Toothless England held by 10-man Honduras in Miami
MIAMI: England came up against a resilient Honduras side reduced to 10 men for the last 20 minutes and found themselves short on ideas about how to break them down as they were held to a 0-0 draw in their last World Cup warmup match on Saturday.
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.
But England failed to capitalise on the one-man advantage in the closing stages leaving manager Roy Hodgson to put a brave face on their second draw in Miami after Wednesday’s exciting 2-2 result against Ecuador in front of half as many fans.
“It’s time for the real thing now,” he told ITV. “Everyone is fit, (injured winger) Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain is making progress and I think he will make the tournament.
“Honduras were quite physical and it was one of the most frustrating games I have been involved in for a long time. I thought the tempo of our play and effort to score in the second half was commendable,” he added.
“I will take the draw and take the fact we got away without any injuries. We go to Brazil in the right frame of mind.”
Honduras coach Luis Fernando Suarez, whose team lost their previous warmup game 4-2 to Israel, was delighted with the draw, telling reporters: “A result like that against England can make people in Honduras believe and give them optimism.”
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.