Joe Cole revealed his relief at scoring England's winner in Cardiff: it not only saved his team-mates blushes, it also saved him from a big pay-out to his friends.
Cole headed wide from David Beckham's inviting cross towards the end of the first half, but was on target, albeit via a deflection off Danny Gabbidon, to secure victory on 53 minutes.
He admitted: "I had a fantastic chance with the header. All my mates had put money on me for the first goal and all I could think was how I was going to have to shell out their winnings to them!
"Luckily we got the goal, though. When the ball came across, I just wanted to get enough on it and hit the target. Luckily, I got a nice deflection.
"My mates would've made me pay otherwise but I think they'd got me at 12-1, so they'll be dancing tonightb for sure!"
The Chelsea midfield player could doubtless have worn the financial loss but Cole was nevertheless relieved that England had secured a hard-fought, if rather unconvincing, 1-0 win just over a fortnight after their 4-1 defeat in Denmark.
He added: "It was a tough game for us and it wasn't the flowing football that we know we can play, but it will give us the lift we needed as it's a step closer to the finals in Germany.
"I still can't put my finger on what went wrong in Copenhagen. People said we didn't want to play for England, but that is ridiculous.
"I'll play for England even if I've only got one leg. Some nights it just doesn't work, but I was 100 per cent up for the game but it worked against Wales. We've won and got the points and we're back on course."
England were still indebted to Paul Robinson, who produced a superb firsthalf save from John Hartson's powerful downward header.
"It was a quiet game for me but when I was called upon, I was there to do my job," reflected the Tottenham goalkeeper.
"He was very close and it was a bullet header, but I saw it pretty quickly and just had to get down to it.
"It's a big part of your job as a goalkeeper in internationals, keeping your concentration because you still have to do your job if you are called upon."