LONDON - Wayne Rooney and David Beckham stole the show as England swept Slovakia aside 4-0 on Saturday in a warm-up for the home World Cup qualifier against Ukraine next week. Beckham became England's most capped outfield player while Rooney earned a rave review from coach Fabio Capello with a two-goal man-of-the-match performance in the 4-0 victory at Wembley. "(Rooney) played very well. It was a very important game for him," said Capello, who had warned the striker in the build-up to control his volatile temper, which flared up once again playing for Manchester United last weekend when he was sent off in a shock defeat at Fulham. "I thought we played well today and deserved the win. I thought we played very well the first half hour and could have maybe scored more than the one goal but we are delighted with the win and delighted with the four goals," Rooney said. Capello said he was pleased with the way Beckham played after replacing Aaron Lennon at halftime to earn his 109th cap, taking him past the 108 won by the late Bobby Moore. "David Beckham played like David Beckham, and it was a very important cross for Rooney's first goal. It was a very nice moment, and in general the team played very well. Their movement with the ball and all over the pitch was good," he said. Beckham said: "I am very proud, you know. I think when you grow up you always dream of playing for your country and dream of playing at Wembley and I have been able to play at both Wembleys and have played for my country one hundred and nine times, so it is very special for me." Capello said defender Rio Ferdinand and winger Shaun Wright-Phillips did not play because he did not want to risk them in a friendly. Both should be fit for Wednesday's Group Six match, in which leaders England will be defending a 100 percent record, after nursing injuries picked up in training in the week. Slovak coach Vladimir Weiss, whose team face an important Group Three qualifier against Czech Republic in Prague on the same day, said his side had "played naively". "We were at the home of football and some of the players maybe did not realise that," he told reporters. "England are one of the best teams in the world. They were very disciplined and very talented and I could never understand how they did not qualify for the European Championship last year." England's victory was marred by injuries to Heskey, Carlton Cole and Peter Crouch, who may all now be unavailable for Wednesday's 2010 World Cup qualifier. ENGLAND FANS! Check FourFourTwo.com’s ever-expanding interviews section for more stuff to read: One on One Kevin Keegan, Sven-Göran Eriksson, David Beckham, Michael Owen, Paul Gascoigne, Ian Wright Web Exclusives Gary Lineker, Paul Gascoigne, Glenn Hoddle, Wayne Rooney, Q&A Fabio Capello, Steven Gerrard, Wayne Rooney, Theo Walcott Boy's A Bit Special Theo Walcott, Gabriel Agbonlahor, Michael Mancienne, David Wheater Ask A Silly Question Sir Geoff Hurst, Alan Ball, Bryan Robson, Peter Crouch, John Barnes, Peter Reid, My Secret Vice Jimmy Bullard What Happened Next? Carlton Palmer Perfect XI Sir Bobby Charlton, Graham Taylor, Bryan Robson, Ian Wright
28 March 2009
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