England's World Cup warm-ups got off to a resounding start, if you looked at the scoresheet, winning 3-1 Monday at Wembley over Mexico. The match, however, saw Mexico dominate the midfield, their poor finishing preventing them from keeping-up with an England side that converted almost every opportunity it generated.
Goals by Ledley King and (controversially) Peter Crouch staked England to a 2-0 lead, with a Guillermo Franco goal pulling Mexico within one before half. England went up 3-1 through Glen Johnson two minutes into the second.
England was on the board in the seventeenth minute when, after Mexico had the better of play to open the match, a Steven Gerrard far post corner was put back across goal by Peter Crouch. Tottenham teammate Ledley King was there to score his second England goal, putting the Three Lions up 1-0.
After the goal Mexico continued to dominate possession and were on the verge of passing their hosts off the park, generating a near-goal for Carlos Vela in the 29th minute that Robert Green was stretched to save. But possession be damned, England would have the next goal - a goal that should not have counted.
More poor corner kick defending saw Wayne Rooney with a clear header six yards out. He put his effort off the bar, with the ensuing rebound catching Peter Crouch's arm and going in. In the 34th minute, England was up 2-0.
In first half stoppage time, El Tri pulled one back, with Guillermo Franco finishing off a Mexico corner. The kick swung-out and found Rafa Marquez, whose header on goal was kept out be Leighton Baines. The ball, however, found Franco, who hit it home to take Mexico to half down, 2-1.
At half-time England brought on Joe Hart, Jamie Carragher and Jermaine Defoe, relieving Green, King and Crouch. The intermission also gave Manchester United acquisition Javier Hernández a chance to make his London debut, coming on for Franco.
England restored their lead two minutes into the second thanks to a piece of Glen Johnson magic. The Liverpool right back built the play with right wing Theo Walcott, a one-two sending the back toward the area. Johnson cut-in near the top of the box and let go of a left-footed shot that found the top of the net, making it 3-1 England.
Shortly after the goal, Javier Aguirre would bring on Pablo Barrera for Paul Aguilar in defense. Ten minutes later (62'), Tom Huddlestone was on for England, replacing Michael Carrick, while Andres Guardado came on for Carlos Vela. After another ten minutes, Cuauhtemoc Blanco would come on for a dangerous Giovani dos Santos, all the while the match's script going unchanged: Mexico control, no cutting edge.
Aaron Lennon would come on for Walcott in the 77th minute, with Adam Johnson making his England debut in the 84th minute, in place of James Milner.
By that time, both sides had acquiesced to the final score, with England winning 3-1 despite a nice display of skill from Mexico. El Tri, however, lacked any semblance of finishing ability, whereas England executed almost every decent chance they created.
For England's positional battles: Theo Walcott was his typical self - pacey, but unable to execute a final ball; Michael Carrick did himself no favors in Gareth Barry's role; Ledley King scored the goal but did not stand-out defensively; Robert Green looked strong in goal.
For Mexico, it was a mixed performance. They showed the skill and passing that will allow them to compete against any team in the world; however, they lacked the impact player in the final third that would have taken advantage of their midfield superiority. Of major concern, however, for Aguirre: their defending of corners was poor, something that goes without saying when you allow two goals that way.