Sunday Soccer: Japan is its own worst enemy as England win, while Mexico coasts over Gambia

i-a8a51d9ae67ead97b7b5fcfb04c71317-rooneystride.jpgDespite this picture, Wayne Rooney and England didn’t really hit their stride in their win over Japan today (AP Photo).

In what is becoming a hallmark of a Fabio Capello coached England team, Wayne Rooney and company were anything but fab against the Japanese in Austria today, but still managed to win their final warm-up before meeting the U.S. June 12 in South Africa.

Two Japan own goals – one from a spectacular diving header – the other from a well-timed ill-timed toe poke gave England a 2-1 victory, but Frank Lampard illustrated just how predictable England are by missing a penalty kick that everyone in the stadium including the opposing goalkeeper knew just where he was going to place it. U.S. goalkeeper Tim Howard will get more than chuckle or two when he sees that from an EPL player he knows all too well.

England badly misses someone capable of doing the unexpected (like the long-retired John Barnes) or even the expected and accurate (like the long-injured David Beckham).

And it’s never a good sign when your coach is more animated on the sideline than his players are on the field.

As long as Bob Bradley’s boys aren’t quite as accommodating and tepid England sputter like this, the Americans will have more than a chance of winning their group opener.

Game story

Lowlights here

Meanwhile Mexico routed Gambia 5-1 today

More World Cup news is here (scroll down) at our new World Cup page.

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About Nick Green

South Bay-based Los Angeles News Group soccer columnist and blogger Nick Green writes at the 100 Percent Soccer blog at and craft beer at the Beer Goggles blog at Cheers!
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