Michael Owen leads England from the front

Wednesday was very special night indeed for Michael Owen who became the youngest footballer to earn 50 Caps and sealed it with two beautiful goals.

updated: February 25, 2007 09:48 IST
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Wednesday was a busy night in Europe as 36 teams were in action all over the continent. And it was a very special night indeed for Michael Owen who became the youngest footballer to earn 50 Caps – and he sealed his 5-star performance for England with two beautiful goals. In the Group-7 Euro 2004 qualifier against Slovakia, Vladimir Janocko's free-kick seemed to elude one and all before landing in the back of the net. England were handed an opportunity to get back into the game on the hour mark when Marian Zeman was adjudged to have fouled Owen in the penalty area and the boy wonder took the spot kick and sent Konig the wrong way to level the scores. Owen sealed the victory in the 73rd minute heading in from Gerrard's cross for his 22nd goal on his 50th full international appearance for England. The final score: 2-1. Meanwhile in another Group-7 encounter, Germany met minnows Faroe Islands. Miroslave Klose opened the scoring for the Germans in the 89th minute. Then deep into stoppage time, Fredi Bobic added another to seal the win for his side, 2-0 the final score. In Group 9, Italy met Finland and the deadlock was broken in the 32nd minute with Francesco Totti sweetly volleying home a Christian Panucci cross. The Italians sealed the three points in the 73rd minute when Alessandro Del Pierro put clean through and his shot rocketed past Jaaskelainen into the top of the net, again, 2-0 the final score. In Group 4, Sweden were at home to Poland and the hosts, clearly the more aggressive side, took the lead in the 16th minute when Mattias Jonson managed to steer a Fredrik Ljungberg cross back to Anders Svensson, who fired the ball past Jerzy Dudek. Svensson then put Marcus Allback clear in the 43rd minute, his shot beating Dudek from just outside the area. In the 71st minute, Svensson completed a great personal night when he scored with a superb free kick which Dudek got his hand on but could not prevent from going in – 3-0 the final score. In a Group 6 encounter, the only goal of the game between Greece and Ukraine came in the 86th minute from Greece's Angelos Haristeas.