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England beat SA's Stars

2010-06-07 19:22

Johannesburg - England won their final warm-up match before the World Cup on Monday, beating Platinum Stars, a local league side, 3-0.

It was not a hugely convincing performance, as England having taken an early lead through Jermain Defoe, struggled initially with the heat and the altitude.

After making 10 half-time substitutions, though, only Joe Cole remaining from the side that began, England improved as the sun set and the temperature dropped.

Joe Cole got the second after 65 minutes before Wayne Rooney added a late third.

John Terry and Ledley King started as the central defensive pairing, perhaps an indication that they are Fabio Capello's preferred centre-backs.

Similar Steven Gerrard and Frank Lampard started in central midfield, with suggestions that Capello was operating his first-choice back four and central midfield before half-time, and wide-men and centre-forwards afterwards.

Defoe gave England the perfect start, tapping in after Shaun Wright-Phillips had laid in Gerrard to cross.

But Glenn Johnson was harshly penalised for a supposed push on Mzikayise Mashaba, given the Stars an instant chance to level. Bradley Grobler, though, fired his penalty well over.

A pedestrian first half yielded few other chances, but England took control after the break.

Emile Heskey, James Milner and Wayne Rooney had all gone close when Joe Cole coolly finished a Rooney pass.

Milner then set up Rooney to smash the third with a thigh-high volley

England start their World Cup campaign against USA in Rustenburg on Saturday.

Read more on: england

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