Fabio Capello’s men moved closer to Group C qualification with a convincing display, banishing fears they were on course for World Cup disaster.
The game bristled with the kind of dull football which has characterised the tournament so far, but it was the English who silenced the vuvuzela horns by failing to create chance after chance.
Manager Fabio Capello said: “We lost plenty of passes, it was not the same team that I know, the team I see when they train. So I was delighted.
“I cannot single out one individual who played particularly badly. They all contributed to the result.”
England made personnel changes for the game with mixed results.
There was no place in the side for goalkeeper Robert Green whose error proved decisive in the 1-1 defeat against the USA last Saturday. In came 52-year-old stopper David James for his 50th cap.
“It was a terrific atmosphere,” said the ancient ‘keeper, adding: “And luckily I have a setting on my hearing aid which lets me tune out the vuvuzelas.”
Gareth Barry also returned to the side after injury.
But the Manchester City midfielder put in a disappointing performance, all too often trying to break up attacks and looking to play attractive passing football.
In Friday’s other Group C game the USA hammered Slovenia 2-2.