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England's World Cup openers

8 years ago392 views



After months of waiting and preparation, England kick-off their World Cup campaign on Saturday, with the United States expected to present tough competition in the Group C opener.

Here we examine England's past World Cup opening matches since they last won the tournament in 1966:

Mexico 1970: England 1 Romania 0

England trained at altitude to prepare themselves for the tournament, after the glorious heights of 1966. It paid off, with Geoff Hurst scoring the only goal against Romania.

Spain 1982: England 3 France 1

Following a 12-year absence, England made the short journey south with renewed optimism. In their first match Bryan Robson scored twice, and Paul Mariner added a third, as England saw off their European neighbours.

Mexico 1986: Portugal 1 England 0

A goal from Manuel condemned England to a defeat for their first match in Mexico. After starting slowly they were knocked out at the quarter-final stage after the infamous Maradona 'Hand of God' incident. Gary Lineker won the golden boot award with six goals.

Italy 1990: England 1 Republic of Ireland 1

Italia '90 saw England take on the Republic of Ireland in their first game. The match finished 1-1 with Gary Lineker opening the scoring and Kevin Sheedy levelling 17 minutes from time.

France 1998: England 2 Tunisia 0

Alan Shearer and Paul Scholes were on hand as Glenn Hoddle's men defeated Tunisia 2-0 in Marseille. Michael Owen came on for Teddy Sheringham with five minutes remaining to make his World Cup debut.

Japan/South Korea 2002: England 1 Sweden 1

A Sol Campbell header gave England a great start in Saitama, only for Niklas Alexandersson to equalise for Sweden on the hour. The result set up a tense match against Argentina.

Germany 2006: England 1 Paraguay 0

Captain David Beckham forced an own goal from Paraguay's Carlos Gamarra, with a troubling delivery from a free-kick, as England edged an unconvincing win.