England 0-0 Honduras
In a match in which the result was certainly secondary, England could not break an uneasy and awkward deadlock. The match was abandoned midway during the first half due to a lightning storm, but after the delay England still could not get past a surprisingly cynical Honduras side.
The starting XI that Hodgson picked for the match is tipped as the potential side that may face Italy in a week’s time. Both sides starting extremely slowly and the only real chance came four minutes into the game. It fell to Danny Welbeck who shot low but Valladares saved it. Wayne Rooney had a free-kick in the fourteenth minute, but has Valladares fumbled it, Sturridge was caught offside with the rebound. As Daniel Sturridge was put through on goal after a clever piece of England play, he spurned the great opportunity, placing the ball inches wide of the right-hand post.
The were no more passages of play before Californian referee Ricardo Salazar marshalled the players off the pitch due to a dangerous electrical storm. As the supporters made their way out of the stadium (the Hondurans at least), England and their Central American opponents took shelter.
Forty-four minutes later and the referee claimed it was safe enough for the match to resume. Marvin Chavez had a close range free-kick but curled the ball too high. Adam Lallana’s deflected shot troubled goalkeeper Noel Valladares much, but it scraped wide.
Nine minutes into the second-half Daniel Sturridge chipped the ball way wide to miss another great chance. Another England chance saw a crowded penalty area invaded by Honduran defenders. Though Danny Welbeck’s stab was kept out not by a defender but again by in-form veteran goalkeeper Valladares.
Seven yellow cards were shown by the often trigger-happy Salazar, four to a disrespectful Honduras. Preferred right-back Brayan Beckeles was shown a second yellow and sent off after sixty-five minutes. The match ended dully, by the score of 0-0. England were knocked, bruised, hit, slapped and kicked but miraculously there were no injuries, although Honduras were lucky to end with ten men. A horrible Emilio Izaguirre foul saw him belt the ball into the floor bound Daniel Sturridge, who is to receive treatment, but should be fine.
England has now completed their three friendlies and their next match is a humid, thirty-plus degree, Amazonian encounter with four time world champions Italy.