Michael Owen Hat Trick Fires England to 3-2 Victor
Michael Owen Hat Trick Fires England to 3-2 Victory Over Colombia in New JerseyOwen hat-trick fires England win NEW JERSEY (Reuters) - Michael Owen grabbed a hat-trick as England completed their two-match tour of the U.S. with a 3-2 victory over Colombia in a friendly on Tuesday played at the Meadowlands as part of a doubleheader prior to the MetroStars' home match vs. the Chicago Fire. Real Madrid striker Owen took his international goal tally to 32 with strikes in the 36th 44th and 58th minutes.Colombia replied with a first-half header from Mario Yepes and a left-foot shot by Aldo Ramirez in the 78th minute.England began the tour with a 2-1 win over the U.S. in Chicago on Saturday.David Beckham who missed that match delighted the crowd in his professional debut in America.Although Beckham saw little of the ball for much of the game he set up Owen's third in the 58th minute with a bending cross that his Real Madrid teammate volleyed at the near post to earn raves from the crowd of 50807.Coach Sven-Goran Ericksson has said he was using the two-game trip to experiment with England's next World Cup qualifier not until September. Colombia in seventh place in South America's qualifying standings plays Peru and Ecuador in Barranquilla in the next eight days.Owen and Beckham refused permission to travel with England by Real Madrid until it completed its league season both arrived Sunday night.Colombia dominated possession and chances in the first half earning four corners in the first 14 minutes but their chances went high or wide.But Owen capitalized on England's handful of chances in the first half. Glen Johnson fed Joe Cole who dribbled toward the penalty area before slipping a ball down the middle where Owen ran on and chipped Colombia keeper Farid Mondragon in the 36th minute.Owen doubled the lead eight minutes later converting a feed from Southampton's Peter Crouch who was making his debut for England.The goal Owen gave him 31 playing for England moving him past Tom Finney Nat Lofthouse and Alan Shearer and behind only Bobby Charlton (49) Gary Lineker (48) and Jimmy Greaves (44).Yepes pulled Colombia within one in the minute before halftime heading in Elkin Soto's corner kick to spark a flurry of flag waving from the easily identifiable Colombian fans in yellow.After Owen's third put England ahead 3-1 second-half substitute Aldo Ramirez pulled Colombia within one again in the 79th.