Wayne Rooney and Rio Ferdinand helped England come from behind to beat Japan 2-1 in their final warm-up game before the World Cup on Sunday.
Fabio Capello’s men started sloppily in Graz and fell behind after just six minutes when Japan defender Marcus Tulio fired a low drive past David James direct from Yasuhito Endo's corner.
England were handed the chance to equalise on 55 minutes when Keisuke Honda raised his arm in the area and palmed away Frank Lampard’s free-kick. The Chelsea midfielder stepped up to take the resulting spot-kick but saw it saved by the impressive Eiji Kawashima, who tipped a curling effort from Rooney round the post soon after.
England drew level on 72 minutes when Tulio Tanaka spectacularly headed Joe Cole’s right-wing cross past his own keeper. Nine minutes later Yuji Nakazawa followed suit when he diverted Ashley Cole’s cross towards Rooney into his own net to secure an unconvincing victory for England.
Both Rooney and England captain Ferdinand played the whole 90 minutes, while United team-mate Michael Carrick was an unused substitute. Capello will name his final 23-man squad for South Africa on Tuesday.
Meanwhile, 24 hours earlier Nemanja Vidic skippered Serbia as they went down to a 1-0 defeat to New Zealand in Austria. The United defender, who captained his country in the absence of Dejan Stankovic, was also cast in the role of peacemaker after trouble erupted during the second half in Klagenfurt.
Vidic addressed the Serbian fans through the stadium’s PA system after they hurled flares and missiles on to the field to show their displeasure at manager Raddy Antic’s experimental line-up. Dozens of supporters also invaded the pitch and were engaged in running battles with stewards, but the plea for order from Vidic seemed to help as the game, which was held up for several minutes, restarted soon after. Security will be stepped up for Serbia’s friendly with Poland in Kufstein on Wednesday.
Kufstein played host to South Korea’s friendly with Belarus on Sunday with Ji-sung Park and his Korean team-mates suffering a 1-0 defeat. Sergey Kisliak’s second half winner was the difference between the two sides during a tight game with