Winning start for England

Football: Belgium U-21 0 England U-21 1
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The Independent Online
Tottenham's Steve Slade celebrated his debut at this level by giving England victory in their opening Group B game in the Toulon tournament last night.

Glenn Hoddle, who replaces Terry Venables as England coach after the Euro 96, was in France to see the match and he witnessed a goal that he would have been proud to have scored.

Slade, called up as late replacement for Kevin Gallen, picked up the ball in the 36th minute and ran 40 yards before releasing it to Manchester United's Terry Cooke. When Cooke's cross came in Slade found himself with his back towards goal under pressure from two Belgium defenders.

But he flicked the ball over the first advancing defender, slipped the ball past the second and cooly beat the goalkeeper.

If Slade took the glory it was Manchester United's David Beckham who was the inspiration. His passing was a constant threat and he also popped up in his own penalty box to halt one of Belgium's few threats.

Dave Sexton, the England Under-21 coach said: "I thought Slade scored a terrific goal but our midfield ran and controlled the game. I was especially pleased for David Beckham. He has played for Manchester United all season and has won the League and Cup with them.

"He could have quite easily not made the trip but he was out there grafting with the rest of us and he was a fine example."