Featured Matches
Previous
Internazionale
Manchester United
11:30 PM GMT
Game Details
Real Madrid
AS Roma
1:15 AM GMT
Game Details
Recreativo Huelva
Sunderland
7:00 PM GMT
Game Details
Sparta Prague
Malmo FF
5:30 PM GMT
Leg 1
Game Details
Sparta Prague
Malmo FF
5:30 PM GMT
Leg 1
Game Details
Slovan Bratislava
Sheriff Tiraspol
6:15 PM GMT
Leg 1
Game Details
Debrecen
BATE Borisov
6:30 PM GMT
Leg 1
Game Details
Wealdstone
Wycombe Wanderers
2:00 PM GMT
Game Details
Frickley Athletic
Scunthorpe XI
6:00 PM GMT
Game Details
Exeter City
Swansea City
6:15 PM GMT
Game Details
Alfreton Town
Rotherham United
6:30 PM GMT
Game Details
Burton Albion
Derby County
6:30 PM GMT
Game Details
Lincoln City
Mansfield Town
6:30 PM GMT
Game Details
Newport County
Coventry City
6:30 PM GMT
Game Details
Notts County
Birmingham City
6:30 PM GMT
Game Details
Portsmouth
AFC Bournemouth
6:30 PM GMT
Game Details
Stevenage
Reading
6:30 PM GMT
Game Details
Altrincham
Accrington Stanley
6:45 PM GMT
Game Details
Cambridge United
Milton Keynes Dons
6:45 PM GMT
Game Details
Cheltenham Town
Bristol City
6:45 PM GMT
Game Details
Concord Rangers
Dagenham & Redbridge
6:45 PM GMT
Game Details
Dumbarton
Carlisle United
6:45 PM GMT
Game Details
Hyde
Burnley XI
6:45 PM GMT
Game Details
Kidderminster Harriers
Shrewsbury Town
6:45 PM GMT
Game Details
Leyton Orient
Queens Park Rangers
6:45 PM GMT
Game Details
Luton Town
Colchester United
6:45 PM GMT
Game Details
Margate
Barnet
6:45 PM GMT
Game Details
Oxford United
Wolverhampton Wanderers
6:45 PM GMT
Game Details
Preston North End
Burnley
6:45 PM GMT
Game Details
Sheffield United
Huddersfield Town
6:45 PM GMT
Game Details
Southend United
Ipswich Town
6:45 PM GMT
Game Details
Recreativo Huelva
Sunderland
7:00 PM GMT
Game Details
Valerenga
Stabaek
5:00 PM GMT
Game Details
Defensor Sporting
Nacional
12:15 AM GMT
Leg 2. Aggregate: 0 - 2
Game Details
Náutico
Icasa
10:00 PM GMT
Game Details
Portuguesa de Desportos
Oeste
12:00 AM GMT
Game Details
Internazionale
Manchester United
11:30 PM GMT
Game Details
Real Madrid
AS Roma
1:15 AM GMT
Game Details
Cienciano del Cusco
Alianza Lima
8:30 PM GMT
Game Details
Next
 Posted by ESPN Staff
May 20, 2006

England counting on Owen's cool finish

LONDON, May 20 (Reuters) - England will head for the World Cup knowing that supporting Michael Owen and striking at opponents from deep will be the key to success without Wayne Rooney.

As coach Sven-Goran Eriksson sweats on next Thursday's scan on Rooney's broken foot, few expect the striker to recover in time for the group stages in Germany - if he makes the finals at all.

The 20-year-old's injury will clearly place an extra weight on Owen's shoulders as England look to come through Group B games against Paraguay, Trinidad and Tobago, and Sweden.

Fortunately for Eriksson, Owen's track record shows that pressure does not faze a 26-year-old who is now looking forward to his third World Cup.

'It doesn't really affect the way I play,' Owen told reporters. 'If anyone plays for England on a regular basis and for top Premiership teams like Chelsea, Manchester United, Liverpool, Arsenal - you've got to be able to handle pressure.

'There are massive games every week let alone a Champions League final like Arsenal were playing in. Pressure comes with life.

'I never get so excited that I can't think and I never get too low. I'm able to keep a middle ground on a lot of things.'

From breaking records as a schoolboy to rattling up 35 goals in 75 England games, the Newcastle United striker has no reason to doubt his ability despite a long-term injury.

'The first time I ever played in the World Cup I scored, the first time I played in a football match I scored, the first time I played for Liverpool I scored,' Owen said.

'If you do it first time, it's not a confidence thing - it's deep within you that you know you can do it.

'I don't go to sleep thinking about the pressure, I think about that little rectangle that I've got to smack the ball into - and that's about it.'

Owen also believes he is only part of a goalscoring equation for England, who have only three other named strikers.

Rooney is joined on the roster by 17-year-old Theo Walcott, who has not played in Arsenal's first team since joining in January, and Peter Crouch.

Asked about England's goal potential, Owen told reporters at a training camp in Portugal: 'That's why I think we've got such a good squad of players.

'You've got to have more than one or two matchwinners and we've got Wayne, Frank Lampard, Stevie Gerrard, David (Beckham), Joe Cole - people who can turn a match with one bit of magic or a great goal.

'Even John Terry scores in double figures for Chelsea every season, so he's always dangerous on set pieces,' he said of the central defender. 'You can see goals coming from plenty of different directions.'

Owen is also looking on the bright side of his injury layoff. He has played only one competitive game for Newcastle since breaking a bone in his foot on December 31.

'I think I've played 20 games this year between club and country. That's probably 20 fewer than being perfect if you're talking about preparing for the World Cup,' he conceded.

'But in saying that I prefer to have played 20 fewer than 20 too many. I'm raring to go, I'm fit, and I feel sharp in training. I'm looking at it now as a positive thing.'

Comments

Use a Facebook account to add a comment, subject to Facebook's Terms of Service and Privacy Policy. Your Facebook name, photo & other personal information you make public on Facebook will appear with your comment, and may be used on ESPN's media platforms. Learn more.