World Cup Qualifiers: Lampard's brace fires five-star England

Frank Lampard ensured England made a smooth start on the road to Brazil as the Chelsea midfielder bagged a brace in his side’s 5-0 demolition of Moldova in Friday’s opening World Cup qualifier.

After England’s tame Euro 2012 quarter-final exit against Italy, it was essential for Roy Hodgson’s side to deliver a convincing display in Chisinau and Lampard’s 24th and 25th international goals were the catalyst for a ruthless rout of the Group H minnows.

England’s Frank Lampard celebrates his opening goal against Moldova in a World Cup qualifier at Zimbru Stadium in Chisinau on Friday. Pic/Getty Images

Lampard gave England the perfect start when he converted a penalty and he was on the scoresheet again before half-time, while Tottenham striker Jermain Defoe also netted in the first period and James Milner and Leighton Baines added late goals to kill off the out-classed Moldovans.

Ukraine should provide a sterner test when they visit Wembley on Tuesday, but this was a promising start to England's bid to reach the 2014 World Cup.

With Wayne Rooney and Andy Carroll sidelined by injuries, Defoe, for so long a bit-part player for England, was able to underline his credentials with his second goal in his last two internationals after Hodgson opted to select him ahead of Danny Welbeck.

And a mature display from young Manchester United midfielder Tom Cleverley provided further encouragement for Hodgson as he looks to rebuild after Euro 2012.

“I was pleased with the way we played, especially in the first half,” Hodgson said. “We attacked and defended well and we were quick to get the ball back. “At 3-0 at half-time it was pleasing.

There was always the risk it would get too easy but we played some good football and scored two more goals.”

Chelsea defender John Terry however suffered an ankle injury and came off in the closing stages. “They’re assessing him at the moment. It’s obviously not a very serious injury, but every knock is important with only three days between games,” said Hodgson.

Other important results
Kazakhstan 1-2 Ireland
Bulgaria 2-2 Italy
Lithuania 1-1 Slovakia
Estonia 0-2 Romania
Georgia 1-0 Belarus
Luxembourg 1-2 Portugal
Andorra 0-5 Hungary
Netherlands 2-0 Turkey
Slovenia 0-2 Switzerland
Peru 2-1 Venezuela
Croatia 1-0 Macedonia
Scotland 0-0 Serbia
Costa Rica 0-2 Mexico
Wales 0-2 Belgium
Luxembourg 1-2 Portugal
Russia 2-0 Northern Ireland
Iceland 2-0 Norway
Colombia 4-0 Uruguay
Ecuador 1-0 Bolivia
Caledonia 0-2 New Zealand
Solomon Islands 2-0 Tahiti
Cuba 0-3 Honduras
El Salvador 2-2 Guyana
Canada 1-0 Panama 

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