Usain Bolt Scores as World XI Beat England on Penalties at 2019 Soccer Aid

James Dudko@@JamesDudkoFeatured ColumnistJune 16, 2019

LONDON, ENGLAND - JUNE 16:  Usain Bolt of Soccer Aid World XI takes on Jamie Carragher of England during the Soccer Aid for UNICEF 2019 match between England and the Soccer Aid World XI at Stamford Bridge on June 16, 2019 in London, England. (Photo by Mike Hewitt/Getty Images)
Mike Hewitt/Getty Images

Usain Bolt scored as World XI won a penalty shootout 3-1 after a 2-2 draw in normal time with England XI, led by John Terry and Mo Farah, in the 2019 edition of Soccer Aid for UNICEF at Chelsea's Stamford Bridge on Sunday.

Bolt found the net late in the first half for a team also featuring Didier Drogba, Michael Essien and Ricardo Carvalho, while Jeremy Lynch scored twice for England and 2017 Love Island winner Kem Cetinay struck a late equaliser for Bolt's men.

Fitness guru Joe Wicks and comedian Lee Mack saw their penalties saved by Nicky Byrne of Westlife fame during the shoot-out, while Mark Wright of The Only Way is Essex blasted his effort wide.

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After Tom Hanks got the match underway, many of the football greats on the pitch began entertaining the crowd. Drogba particularly seemed to revel in being back at the Bridge, as he baffled Farah early on:

To his credit, Farah, who went to ground often when trying to win the ball, got his timing just right when Bolt seemed certain to score. The latter had been played in courtesy of a deft pass from Drogba, but Farah made the intervention at the decisive moment:

At the other end of the pitch, Julio Cesar was putting on a show in the World XI goal. The UEFA Champions League winner with Inter Milan in 2010 produced a sensational save to claw away a fierce shot from former Chelsea and Liverpool right-back Glen Johnson.

Johnson's buccaneering runs were causing Cesar and Co. more than a few problems. Another foray forward from the 2008 FA Cup winner with Portsmouth forced Cesar into a second smart stop.

Cesar was culpable when England took the lead after 19 minutes, though. He was only able to parry as far as Lynch, who made no mistake with the finishing touch.

A freestyle sensation, Lynch didn't need any slick tricks to convert this simple tap-in to put England:

It was Lynch who struck again eight minutes before the break. This time he was instinctive and technically sound when connecting with a volley on the turn:

England were running the show, stretching the World XI with pace and power in wide areas. The hosts also bossed possession thanks to an assured display from former Arsenal women's star Rachel Yankey.

She found her radar early and lifted some exquisite passes over the top of Carvalho and in behind the World XI defence.

Fortunately, the visitors still had the threat of Bolt up top, and he finished coolly less than two minutes before the end of the half after some misjudgement from Jamie Carragher:

Ex-Real Madrid left-back Roberto Carlos and former Tottenham Hotspur striker Robbie Keane entered for World XI in the second half. Arsenal legend Robert Pires joined them.

Meanwhile, the Chelsea connection remained strong with Joe Cole introduced to the fray for England.

Carragher's personal duel with Bolt continued, but the 41-year-old made amends for his earlier mistake with a brilliant block to deny the Jamaican a second.

Earlier, Carragher showed there was still some speed left when he matched Keane for pace as the striker threatened to break clear. Carragher was needed again when Drogba went around two defenders and goalkeeper David Harewood.

He had an empty net to aim for, but Carragher got back to turn away Drogba's shot:

Searching for an equaliser, World XI brought Eric Cantona off the bench as Bolt made way. Yet it took a moment of inspiration from Cetinay to draw the global outfit level:

The superb strike meant penalties were needed, but Wicks had his effort saved before Wright shot wide. Mack had to score but saw his tame attempt parried by Byrne.

His save brought to an end an entertaining and worthy exhibition from all those involved.

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