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On this day: Joe Cole strike beats Wales in World Cup qualifier

Ten years ago today, Joe Cole scored the only goal of the game as England beat Wales in a World Cup qualifier at the Millennium Stadium.

England may have secured their spot in the following year's World Cup during 2005, yet it was a 12-month period in which the Three Lions suffered two of their most harrowing defeats of recent times.

Joe Cole of England goes close to scoring a diving header during the 2006 World Cup Qualifying match between Wales and England at the Millennium Stadium on September 3, 2005© Getty Images

Despite the fact that it was only a friendly, the 4-1 hammering suffered at the hands of Denmark in Copenhagen was viewed as an embarrassment, while the 1-0 qualifying defeat at the hands of Northern Ireland is still looked back upon as one of the lowest points of Sven-Goran Eriksson's tenure.

Sandwiched between those two disappointing encounters was a trip to the Millennium Stadium to take on British rivals Wales - a game that was played 10 years ago today.

When the two sides faced off at Old Trafford earlier in the campaign, England had ran out relatively comfortable 2-0 victors.

However, on this occasion the hosting Dragons matched their opponents for much of the contest and they would have taken the lead midway through the first half but for visiting goalkeeper Paul Robinson, who showed good acrobatics to palm clear John Hartson's downward header.

Meanwhile, up the other end Wayne Rooney and Shaun Wright-Phillips were denied by Danny Coyne, before Joe Cole headed wide from close range as an entertaining opening 45 minutes drew to a close.

Yet, Cole atoned nine minutes after the restart, albeit with a slice of good fortune. A low cross from Wright-Phillips found the Chelsea midfielder with time and space inside the Wales area. His instant shot appeared to be heading straight for Coyne, but the ball was diverted beyond the Wales goalkeeper's reach courtesy of a deflection off Daniel Gabbidon.

As the encounter entered the closing stages, Wales poured forward in search of what would have been an equalising goal, but they never truly called Robinson into any meaningful action as Eriksson's men held out for all three points.

Speaking after the final whistle, Eriksson told reporters: "We have one more win, three more points and if we go on like this we'll win the group.

"At the end of the match we suffered. There were a lot of long balls coming to our box. But a bit of suffering in football is okay if we have the right attitude and we had that today."

As for captain David Beckham, he was quick to praise the role that had been played by keeper Robinson: "It was a great save and the lads were full of thanks to Robbo at half time."

Wales: Coyne; Duffy, Page (J Collins), Gabbidon, Partridge; Ricketts, Fletcher, Robinson (Koumas), Davies (Earnshaw), Giggs; Hartson

England: Robinson; Young, Carragher, Ferdinand, A Cole; Beckham, Lampard, Gerrard (Richardson), Wright-Phillips (Defoe), J Cole (Hargreaves); Rooney

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Shaun Wright-Phillips of Manchester City celebrates scoring his first goal during the Barclays Premier League match between Sunderland and Manchester City at the Stadium of Light on August 31, 2008
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