Stalemate as England held by Honduras

Last Updated: Sunday, June 8, 2014 - 09:02

England were held to a goalless draw by ten-man Honduras on Saturday in their final friendly before heading to Brazil for the World Cup.

Roy Hodgson`s team had the better chances in a largely scrappy game which was interrupted in the first half by a 43-minute suspension of play due to a severe lightning warning.

Honduras had Brayan Beckeles sent off in the 66th minute for a second bookable offence but will take heart from a battling display and a clean sheet after losing their previous two warm-up games 4-2 to Israel and 2-0 to Turkey.

England created several openings but failed to take advantage with Daniel Sturridge the main culprit.

Wayne Rooney made his third straight start for England, making him the only member of Roy Hodsgon`s squad to play in all three pre-World Cup warm-ups.

The Manchester United forward was again asked to play on the left flank and it was Rooney who produced the first effort on goal with a curling free-kick in the 14th minute which Honduras keeper Noel Valladrares spilled.

Rooney then sparked another England opportunity when, on the edge of the area, he fed Danny Welbeck, who dummied the ball allowing it to run into the path of Daniel Sturridge who should have done better than a left foot shot wide of the post.

Sturridge`s Liverpool team-mate Raheem Sterling was missing after picking up a red card in the 2-2 draw against Ecuador on Wednesday and Honduras`s Emilio Izaguirre was fortunate to avoid a similar punishment after he drove the ball into Sturridge`s midrift while he lay on the ground.

There was surprise when American referee Ricardo Salazar halted the game in the 23rd minute and ordered the teams of the field due to a lightning warning.

The teams were off the field for 43 minutes while the lightning passed the area and after the break the Hondurans picked up the tempo better.

The lively Marvin Chavez curled a free-kick just over the bar in the 34th minute and Wilson Palacios had an effort go just wide ten minutes later while England`s sole chance came with a 25-metre drive from Adam Lallana which Valladares did well to tip round the post.

Rooney made way for Ross Barkley at the break with Jack Wilshere taking the place of Steven Gerrad in the centre of midfield.

Barkley quickly made an impact with a snap shot that flashed wide just two minutes after the re-start and he seemed to give England some instant creative impetus.

Sturridge might have been better served with a straightforward shot than his harmless, ambitious attempt at a chip in the 55th minute and Barkley threatened again moments later, on the break, but Izaguirre made a superb last ditch sliding tackle.

Honduras were reduced to ten men in the 65th minute when Beckeles was given a second yellow card after he recklessly caught Leighton Baines with an arm to the head as he flew in to a challenge for a header.

Sturridge wasted another chance when his header from a nicely delivered Glen Johnson cross was badly off target.

England start their World Cup Group D campaign against Italy in Manaus on June 14.

AFP

First Published: Sunday, June 8, 2014 - 09:02

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