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Five star performance for England

NUMBER THREE: Scorer Jermain Defoe with Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain and fellow scorer, James Milner

JERMAIN DEFOE scored his first competitive goal in two years as England beat Moldova 5-0 in their first qualifier for the 2014 World Cup.

It was Roy Hodgson’s first qualifier as manager and after several injury worries his starting 11 made sure they warranted their call-up.

Chelsea veteran, Frank Lampard opened the scoring within four minutes, with a penalty before doubling the lead just before the half hour mark with a header after a Glen Johnson cross.

Hodgson said: “The way we played, especially in the first half. I think we attacked well and also defended well. 3-0 is a score line very pleasing at half-time.”

He continued: “In the second half, we didn’t reach the heights of the first half. We scored two more goals and kept a clean sheet.”

The former Fulham and Liverpool will leave Zimbru Stadium in Chisinau feeling positive about the rest of the campaign.

Three minutes after Lampard’s brace, Defoe finally put the ball in the back of the net. After two wasted opportunities, he sent a neat shot just inside the near post after an Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain slide pas on the edge of the box.

The England boss was happy with the Arsenal teenager’s contribution. He said: “Well they [Oxlade-Chamberlain and Tom Cleverley] were very good; Alex has a very excellent first half. He hasn’t played too much football; we were worried about keeping him on too long. Even his half-time he was tired as his second half thirty minutes wasn’t as good as his first 45 [minutes].”

England seemed content to just hold onto their lead after the break and Moldova attempted to take advantage and attack the visitors. Luckily for the Three Lions, the hosts were unable to put the ball in the back of the net and take advantage of Glen Johnson defensive weaknesses.

James Milner grabbed his first competitive goal on 74 minutes, in what was another consistent game for the Manchester City player.

While Everton regular, Leighton Baines rounded it off with a free kick which deflected off a Moldovan player; five minutes before the final whistle.

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