Focus on Ashley Cole: England's centurion

The usual steadiness from a full-back who remains a wonderfully adept defender if not perhaps the attacking force he might once have seemed likely to become (100 caps to his name but Cole has yet to score for England).

How did he play?

Menaced at times by his club-mate Oscar on Brazil's right.

How was he received?

Before kick-off there was a gong for Ronaldinho on the occasion of his – slightly disputed – 100th cap, and a medal for Steven Gerrard too. But nothing for Ashley on his big day. There was, though, a warm if not over-effusive round of applause when his name was read out and not a shadow of a jeer throughout.

Will he become England's most-capped?

Leighton Baines more than held his own when he came on. Roy Hodgson has admitted there is nothing between the two and Cole will be 33 when Brazil 2014 comes around. He may get past Bobby Moore as England's most capped defender (108), but Peter Shilton's record (125) is safe.

Powered by article was written by Barney Ronay at Wembley, for The Guardian on Wednesday 6th February 2013 23.38 Europe/London © Guardian News and Media Limited 2010


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