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Mar, 30, 2011

Carroll vows to deliver for England

Andy Carroll believes his first senior international goal against Ghana at Wembley proves he is a striker England can rely on.

•  England 1-1 Ghana
• Capello justifies Welbeck call-up
 Lomas: Black Stars light up Wembley

Carroll produced an excellent finish to a fine team move to give England the lead in the first half, but Asamoah Gyan levelled in stoppage time to earn Ghana a draw.

The Liverpool striker said after the game he believes he can find the net regularly for his country.

''It was great to get the goal,'' Carroll told ITV1. ''The lads played well, we're obviously disappointed they scored in the last minute. 'I'm coming back fit now. Getting the goal proved I'm here and ready to score goals for England.''

Stewart Downing set up Carroll's goal and had one of his best games for England, who fielded a much-changed team from their Euro 2012 qualifying win over Wales on Saturday.

''I think we played some good stuff, especially in the first half,'' the Aston Villa winger said. "'I think we proved we've got strength in depth. The players who came in played magnificently tonight.''

Capello was very happy with England's performance, and even conceding the late equaliser could not dampen his delight. "It was a fantastic game, I'm very happy,'' he said.

''It was not a friendly game, there were two teams on the pitch playing well, strongly, with lots of tackles. It was absolutely not a friendly game. I'm really happy with the performance. 'The players played without fear, with confidence. Ghana are a really good team, the performance was fantastic.''

Jack Wilshere leapt to the defence of under-fire England boss Capello and urged critics to "give him a break''. Capello has come in for criticism during the past nine months since England's poor World Cup campaign.

Wilshere said: "Before the World Cup he couldn't do wrong and since the World Cup everyone has been getting onto his back. I think we need to give him a break. He is a great manager. He has proved it at clubs before and he has got a great record for England as well. He is one of the best managers I've ever worked with. People need to get off his back a little bit.''

Andy Carroll netted his first England senior goal two minutes before the interval in the friendly international.

Wilshere said: "That will be massive for Andy. He has been brilliant this season. He got himself a good move [from Newcastle to Liverpool]. He will be brilliant for the future of English football. He got a good goal tonight and hopefully it's the first of many for England.''

Wilshere admits Ghana, cheered on by 21,000 fans, deserved a share of the spoils courtesy of Asamoah Gyan's last-gasp equaliser.

Wilshere said: "It was another invaluable night's experience for me against a good Ghana team. Physically they were brilliant and we had to match them - and we did. It was a shame they got a goal at the end but it was a fair result. We started off great again like on Saturday against Wales and the manager wants us to do that.''

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