It was a long time coming, but when captain David Beckham floated a pin point pass into the penalty box the gangly striker made amends for his previous misses with a powerful header into the back of the net.

The goal broke the spirit of the Caribbean Island’s players who had defended valiantly throughout the match.

Then as he does so often, Liverpool captain Steven Gerrard pounced on a loose ball at the top of the box in injury time to give his side a scoreline which must flatter the 1966 champions.

It had been a match of few highlights as Trinidad and Tobago looked for a second draw in as many World Cup matches and England left their shooting boots in the changing rooms.

Such was the desperation of coach Sven Goran Eriksson that he played his trump card on 58 minutes and gave Manchester United striker Wayne Rooney his World Cup debut as he replaced an ineffectual Michael Owen.

It had a momentary effect on the side as the team lifted, although they soon returned to their old ways as Chelsea’s Frank Lampard continued to blaze shots over the bar.

Earlier action

In the first half, the dramatic nature of the mismatch was the only aspect of interest such was the dour state of the game.

The Trinidad and Tobago side were happy to wait and see what England had to offer.

They would have been stunned at the response.

England were expected to win and win well, yet goalkeeper Shaka Hislop was called on to make a handful of saves.

The sum total of England’s slow build ups were long range efforts and embarrassing misses.

Both starting strikers were guilty of squandering gilt edged chances.

On 6 minutes Michael Owen was on hand to receive a parry from Hislop but could only skew the chance.

And with England fans tearing their hair out, Crouch almost sent a perfectly weighted cross for a throw in with the most diabolical of attempted volleys.

As the first half drew to a close, Coventry City striker Stern John almost stunned the world when a header needed the heroics of John Terry to save the ball off the line.

Still for all their critics, England have won both their opening matches and have qualified for the round of 16, there either Germany or Ecuador await.