playing in Euro 2004.