England Qualify!

Last updated : 09 October 2005 By Footy Mad - Editor
No matter what we all think of England's performance in the 1-0 victory over Austria at Old Trafford, it secured Sven-Goran Eriksson's side a place in the 2006 World Cup ... also thanks to Holland's 2-0 win against Czech Republic.
The two results mean England have, at the very least, claimed one of the two best runners-up spots that ensure a place in Germany. The victory over Austria, courtesy of a Frank Lampard penalty, was hard fought (to say the very least) and came despite David Beckham's sending-off on the hour mark.
The England skipper was controversially given his marching orders on 59 minutes after receiving two yellow cards for supposed fouls on Andreas Ibertsberger, but neither seemed fouls let alone worthy of cards.
England took the lead on 24 minutes after the lively Michael Owen was held by Paul Scharner in the penalty area. Lampard, who has replaced Beckham in undertaking the spot-kick duties after Becks missed the last THREE for his country, sent Jurgen Macho the wrong way as he tucked the ball in the corner of the net.
Before that Owen saw his shot saved by Macho after being put in the clear by Steven Gerrard and the ball looked to be falling to Peter Crouch before Rene Aufhauser intercepted. And it needed a superbly-timed tackle from Scharner to halt Owen inside the penalty area after he had been played in by a fine ball from Crouch.
Austria came out fired up after the break and were denied by the crossbar on 57 minutes after Roland Linz had lobbed the ball over the stranded Paul Robinson before Beckham was dismissed moments later, leaving Eriksson's men to hold on.