A Noble victory

Last updated : 16 June 2009 By Plymouth_hammer

Stuart Pearce's side got off to the best possible start when Lee Cattermole's shot deflected into the net after only 15 minutes. They then felt a double blow as they lost Michael Mancienne for giving away a penalty that was converted by Tim Sparv after only 30 minutes.

England started well in the second half and were rewarded when Micah Richards headed home a Mark Noble corner on 53 minutes. The Lions then held their nerve to come away with a vital first game victory.

Speaking following the game Noble said, "We are delighted to get the win.

"We go back to the hotel and prepare for Thursday. No matter how we did it, no one will care that we weren't playing Barcelona football. We won the game and that's all that matters.

"We have put some work in today. We have grafted for the last two weeks as well and we deserved that. It doesn't matter how you win, that's tournament football. You get the three points on the board and let the other game pan out. We have got a tough game against Spain on Thursday."

West Ham defender James Tomkins came on as very late substitute for Micah Richards.