Stooping Header Defeats Structured Danes

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England 1-0 Denmark

The final match before Roy Hodgson names his World Cup preliminary squad saw Daniel Sturridge score a late winner as England’s good record in matches against Denmark continued.

It took England quite a while to settle into the match, but when they finally did they were enjoying attack after attack, with Denmark progressing only through counters. Chances by no means came thick and fast though, as nervous men strolled the pitch in the hope that they might have done enough to have booked their plane ticket to Brazil. Jack Wilshere had an injury scare early on, but carried on bravely. Raheem Sterling hit the post with a goal line scramble, Wayne Rooney hit over numerous times and Sturridge was denied from very close by Schmeichel. Jakob Poulsen, on his international return, also had a chance, but he wasted the counter-attack and Joe Hart saved well. The half came to an end with England on the up. The scoreboard read nil-nil.

Ashley Cole was replaced at the break by 18-year-old debutant Luke Shaw at left-back. England started slowly in the second half and Denmark had a few decent chances in the opening minutes; though Joe Hart seemed destined for a clean sheet and so it proved. Kasper Schmeichel, son of former Denmark legend Peter, was having a great night in goal for the Danes, making a string of great saves. Adam Lallana replaced Wilshere and Rooney left for Welbeck on the 60 minute mark.

Soon after Welbeck came on, he shot low with his head down at keeper Schmeichel who parried it. Welbeck may have scored if substitute Andreas Bjelland hadn’t recovered from an earlier mistake so well. After a cut inside from the left wing by Raheem Sterling, Jordan Henderson took the ball and set Welbeck free again, but the ball was again smothered by Schmeichel. Then from a right corner Daniel Sturridge hit a fierce tight-angle shot from range which Schmeichel batted over his bar. The only goal of the match followed. From a short Adam Lallana corner, this time on the left, Sterling played a one-two with Lallana. The Southampton captain then faked an in-curling cross before executing a beautiful out-curler. Daniel Sturridge, unmarked in the six-yard box placed a header to the inside left netting. England led on eighty-two minutes. The only other chance was a near miss from a Danny Olsen free-kick as England triumphed 1-0.

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