Posted: Sunday 8th June 2014 at 0:42 am

International Friendly: England 0 Honduras 0


Daniel Sturridge had two opportunities in each half, while Honduras played the final 25 minutes with a man less after Bryan Beckeles was dismissed but England were still unable to make the breakthrough at Sun Life Stadium.

The international friendly, the first meeting between the two teams, also came to a temporary halt in the first-half, when referee Ricardo Salazar suspended the game due to lightning.

Play eventually resumed after 40 minutes but England failed to head to Brazil on a winning note as they recorded their second consecutive draw, following Wednesday’s stalemate against Ecuador.

Saturday’s result ended a run of back-to-back defeats for Honduras, who were below their best against Turkey (2-0) and Israel (4-2).

Roy Hodgson made 10 changes to the team that drew against Ecuador on Wednesday, with Wayne Rooney the only player to retain his place.

Joe Hart started in goal, while the familiar back four of Glen Johnson, Gary Cahill, Phil Jagielka and Leighton Baines were all named.

Captain Steven Gerrard, Adam Lallana, Jordan Henderson, Danny Welbeck and Sturridge also all returned, as Hodgson fielded the team that is expected to go head-to-head with Italy in their Group D opener on June 14.

For Honduras – who kick-off their own World Cup campaign against Group E opponents France on June 15 – Maynor Figueroa and Jerry Bengston were among those recalled, while Wilson Palacios, Bryan Beckeles, Roger Espinoza and Marvin Chavez kept their spots in the starting XI from the 4-2 defeat to Israel.

Against Ecuador in midweek, England found themselves trailing inside eight minutes and while they made a more positive start this time, they still lacked a decisive final ball in the attacking third.

They were presented with a golden opportunity in the 22nd minute, but Sturridge fluffed his lines.

England finally managed to engineer an opening inside the penalty area after Rooney played the ball to Welbeck, who dummied it through his legs. The ball reached Sturridge, but the Liverpool striker fired his effort just wide of the post in what was the last piece of action before the break in play.

England struggled to find their feet after the resumption, with their rhythm clearly affected by the weather break.

However, Honduras could not take advantage as the scores remained goalless at half-time.

Hodgson decided to mix things up at the interval, introducing Jack Wilshere and Ross Barkley for Rooney and Gerrard.

The midfield pair seemed to spark England into action, with their energy and enthusiasm putting Honduras on the back foot and it almost resulted in the game’s opening goal just shy of the hour-mark.

Lallana worked his way into the box and the ball somehow fell to the feet of Welbeck, who got a last-ditch foot to the ball, but onrushing goalkeeper Valladares came out to smother his effort.

Honduras appeared to be coping with whatever England offered in attack but the Central American side were dealt a blow in the 65th minute, when Beckeles was shown a second yellow for elbowing Baines in an aerial duel.

England almost made the most of their numerical advantage seven minutes later, however Sturridge wasted yet another opportunity.

Johnson whipped in a delightful cross form the right-hand side but an unmarked Sturridge skied his header well over the crossbar.

That proved to be England’s last clear sight on goal as Honduras held on for a morale-boosting draw against their more fancied opponents.

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