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2 June 2012
• Wembley Stadium, London
Referee: P. Rasmussen
• Attendance: 85091
D. Welbeck 36'
FULL-TIME!! Welbeck's first international goal ensures Hodgson leads England into their first game of Euro 2012 with his perfect record in tact, and what a goal it was. The game, on the other hand, was rather dull but was nevertheless an efficient performance from the hosts, who looked incredibly hard to break down. Hazard and co provided less of a threat than might have been expected but The Three Lions will settle for that, I'm sure. Stay with Goal.com for all the reaction. Good evening, folks.
90' + 3'
Fellaini beats Cole then threads it through to Lukaku, however the flag is raised.
90' + 2'
Lukaku can't quite bring a long ball down, however the ball still finds its way to Fellaini's feet. The midfielder hits it first time but Hart makes a smart, low save.
Defoe nearly breaks beyond the final line of defence, but is just about halted. Then, Walcott picks it up and feeds the Spurs' man yet again, but his shot can only find the side-netting.
Vertonghen is down after Rooney puts a dangerous ball into the danger zone. The Belgian keeper and Lescott are all involved in a battle for the ball and a free-kick is eventually awarded.
Great ball in to the back post towards Fellaini, but Jagielka does just enough to put the Belgian off as he heads wide.
Johnson concedes a corner as he blocks a cross, but in truth it could have gone anywhere, Hazard delivers and Vertonghen heads over. Should have hit the target, really.
Rooney again at the centre of things as does a give-and-go with Milner, however the United forward's cross is a poor one.
Cole plays a one-two with Rooney on the near-side before launching a cross to the back-post, which Vertonghen is forced to head behind.
Rooney has taken over the captain's duties as Gerrard is brought off.
Down the other end, Hazard miss-fires a shot horribly wide. Gerrard is being replaced by the latest Hodgson call-up, Jordan Henderson.
POST!! Walcott skins his man then feeds Defoe on the right-hand-side of the penalty box, the Tottenham striker hits it across the goal but against the upright. Mignolet completely beaten.
Rooney clips a lovely little cross in from the left-flank but Parker can't quite get a proper contact on it with his head. Belgium counter but Cole blocks well, again, from Fellaini, then Witsel blasts over the bar.
James Goldman from Wembley: "Gillet’s thumping half volley is a razor’s edge away from the equaliser for Belgium who have taken over since Rooney was introduced in place of Welbeck. In other news, Joleon Lescott is sporting a Terry Butcher style headband following a collision with Lukaku."
Hart is then nearly caught napping with the ball at his feet by Lukaku, luckily for the Englishman the striker is penalised.
Beautiful strike from Gillet, the ball is rolled to him and he absolutely pings it against the outside of Hart's right-hand post, the keeper left planted to the spot.
Lescott is currently off the field receiving treatment for some kind of cut to his face, not entirely sure what has happened but there is blood all over his nice white jersey.
Hazard slips the ball into Romelu Lukaku but Chelsea team-mate Cole slides in to block the Belgian forward's shot.
Rooney finds Defoe on the left-flank, he crosses towards Gerrard but it's cleared.
Gerrard delivers a free-kick from the right, Johnson was arriving at the back post but Fellaini heads clear.
Hazard is unable to find a shooting opportunity on the edge of the box, the ball is moved out wide to Vermaelen who puts a low cross into the box, but England clear again.
Terry heads straight down the tunnel as he is replaced by Phil Jagielka, the word is the Chelsea man is also carrying a slight knock.
Once again England's defence hold firm and Vertonghen is unable to keep the ball in. Goal-kick.
Defoe has taken up the advanced striker's position, with Rooney sitting just in behind him, while Walcott has lined-up wide on the left.
A couple more changes for England now, Young will be replaced by Jermain Defoe and Theo Walcott will come on for club-mate Oxlade-Chamberlain.
A decent spell of possession for Belgium ends in a poor cross from Mertens, which lands in Hart's arms. England defending well at Wembley by not allowing the visitors any way through whatsoever.
Gerrard does well to get back and defend before Oxlade-Chamberlain knocks it back to Hart. The keeper fluffs his kick out somewhat and Belgium come forward again.
Chadli comes in from the right-flank and finds Hazard who tries to curl one into the far corner, but Hart reads it and makes an easy save. Then, Belgium come forward again and Fellaini picks it up in the area, he squeezes a shot past Terry but the England keeper again saves routinely.
Dembele works a yard for himself but his shot is blocked, Hazard then tries to run through the brick wall that is the England back-line, this evening.
Nacer Chadli will replace the lively Mirallas in Belgium's first change.
BREAKING NEWS: Gary Cahill is having a precautionary x-ray on his jaw at Wembley Stadium. Let's hope it's nothing too serious.
Back underway, and Vermaelen is back on.
Vermaelen is going to receive some treatment after sliding in to deny Milner a clear path to goal.
Oxlade-Chamberlain wins a header in the box but can't find a team-mate, he then gets a second chance and brings it down with a nice touch, however he asks too much of Cole with the back-heel.
The goalscorer Welbeck is being replaced by Wayne Rooney, who of course will miss the first two games in Ukraine but does need some match fitness.
Mertens, Hazard and Mirallas fizz the ball about as they come forward but Milner gets back and breaks up the attack. Good work from the midfielder.
Vertonghen fakes a shot with his left before blasting over from way out with his right.
Young, Gerrard and Oxlade-Chamberlain look to get the ball rolling in the middle of the park, but the captain's pass to Parker is miss-placed.
Oxlade-Chamberlain produces another deep cross from the left, the Belgian defender heads behind but John Terry heads over from the resulting corner.
Young delivers but Gillet heads clear, Gerrard chases the loose ball but can't keep it in.
Cole finds Oxlade-Chamberlain on the left-flank, the Arsenal man whips it in towards the far post but Belgium eventually clear. England come forward again though and Milner wins a corner.
England get the game back underway.
Second-half to come, let's see if we can get a few more goals, don't go anywhere.
So, all in all an OK half from the hosts. England have been hard to break down and struck on the counter. The performance has been efficient rather than magnificent but if that wins Euro 2012 you won't see me complaining!
HALF-TIME!! One moment of brilliance gives England a narrow lead at the break. In a pretty dull clash it looked as if the injury curse may continue as Cahill was forced off after colliding with Hart, the word is, though, that it was just a precautionary move. Hodgson's men have had to deal with long spells without the ball as the likes of Hazard, Mirallas and Mertens have impressed in possession, however the Belgians have lacked any penetration and it was The Three Lions who struck first, through a terrific Danny Welbeck chipped finish.
45' + 1'
Johnson lunges in on Mirallas from behind and somehow is not penalised.
Better from England as they put some pressure on the Belgian box. Milner crosses low from the right and finds Gerrard, whose left-footed placed shot is blocked on the line, it falls to him again but he can't beat the man on the ground. Then, Oxlade-Chamberlain's effort is blocked before the England captain gets on the ball again, turns his man and delivers to the back-post, but Milner can't rise high enough.
Fellaini exits and enters the pitch, stupid rule, after receiving treatment due to a challenge from Cole.
Welbeck charges forward on the left-hand-side but holds on to the ball for too long and gets crowded out inside the Belgian box.
James Goldman's, interesting, take on Welbeck's goal: "The Belgians love chips with mayonnaise, but that one from Danny Welbeck came with a side order of class and a helping of aplomb. A goal of rare quality and one largely out of keeping with a drab encounter. We’re going to win this tournament, aren’t we?"
Fellaini wins a corner which Hazard fires into the box, but England clear. The new Chelsea man then fizzes one from range but Hart holds on to it, just about.
That's more like it, England. Gerrard had started to get the hosts tick ever so slightly a few minutes before that goal, and it looks to have worked.
GOAL!! 1-0 ENGLAND! WELBECK OPENS THE SCORING! What a finish from the Manchester United forward! The 21-year-old is slipped through in behind by Young and produces a sublime chipped shot over Simon Mignolet.
Decent spell of passing from Belgium, Dembele and Mertens linking up well. However prospective Tottenham centre-back Jan Vertonghen, playing left-back tonight, over-hits a cross and it bounces behind.
Wasted by Hodgson's men. Boring, boring, boring.
Cole brings down new team-mate Hazard, in yet another poor tackle, the Belgian hits the one-man wall though. As England counter Young finds no-one with his pass but is fouled by Guillaume Gillet anyway. Free-kick.
Yellow CardScott Parker
And Parker himself flies in himself, earning a yellow card.
Fellaini the next to concede a free-kick, for a late tackle on Parker. Be careful Scotty!
Word on Cahill: Received a bang to the jaw and brought off as a precautionary measure. Shouldn't need any further treatment and should be fine for the Euros. Good, good, I was beginning to think I may get a call.
Again, Hazard takes, but nothing comes from it.
Johnson flies in on Mertens after the winger plays a one-two with Hazard before out-pacing the Liverpool full-back. Lucky to escape a booking. Hazard takes it, the ball gets a deflection and won't quite fall for Fellaini. It's out for a corner.
Mr Goldman with the latest origami news from Wembley, wait what?: "Not much going on at ground level, but up in the stands fans are occupying themselves by launching paper aeroplanes at the pitch. Come on people, this is a football match not a GCSE geography lesson."
Viscous strike from Axel Witsel but Hart sees it comfortably over the bar.
Here's James Goldman, who saw it with his own eyes, on that Cahill injury: "Whammo. Gary Cahill’s on the floor following a meaty collision with Joe Hart. The Chelsea defender, having been shoved in the general direction of his goalkeeper by Mertens, looks dazed and confused. Hodgson takes no chances and makes an instant change with Joleon Lescott entering the fray. More injury woe."
Back underway at Wembley. 20 minutes gone and nothing too exciting to report. Hazard and Oxlade-Chamberlain seem to be the most likely to produce something special, so far.
Cahill remained down for a good minute after that clash, and is moving pretty gingerly now. In fact, yes, Lescott will come on and replace him.
Yellow CardDries Mertens
Mertens has the ball in the net, however instead of a goal he gets a booking. Gary Cahill was shielding the ball from the attacker, while ushering Joe Hart to come out and collect it, but the keeper hesitated and the Chelsea defender ended up getting the full-force of the Belgian in the back.
Andy Carroll, Joleon Lescott and Wayne Rooney are all having a laugh over something on the bench. Three players we may see later on, the Manchester United forward the most likely you'd think.
Welbeck chases a long-ball from Cole, which he keeps in, he lays it back to Oxlade-Chamberlain who hits it first time and gets a perfect connection this time, however the ball flies over the bar. Confidence steaming off the Arsenal man though.
Hazard and Mirallas look to link up on the edge of England's box but the latter's back-heel rolls out for a goal-kick.
Then, Hazard gets the crowd going with some fancy footwork of his own. Parker tackles Marouane Fellaini from behind and concedes a free-kick.
Oxlade-Chamberlain finds a yard in the middle of the park and wins a free-kick after he's sandwiched out by two Belgians. The Ox is looking lively.
Our man at Wembley, James Goldman: "Phewph. Ashley Cole appears to be moving freely after he took a knock on the knee following an early collision with Dries Mertens. An injury to the Chelsea man is just about the last thing Roy Hodgson needs right now with his England side already having a ‘patched up’ feeling about it."
James Milner drives a low cross across the box, the ball travels a long way before finding Oxlade-Chamberlain arriving on the edge of the area. He's in acres of space but slips as he hits it and the ball goes harmlessly wide.
Oxlade-Chamberlain embarks on the first of many, we hope, pacey runs at the left-back, who he beats. However Dries Mertens covers and gets a foot in.
Hazard finds Kevin Mirallas on the near side who whips a ball in towards the danger zone, it goes behind off Glen Johnson but Belgium waste the corner.
Moussa Dembele then looks to get in behind after some rusty defending from the hosts, but Gerrard sweeps up.
Belgium with all the early possession, Hazard looking fairly bright already as well as giving Ashley Cole a welcome.
And we're off.
Well that was a particularly rousing rendition of the national anthem on this jubilee weekend. We have bouncing Belgians - thousands of them – and an expectant Wembley full to the brim. Who says nobody cares about international football anymore?
National anthems... Something extra special about the international fixtures, eh?
More from Mr Goldman: "Goal nets. Anyone interested in that type of thing? They’re black for the first time at the new Wembley. I’m reliably informed by my esteemed colleague, Greg Stobart, that it makes it easier for fans behind the goal to see the game. Fascinating."
The teams are just about to make their way out at Wembley, so let's hear from our man at the ground, James Goldman: "There’s something of a party atmosphere inside Wembley with New Order blasting out over the PA system, but looking at that Belgium line-up how long that mood lasts is a matter of conjecture. Most of the England feel-good factor is based on the presence of Arsenal’s Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain , making his first international start, in midfield. "A full house at Wembley is also eagerly anticipating a first glimpse on these shores Eden Hazard, who is expected to complete a £32 million switch to Chelsea in the coming days."
Well, well, well. Kompany out. The Belgian back-line still looks pretty strong but that is one less world-class defender for Welbeck and co to have a run at. Although, less of a test, perhaps Hodgson would have liked him to be fully fit.
Kompany suffered a calf injury in the warm-up, Timmy Simons will replace him in the line-up and Arsenal's Thomas Vermaelen will take over as Belgium captain.
BREAKING NEWS FROM WEMBLEY: Vincent Kompany has failed a fitness test in the warm-up and will not start.
So, Roy Hodgson brings in the Chelsea contingent, minus the injured Frank Lampard who has pulled out of the squad, in order to have a look at them after they missed the Norway friendly, as well as handing Oxlade-Chamberlain his full debut. Scott Parker starts despite injury doubts, let's hope he doesn't aggravate anything out there tonight. Let's also hope for a bit more of an exciting game than the one in Oslo.
England: Hart; Johnson, Cahill, Terry, Cole; Parker, Milner, Gerrard (c), Oxlade-Chamberlain, Young; Welbeck. Subs: Jones, Green, Baines, Lescott, Jagielka, Henderson, Downing, Defoe, Rooney, Carroll, Walcott, Butland Belgium: Mignolet; G Gillet, Vertonghen, Simons, Vermaelen (c); Mertens, Witsel, Mirallas, Hazard, Fellaini; Dembele. Subs: Renard, De Camargo, Pocognoli, Chadli, Benteke, Vossen, Lukaku, Odoi, De Ceulaer, Defour, Nainggolan
Team news coming now, Ashley Young, Danny Welbeck and Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain line-up in a pacey looking Three Lions' attack, while Belgium's side are sure to cause a stern test with Eden Hazard and co starting at Wembley.
Hello and welcome to Goal.com's LIVE commentary of England's final warm-up game before Euro 2012. Exciting times! Roy Hodgson's men host a very dangerous looking Belgium side this evening, and we'll be here to guide you through all the action.
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