Football: Heskey leads the way for England

England 3 South Africa 1
Click to follow
The Independent Online
EMILE HESKEY, scorer of three goals in two games, leads the line for England against Argentina in Manosque today knowing that a draw will be good enough to book their place in the semi-finals of the Toulon Under- 21 Tournament.

The 20-year-old Leicester striker, who was on target twice yesterday as Peter Taylor's men overcame South Africa, has been outstanding in the competition so far.

Heskey puts his form down to another season of Premiership experience and said: "I have to think I'm better than the defenders otherwise you get negative thoughts in your head.

"I didn't think about being top scorer at the start of the competition but I've now got three goals in two games. It will be nice to do it."

Manosque is a town up in the mountains of southern France and is expected to be cooler than recent games which have been played in the ferocious heat on the Riviera coast.

"The heat really drains you," admitted Heskey. "I'm going through two bottles of water a day."

Taylor is delighted with the efforts of the Filbert Street player. He said: "Emile is a terrific player. He is also a great professional. Unlike some forward players he never switches off and he's got the strength to cause real problems."

After a 3-0 defeat against the hosts, Argentina know that only victory against England will secure their place in the semi-finals.

Heskey had scored in England's 1-1 draw with France in their Group A opener and further boosted his claims for a senior call-up as South Africa were sent spinning to their second defeat.

West Ham midfielder Frank Lampard fired England ahead from close range in the 37th minute after Nottingham Forest defender Alan Rogers had provided an inviting cross.

England increased their lead on the stroke of half-time when Heskey won the chase for a long ball and skilfully lobbed the advancing South Africa keeper Emile Baron. Heskey made it 3-0, latching onto a long clearance from England keeper Richard Wright and giving Baron no chance with a clinical finish.

After grabbing a consolation goal, South Africa had Aaron Mokoena sent off for a second bookable offence.