David Beckham's Stirring Performance Leads England
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Friday, June 01, 2007

David Beckham's Stirring Performance Leads England

David Beckham's inspired performance led England to a 1-1 draw with Brazil Friday night at the new Wembley.

The former England captain looked his old self as his brilliant free kick to the back post was headed home by John Terry in the 68th. Only a 92nd minute let-up by the England defense would allow Brazil's Ribas Diego to head in an equaliser.

Beckham's night could have been even brighter. The Real Madrid midfielder had a free kick sail just inches wide, and twice he picked out Michael Owen, but neither header from the returning striker found the net.

When Terry's breakthrough came, it was certainly justified as England looked more likely to score throughout.

It might have only been more just had it been Steven Gerrard that scored. The Liverpool captain was outstanding at both ends of the pitch, time and again saving the England defensive back-line that was missing Rio Ferdinand, Ashley Cole, and Gary Neville.

But as well as Gerrard played, the night belonged to Beckham. Sporting his traditional number seven shirt, the 32-year-old was not only threatening offensively, but he helped England dominate the midfield as well as neutralize Ronaldinho.

The new Wembley might have started as the star of the show, but in the end, it certainly appeared to be upstaged by David Beckham's triumphant return.

On the web:
Beckham does everything but score as England draw Brazil - IHT - AP
McClaren hails Beckham display - BBC
Better than Hollywood, Beckham lives up to his billing - Richard Williams - The Guardian
CIVIL SERVANTS BLOCK PM'S 'SIR BECKS' BID - By Gabriel Milland and Elisa Roche - Daily Express

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