They say that football is a game of two halves. And it wasn't more noticeable than at Wembley tonight.

A fairly dire first half from England (but no so dire as to make you want to go and stick your head in the food blender) and 0-0 and half-time.

The second half was the exact opposite, with England showing more flair and determination. All six goals in the game were were scored in the second half.

Defoe's 5th goal for England tonight was England 497th goal they've ever scored at Wembley. The milestone isn't too far away.

It wasn't a vintage performance from England, but it can only be a good thing if you can play not too well but still score five goals.

Now, if Croatia beat or draw against Ukraine tonight, England will be clear at the top of Group Six.

By Jonathan Stevenson
BBC Sport at Wembley

2010 WORLD CUP QUALIFIER (At Wembley Stadium, London. Attendance: 89,107)

England 5-1 Kazakhstan
Ferdinand 52...................Kukeyev 68
Kuchma (o.g) 65
Rooney, 77, 86
Defoe 90

1 David James, 2 Wes Brown, 3 Ashley Cole, 4 Steven Gerrard, 5 Rio Ferdinand, 6 Matthew Upson, 7 Theo Walcott (15 David Beckham,) 8 Frank Lampard, 9 Emile Heskey, 10 Wayne Rooney(17 Jermain Defoe), 11 Gareth Barry (16 Shaun Wright-Phillips, 46)

Substitutes not used
12 Scott Carson, 13 Glen Johnson, 14 Wayne Bridge, 18 Peter Crouch

Fabio Capello
************************************************** *****


1 Alexandr Mokin, 3 Alexandr Kirov, 4 Alexandr Kuchma, 5 Alexandr Kislitsyn, 7 Tanat Nusserbayev, 8 Sergey Skorykh, 9 Sergey Ostapenko (17 Gleb Maltsev,) 10 Rulsan Baltiyev, 16 Sabyrkhan Ibrayev, 21 Zhambyl Kukeyev, 14 Yuriy Logvinenko

18 Andrey Morev, 2 Kairat Nurdauletov, 15 Ilya Vorotnikov, 20 Maxim Azovskiy, 23 Bekzat Beissenov

Bernd Storck

Rooney celebrates with Wes Brown as England labour to victory at Wembley

England made it three wins out of three in their World Cup qualifying campaign with a fine second-half display against Kazakhstan.

After a poor first half Rio Ferdinand, captain in the absence of the injured John Terry, nodded in a corner, before Alexandr Kuchma headed into his own net.

Zhambyl Kukeyev fired one back before Wayne Rooney headed in a Wes Brown cross and then tapped in after a David Beckham free-kick.
Jermain Defoe finished off the scoring with a late, low finish.

But it was not the comfortable evening for coach Fabio Capello the scoreline suggests and he will not be fooled by the margin of victory ahead of the potentially tricky trip to Belarus on Wednesday.

After the euphoria of beating Croatia 4-1 last month and buoyed by a partisan and sell-out Wembley crowd, England started well, with the hero of Zagreb, Theo Walcott, tormenting his opponents.

The Arsenal teenager appears to have replaced Beckham as the box office attraction for fans coming to see the national team and his was the name cheered loudest before kick-off.

With three minutes on the clock and with his first touch, the 19-year-old raced past his marker and then sent over a cross that Emile Heskey narrowly failed to bundle in at the far post.

England began to look for Walcott at every opportunity and he was frightening the Kazakhstan defence with his direct approach, one time cutting in on his weaker left foot and shooting marginally over the crossbar.

But Walcott’s cameo could not mask a disjointed England display for long and the 4-3-3 formation chosen by Capello soon began to break down.

With Rooney isolated down the left, Heskey ploughing a lone furrow up front and Steven Gerrard failing to get forward from midfield, England’s attacks were breaking down with alarming regularity.

Capello had asked the crowd to be patient and he got his wish save for a smattering of boos at the interval, but the Italian responded by hauling off Gareth Barry and replacing him with Shaun Wright-Phillips, reverting back to 4-4-2.

With two minutes gone in the second half a goal nearly came, but it was Kazakhstan who went agonisingly close to opening the scoring.

A cross from the right was nodded down by targetman Sergei Ostapenko and the ball sat up for Tanat Nussrbayev six yards out, the 21-year-old Ordabasy striker failing to keep his cool and hammering his shot over.

England soon made the former Soviet republic pay by taking a lead that had started to look less inevitable as the match progressed.

Wright-Phillips had a shot turned behind for a corner and from the resulting set-piece, Ferdinand climbed highest to nod into the net, his third goal wearing the three lions.

Hurt by conceding such a sloppy goal in their best period of the game the Kazakhs responded, Nussrbayev’s 25-yard screamer clumsily tipped around the post by David James before Kukeyev went on a slaloming run at the England defence only to be foiled by the onrushing James.

Another set-piece doubled England’s advantage and appeared to give them some breathing space, a Lampard free-kick headed into his own net by Kuchma.

But the Kazakhs refused to admit defeat and when Cole embarrassingly gifted Kukeyev possession, the forward expertly kept his composure to fire into the corner past James.

England had to wait until 14 minutes from time to make sure of the win, Rooney heading Brown’s right-wing cross past Alexandr Mokin.

There was still time for a brief glimpse of Beckham, the former captain coming on for his 106th cap – level with Sir Bobby Charlton – and receiving the loudest ovation of the night when he replaced Walcott.

And with the Kazakhs tiring there was still time for two more goals, Beckham’s poorly-defended free-kick allowing Rooney to slot in his second of the match, before Defoe – on for Rooney – collected Heskey’s pass and fired into the far corner to add gloss to the scoreline. But Capello will know better than anyone that on this evidence, World Cup qualification is still some way off.

England 5-1 Kazakhstan: England boss Fabio Capello takes charge of his first competitive match at Wembley against minnows Kazakhstan

Striker Tanat Nusserbayev tussles with England defender Ashley Cole on a fine autumnal evening in London

England's Theo Walcott poses a constant threat down the right and finds himself on the end of a number of hefty challenges

England become frustrated and make hard work of breaking down Kazakhstan - hardly troubling their keeper Alexandr Mokin

The half ends goalless with Steven Gerrard and team-mates unable to stamp his authority on the determined opposition

England finally break Kazakhstan's resistance as Rio Ferdinand heads into an empty net with Mokin stranded in the 52nd minute

England's lead is doubled as Frank Lampard's free-kick is deflected into his own net by Alexandr Kuchma's head

Kazakhstan's Zhambyl Kukeyev celebrates after reducing the deficit with a cooly taken finish after Cole's error at the back

Wes Brown sets up the third with a right-wing cross that is clinically headed in by Wayne Rooney in the 77th minute

Rooney scores his second nine minutes later as the hosts start to find space within the heart of Kazakhstan's defence

Substitute Jermain Defoe wraps up the win for England in the last minute shortly after replacing Rooney up front