TWENTY years AGO today, Yorkshire staged the first England home international away from Wembley in three decades and supporters certainly had their money’s worth – even if they had to wait.
The venue was Elland Road, Leeds with England, managed by future Whites manager Terry Venables, sharing six goals with Sweden.
A crowd of 32,008 witnessed two goals in the final two minutes from David Platt and Darren Anderton to spare the blushes of the Three Lions and save them from their biggest home defeat in 23 years in a see-saw 3-3 draw which somewhat flattered the hosts.
Sweden may have headed into the game on the back of a five-match winless run, but they made all the early running and were rewarded with an early opener on 11 minutes.
The beneficiary was Hakan Mild, whose cross-shot in front of the Kop evaded the unsighted Tim Flowers, who had initially parried an effort from Niklas Gudmundsson.
Worse was to come for England, with the Swedes doubling their advantage, courtesy of a real gift eight minutes before the interval.
It was a real moment to forget for Flowers, who spilled a shot from Gary Sundgren and it rebounded straight into the path of Mild, who stroked home from close range.
England, out of sorts in the first period, were afforded a lifeline just before the break and how they needed it.
It was a landmark occasion for Teddy Sheringham, who scored his first international goal in his eighth senior appearance, striking home on the volley after a ball spun up for him in the 18-yard box.
That timely hope dissipated just 22 seconds into the second half when IFK Gothenburg’s Pontus Kamark sent an inviting throughball into the path of Kennet Andersen, who coolly lobbed the stranded Flowers.
Henrik Larsson and Mild had chances to add to the visitors’ tally, while at the other end, it was proving a quiet evening for Sweden keeper Thomas Ravelli, who eclipsed Peter Shilton’s international record of 125 caps on that early summer’s night.
The action in front of him was belated, but eventually it did arrive and rewarded those who acknowledge the value of patience.
It was thanks in no small part to the introduction of Paul Gascoigne and Nick Barmby, with the latter making just his second appearance for his country.
Gascoigne’s free-kick on the left in the 89th minute appeared to provide England with a modicum of consolation on a largely disappointing night with his set-piece latched onto by Platt, who displayed typically predatory instincts to plant a downward header past Ravelli for his 26th goal for his country.
Seconds from the end, the home supporters acclaimed a truly sumptuous moment, one that young midfielder Anderton will never forget at any rate.
Like his Spurs team-mate Sheringham, Anderton crowned his eighth England cap with a sweetly-taken goal, with Graeme Le Saux’s punt forward nodded down by Alan Shearer into his path before he unleashed an unstoppable volley which hit both posts before nestling safely in the net.
Speaking about that moment some years later, Anderton said: “I don’t think I ever struck a ball so sweetly in my entire career.
“I was over the moon and never had a feeling like it.”
(Sheringham 44, Platt 89, Anderton 90+1)
Sweden 3 (Mild 11, 37, K Andersson 6)
Umbro Cup at Elland Road June 8, 1995.
England: Flowers, Barton, Cooper, Pallister, Le Saux, Anderton, Beardsley, Platt, Barnes, Shearer, Sheringham. Subs: Scales, Barmby Gascoigne. Unused: Walker, McManaman.
Sweden: Ravelli, Sundgren, Lučić, Björklund, Kåmark, Alexandersson, Erlingmark, Mild, Gudmundsson, Larsson, K Andersson. Subs: O Andersson, Lidman. Not used: Ljung, Mattsson, B Andersson.
Referee: Leslie Mottram (Scotland).