Glen Johnson's rocket strike to seal a 3-1 friendly win over Mexico was in response to the dressing room fireworks from Fabio Capello at half-time.
The England boss dished out a rollicking despite his players going into the break leading 2-1.
Mexico saw plenty of the ball in the first half at Wembley, and it was only their poor finishing and Robert Green's saves that prevented them from leading. Capello demanded more aggression from his players, with Johnson's belter right after the restart followed by a more controlling performance.
"The manager told us what he thought at half-time - we had to be a lot more aggressive and get in their faces," said Steven Gerrard. "In the second half, we did that. We stopped them playing. We gave them too much respect in the first half."
Aggression is a trait that England have failed to manage sufficiently at recent World Cups, much to their cost. Red cards to David Beckham and Wayne Rooney led to exits in 1998 and 2006 respectively, and the spineless defeat to Brazil in 2002 was too far at the other end of the spectrum.
If Capello can get his teams' rage levels somewhere between impotently tip-toeing around a 10-man Brazil and delivering a stamp to the Ricardo Carvalho family jewels then he'll have won half the battle.
One of the few things England's footballers have over most of their foreign counterparts is that they revel in a quick, aggressive game, constantly ready to scrap for the ball because so few are capable of keeping hold of it for too long.
Capello has been right to try and harness England's strengths since taking over, and it paid dividends in the qualifying campaign, which brought nine wins out of 10 games and plenty of goals.
However, after last night's performance, we are still no closer to knowing whether they are in a better position to take on the big teams when things get serious, and Sunday's match against Japan in Austria is unlikely to help either.
These two games are more about final squad selection than preparing to face the might of Spain or Brazil.
You can understand the players' resistance to charging around hell for leather in a pre-tournament friendly, especially when they were trying their utmost to avoid injury on the cabbage patch of a pitch at Wembley.
The very fact that the likes of Rio Ferdinand, Ledley King and Theo Walcott came through unscathed was probably the most successful thing about last night.
There were other good points, mind. Peter Crouch continued his form as flat track bully par excellence, even if his goal was the most scrappy and contentious (offside, handball, you name it) scored at the new Wembley.
Ledley King completed a full 90 minutes and got a goal to partially atone for his sluggish first-half performance, although the rested John Terry will feel that he had a good game from the bench.
Joe Hart finally got another 45 minutes in, two years after he first played a half for the senior side.
And millions of England fans finally got to see an eye-catching England debut. There had been much talk and speculation as to whether he was up to the task following his recent big money move, but ED thinks Adrian Chiles did OK. Oh, and Adam Johnson came on for the last five minutes, too.
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PREDICTABLE HEADLINES OF THE DAY: "Mexican rave" (Mirror); "It Mex me mad!" (Sun); "Mex and match not always to Fabio's taste" (Express); "Fabio has more quesos* than answers - * a Tex-Mex dish!" (Mirror). Those post-Slovenia match headlines are going to be a struggle.
FOREIGN VIEW: "England are not as good as they think they are. While some might see it as a shock if (USA) win, I don't think it would be" - Some pre-World Cup fighting talk from former USA defender and ex-leader sing of the Spin Doctors, Alexi Lalas.
COMING UP: There's more international friendly action this evening as we bring you live commentary of Republic of Ireland v Paraguay, which kicks off at 19:45.
Plus there's coverage of the latest stage of the Giro d'Italia and the day's play from the French Open, which you can watch live on British Eurosport (Sky 410 / Virgin 521), Eurosport HD (Sky 412 / Virgin 522) & on the Eurosport Player.