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Micah Playing For England

Saturday October 10, 2009England U21 6-3 Macedonia U21

By William Wood | In UEFA European Under-21 Championship

Micah netted for England Under-21s as they secured an emphatic 6-3 victory over Macedonia Under-21s in the side’s first European Championships home qualifier.

In front of a vociferous crowd at the Ricoh Arena – home to Coventry City – Micah and his teammates raced away with the three points after the visitors had fought their way back into the encounter on two occasions.

Macedonia went closest first, Agim Ibraimi stinging the palms of Scott Loach with his swooping free-kick, but England began to exert their quality in midfield and two of the four middle-line combined for the opening goal.

Tom Cleverly exquisitely controlled Jack Wilshere’s long-ball forward before threading through a ball to Theo Walcott, and the Arsenal man then picked out his club colleague Keiron Gibbs who headed the Three Lions in to the lead.

Eight minutes Micah doubled his side’s advantage. Wilshere again had a key role in the build up, picking out Michael Mancienne with a cross and Micah was on hand to nod home the header back across goal.

Loach was again called into action to deny Ibraimi only for Macedonia to finally beat their tormentor three minutes before half-time, Muarem Muarem’s low free-kick evading every pair of legs in the box and finding the back of the net.

A mistake from Mancienne with 52 minutes on the clock allowed Ibraimi to level proceedings, though Newcastle United youngster Andy Carroll edged Stuart Pearce’s men back in front just two minutes later.

However, the enthralling clash still had much more drama left in the tank, and Ibraimi was in the thick of the action. His whipped cross had the England defence worried and, as they failed to clear, Gibbs struck the ball beyond Loach and into the back of his own net to make the score 3-3.

With Pearce a worried onlooker as his side seemingly handed Macedonia lifeline after lifeline, the final third of the game belonged entirely to England as they add some gloss to the scoreline.

West Ham forward Zavon Hines – on at half-time for the injured Theo Walcott to make his debut – fired home in the 67 minute to hand England the lead once again, while Carroll then added another to make it 5-3.

And Hines wrapped up an impressive cameo with his second and England’s sixth, sealing the win in a match that boosts the Three Lions’ qualification prospects