England held to goalless draw by 10-man Honduras

By Ken Ferris, Reuters

Posted at Jun 08 2014 07:54 PM | Updated as of Jun 09 2014 03:54 AM

England's Adam Lallana is challenged by Maynor Figueroa (L) and Viktor Bernardez of Honduras during their international friendly soccer match ahead of the 2014 World Cup in Miami, June 7, 2014. Photo by Wolfgang Rattay, Reuters.

MIAMI - A full-strength England team failed to break down a stubborn Honduras side reduced to 10 men for the last 20 minutes as they drew 0-0 in their last World Cup warmup match in Miami before they fly off to the finals in Brazil.

England striker Daniel Sturridge had the best chance of the game after 22 minutes but his weak left-foot shot missed the far post and he was guilty of wasting two other good opportunities before a crowd of 45,379 at the Sun Life stadium.

The match was suspended for 43 minutes in the first half due to the threat of lightning although in the second period the sparks were on the pitch with Honduras reduced to 10 men when Brayan Beckeles caught Leighton Baines in the head with his arm.

England's opening World Cup game is against Italy on June 14 followed by Uruguay and Costa Rica in Group D. Honduras start versus France before facing Ecuador and Switzerland in Group E.

England started brightly and Danny Welbeck tested keeper Noel Valladares with an early drive before Wayne Rooney's 25-metre free kick saw the Ecuador stopper fumble the ball away.

England should have scored through Sturridge with Valladares stranded, but he conjured no power on the shot which drifted wide after Welbeck had dummied Rooney's low cross into the area.

The game was then suspended with storm clouds gathering overhead as referee Ricardo Salazer beckoned the players to the touchline before taking them off field.

The stadium's giant video screen displayed a message saying the game was stopped "due to inclement weather with associated lightning".


When the game resumed Honduras defender Emilio Izaguirre was lucky to stay on the pitch after booting the ball against Sturridge's midriff having just brought him down.

England's Adam Lallana was close with a low 25-metre drive that Valladares turned around the post but Honduras responded with captain Wilson Palacios' long-range effort deflected and Maynor Figueroa flicking the ball wide from the corner.

England brought off Gerrard and Rooney at halftime and introduced Jack Wilshere and Ross Barkley with the latter firing just wide after a one-two with the former.

Beckeles then became the fourth Honduras player to be cautioned after a dangerous two-footed challenge on Welbeck.

Sturridge broke clear and tried an audacious chip when he maybe should have shot and the ball sailed over the bar.

Ecuador right back Beckeles was then sent off in the 65th minute for a second yellow card after catching fellow fullback Baines in the head with his arm as they jumped for the ball.

Sturridge wasted another good chance after 73 minutes when he headed over the bar after a fine cross from right back Glen Johnson as Roy Hodgson's England side drew a blank.

(Reporting by Ken Ferris; Editing by Ian Ransom)