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DURBAN, South Africa (AFP) - England midfielder David Beckham fractured his thumb as his team beat South Africa 2-1 in a friendly.

He was upended in a tackle by Thabang Molefe during the first half and fell heavily on to his right arm.

After being replaced six minutes into the second half by Jermaine Jenas, his hand was strapped and he was taken to hospital.

A hospital official said Beckham fractured the scaphoid, a small bone leading from his thumb to his wrist.

Gareth Southgate put the visitors ahead after just 36 seconds, Benni McCarthy levelled from a penalty and Emile Heskey struck the second half winner.

The match marked the international launch of the South African bid to host World Cup 2010 with Egypt, Libya, Morocco, Nigeria and Tunisia their rivals in a contest reserved for African nations.
England lacked injured Everton 'wonderboy' Wayne Rooney while club commitments around Europe deprived South Africa of half their first-choice team.

South Africa were caught napping from the kickoff as England broke down the right and captain Lucas Radebe, making his final international appearance after 70 caps spanning 12 years, fouled Michael Owen.

Beckham flighted the free kick into the penalty area and defender Southgate rose unchallenged at the near post to head the ball powerfully past Brian Baloyi.

England came close to increasing their lead with seven minutes gone as Baloyi spilled a Beckham free kick only for Owen to blaze over.

After struggling during a frenetic opening period, South Africa gradually gained their composure and levelled with 18 minutes gone in perfect playing conditions.

A Delron Buckley cross was handled by Danny Mills and McCarthy converted the penalty kick, driving the ball wide of David James into the corner of the net.

Mills was booked by Mauritian referee Lim Kee Chong for the offence and South African defender Mbubelo Mabizelo received a caution soon after for a wild tackle.

The free kick presented Beckham with another chance to demonstrate his legendary free kick-taking skills, but his timid attempt was comfortably held by Baloyi.

A third yellow card was flashed midway through the first half with Thabang Molefe punished for a reckless tackle that sent Beckham crashing into the lush Absa Stadium turf.

Mills nearly atoned for his blunder nine minutes before half-time, ghosting into the penalty area and winning possession only to fire over with just Baloyi to beat.

As half-time approached in the balmy Indian Ocean city, South Africa had shed their inferiority complex and were winning more possession than their much vaunted opponents.

McCarthy could have snatched the lead for Bafana Bafana (The Boys) in first-half stoppage time after a Buckley through ball set him free inside the penalty area, but his shot was embarrassingly off target.

England made two changes during the interval, introducing goalkeeper Paul Robinson and defender Matthew Upson, and Beckham departed the stage six minutes into the second half showing no obvious sign of discomfort.

Idolized by thousands of South Africans who had vainly tried to catch a glimpse of their hero since his arrival Tuesday, Beckham had been a largely peripheral figure until his departure.

Another Manchester United midfielder, Paul Scholes squandered a half chance with a 'fresh air' effort from close range before England regained the lead against the run of play in the 64th minute after another Baloyi blunder.

He failed to grasp a medium range shot from substitute Frank Lampard and previously anonymous Emile Heskey was in like a flash to prod the rebound over the line.

South Africa continued to hold their own despite losing limping McCarthy, but were desperately short of imagination in attack with recalled Shaun Bartlett making no impression.




 

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Go Emile :p lol his 5th international goal :eek:

Ive heard nothing else other than Becks today! I remember Jari Litmanen playing against England once with a broken wrist ;) now hes a hero! :worship:
 

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Gareth Southgate, Gareth Southgate, Gareth Southgate, Gareth Southagate lalalalalala

Not a great match but hell, England won and Gareth was the best player on the pitch in my opinion and in the opinion of most it seems :)
 

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:wavey:

lol I saw it too :eek:;) you didnt think Id miss his proper return did you? (CL semi NOT counted! :p )

last night well SA werent a roll over were they? Not too good in the end but Heskey rules :p
 

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Gareth Southgate lalalalalalala

So offside, wonder if all his goals are like that ;)

South Africa worked hard but weren't exactly Brazil

Heskey :rolleyes:

Oh god, Raul has scored a non-offside goal ;)
 

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Southgate was good :eek: but I still dont rate Rio! And how many times did Phil Neville get skinned last night? :rolleyes:

yes but it took a small deflection ;) but whatever its his goal and no they arent all offside :p
 

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JelenaDokicIsHot said:
Oh wait, seen replay, it was a deflection :rolleyes:
you noticed too ;) hey what channel is this on? Or did you tape it!
 

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Mostly offside and deflected ;)

Commentary

Alan Shearer "Why does Gerrard keep pumping it up the field trying to find the killer ball when Phil Neville is in acres of space out wide?"

Because he's shit Alan and Steven Gerrard knows it ;)
 

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lol wasnt it more along the lines of why is Steven Gerrard ignoring Phil Neville wide on the left?

I was laughing at the word ignoring :p

Their goalie was terrible :eek: and :rolleyes: most of Rauls goals are perfectly fine. Remember the ones against Man U?I do! :D
 

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JelenaDokicIsHot said:
Sky Sports 1 ;)
oooh just in time for the interview!!! :hearts: :drool:
 

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Something like that, but still the same thoughts Gerrard was having ;)

There keeper was an escaped convict i think ;)

And scoring past Barthez doesn't count, Joseph Desire Job managed that ;)
 

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ummm it counts! ;)

and he was terrible, thats the reason why no other club has wanted to take him on outside of SA! ;)

Raul said he would love to come to England if things dont work out, which they will!:D but for Man U or Aarsenal :sad:
 

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I was laughing at the bloke who'd played a full game the night before ;)

Raul wants to join Boro, but............McClaren says Ricketts would keep him out of the side ;)

I weant Recreativo to stay up :)
 

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JelenaDokicIsHot said:
I was laughing at the bloke who'd played a full game the night before ;)

Raul wants to join Boro, but............McClaren says Ricketts would keep him out of the side ;)

I weant Recreativo to stay up :)
who was that now?:eek:

Oh yeh I can see that would happen. Poor Raul :( :p

umm....Im not fussed to be honest! whats with Recreativo anyway? ;)
 

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Mazbuko or someone ;)

Poor Raul........u watch Ricketts is on a roll now ;)

Recreativo are the oldest club in Spain and were massive faves for the drop and were awful, but now they are fighting
 
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