England and Honduras capped off their preparations for the upcoming FIFA World Cup with a scoreless draw Saturday at Sun Life Stadium in Miami Gardens, Florida.
The draw will raise concerns for England ahead of what will be a tough schedule at the World Cup. The Three Lions now head into Group D against Italy, Uruguay and Costa Rica after drawing their final two warm-up matches.
Saturday's match, which served as the final World Cup warm-up for both sides, was delayed for more than 30 minutes by a thunderstorm. As quoted by @England, Three Lions coach Roy Hodgson expressed surprise about the weather conditions. But as noted by Associated Press reporter Rob Harris, Hodgson and England experienced a similar situation two years ago:
Hodgson has had to deal with this situation before after Poland-England was called off 2 years ago due to rain— Rob Harris (@RobHarris) June 7, 2014
For Hodgson, the match was a final chance to evaluate his players in match conditions ahead of the Three Lions' World Cup opener against Italy on 14 June. Following that, England will play Uruguay on 19 June and Costa Rica five days later.
Honduras were drawn into Group E and will face France (15 June), Ecuador (20 June) and Switzerland (25 June).
Though the match was a friendly, it featured several full-bodied challenges from both sides. Honduras in particular seemed intent on playing physically, and Brayan Beckeles was sent off in the 65th minute for his second bookable offence.
England's best chance in the first half fell to Daniel Sturridge, who shot narrowly wide in the 22nd minute after Danny Welbeck cleverly allowed the ball to roll past him along the edge of the box. Honduras came close in the 43rd minute as Wilson Palacios had a shot deflected just wide.
After the break, Ross Barkley, a half-time substitute, curled a shot off target in the 47th minute. England continued to put pressure on the Central Americans, Sturridge heading over the bar in the 73rd minute from Glen Johnson's cross.
|Jack Wilshere (for Rooney, 46')||N/A||7|
|Ross Barkley (for Gerrard, 46')||N/A||7|
|Fraser Forster (for Hart, 75')||N/A||6|
|Rickie Lambert (for Welbeck, 79')||N/A||6|
|Frank Lampard (for Henderson, 83')||N/A||6|
Ratings by B/R UK
England manager Roy Hodgson said he expects Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain to travel with the team to Brazil. Oxlade-Chamberlain suffered a knee injury against Ecuador:
Hodgson has told ITV that Ox will be fit for Brazil: "He is making good progress. I think he will make it without a shadow of a doubt."— James Olley (@JamesOlley) June 7, 2014
Hodgson added that the match was "frustrating," apparently referring at least partially to the long stoppage in the first half:
Hodgson: "It was a real stop-start game, one of the most frustrating I've been involved in for a long time." (@ITV)— Rob Harris (@RobHarris) June 7, 2014