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Late Daniel Sturridge header saves dire England

Date

Mike Collett

Head for the task: Daniel Sturridge (R) of England scores winner past Kasper Schmeichel of Denmark.

Head for the task: Daniel Sturridge (R) of England scores winner past Kasper Schmeichel of Denmark. Photo: Getty Images

LONDON: Daniel Sturridge scored an 82nd-minute header to give England a 1-0 win over Denmark on Wednesday in their last friendly before manager Roy Hodgson names his World Cup squad.

Hodgson gave a debut to Southampton left-back Luke Shaw and experimented with a malleable new playing system, but it took the second-half introductions of Adam Lallana and Danny Welbeck to give England a spark.

Lallana teed up the winning goal for Sturridge, whose back-post header ended a 264-minute goal drought for England at Wembley Stadium after November's friendly defeats by Chile and Germany.

It was a night that left Hodgson with as many questions as answers, but when his side next take to the field at Wembley against Peru on May 30, he will have already selected his squad for the trip to Brazil.

While English thoughts are fully fixed on the World Cup, the evening began with a nod to the past, as the deaths of England greats Tom Finney and Bert Williams, as well as former Denmark manager Richard Moller Nielsen, were marked with a minute's applause.

Hodgson included five Liverpool players in his starting XI and there was a fluidity to England's shape that seemed designed to recreate the Merseyside club's approach under their current manager, Brendan Rodgers.

Wayne Rooney swapped positions with the Liverpool pair of Sturridge and Raheem Sterling, with a chipped pass from the latter allowing the Manchester United man to elude Denmark goalkeeper Kasper Schmeichel, only to lash well wide of the vacant goal.

Denmark created two clear chances in the first half, with Michael Krohn-Dehli volleying over from a Casper Sloth cross and Chris Smalling obliged to block after Jakob Poulsen was allowed to bear down on goal.

It was England, however, who came closest to opening the scoring, with Sterling hitting the post from Ashley Cole's low cross before Schmeichel channelled the inspiration of his illustrious father, Peter, by spreading himself brilliantly to save at the feet of Sturridge.

Shaw was handed his debut at half-time, the 18-year-old coming on as a substitute for Cole and becoming the fourth Southampton player to be awarded a first cap by Hodgson.

He quickly caught the eye, striding forward and whipping in a dangerous cross, but Denmark continued to threaten, with Joe Hart saving from Nicklas Bendtner and then flying out to thwart substitute Morten Rasmussen.

The introductions of Lallana and Welbeck gave England extra invention in attack though, and the hosts belatedly began to apply concerted pressure.

Welbeck twice forced Schmeichel into action with a crisp drive and then a poked shot from Jordan Henderson's pass, before the Leicester City goalkeeper had to tip over a rasping effort from Sturridge.

With eight minutes remaining the pressure told, as Sturridge headed Lallana's clipped left-wing cross past Schmeichel to give England hope of more convincing displays ahead.

The best Denmark could offer in response was a half-volley from Danny Olsen that comfortably cleared Hart's crossbar, but although Morten Olsen's side will not play at the World Cup, they were far from outclassed.

AFP

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Hyundai A-League 2015-16

Round 1
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CCM 3vs PER 2 Stats
SYD 1vs MCY 1 Stats
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WEL 1vs NEW 2 Stats
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BRI 2vs CCM 1 Stats
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NEW 1vs VIC 0 Stats
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WEL 3vs BRI 2 Stats
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MCY 3vs CCM 1 Stats
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MCY 2vs NEW 3 Stats
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ADE 2vs MCY 4 Stats
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SYD 0vs BRI 0 Stats
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NEW 1vs WSW 2 Stats
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CCM 1vs WEL 1 Stats
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PER 1vs VIC 0 Stats
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Round 6
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WEL 4vs ADE 2 Stats
MCY 0vs WSW 3 Stats
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NEW 1vs CCM 1 Stats
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BRI 1vs PER 0 Stats
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WSW 2vs WEL 1 Stats
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ADE 0vs NEW 0 Stats
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MCY 5vs PER 1 Stats
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NEW 1vs BRI 1 Stats
VIC 2vs ADE 1 Stats
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CCM 0vs WSW 2 Stats
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CCM 1vs MCY 5 Stats
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WSW 2vs BRI 1 Stats
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Round 10
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ADE 2vs SYD 1 Stats
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BRI 2vs WEL 1 Stats
WSW 2vs VIC 0 Stats
PER 2vs CCM 1 Stats
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NEW 0vs MCY 4 Stats
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Round 11
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NEW 0vs ADE 0 Stats
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WEL 1vs SYD 1 Stats
MCY 2vs VIC 1 Stats
PER 2vs WSW 2 Stats
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CCM 0vs BRI 1 Stats
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Round 12
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WSW 2vs NEW 0 Stats
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ADE 3vs WEL 0 Stats
SYD 4vs CCM 1 Stats
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VIC 1vs PER 1 Stats
BRI 3vs MCY 1 Stats
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Round 13
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CCM 3vs WEL 1 Stats
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WSW 0vs ADE 0 Stats
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BRI 2vs PER 1 Stats
MCY 2vs SYD 2 Stats
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NEW 0vs VIC 1 Stats
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Round 14
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CCM 3vs VIC 3 Stats
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SYD 2vs NEW 0 Stats
MCY 3vs WSW 2 Stats
PER 1vs ADE 3 Stats
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WEL 0vs BRI 0 Stats
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Round 15
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VIC 4vs BRI 0 Stats
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ADE 3vs CCM 1 Stats
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PER 2vs MCY 2 Stats
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NEW 3vs WEL 1 Stats
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Round 16
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BRI 1vs ADE 4 Stats
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CCM 1vs WSW 2 Stats
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NEW 1vs PER 6 Stats
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MCY 3vs WEL 1 Stats
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VIC 1vs SYD 0 Stats
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Round 17
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WSW 4vs MCY 3 Stats
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WEL 1vs CCM 3 Stats
SYD 1vs BRI 3 Stats
PER 3vs VIC 2 Stats
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ADE 1vs NEW 0 Stats
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Round 18
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ADE 2vs SYD 2 Stats
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BRI 4vs CCM 0 Stats
VIC 1vs WSW 1 Stats
Sun, 07 FebTimes shown AEDT
WEL 0vs PER 1 Stats
NEW 2vs MCY 1 Stats
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Round 19
Fri, 12 FebTimes shown AEDT
BRI vs NEW 20:00Suncorp Stadium
Sat, 13 FebTimes shown AEDT
SYD vs PER 17:15Allianz Stadium
MCY vs VIC 19:30AAMI Park
Sun, 14 FebTimes shown AEDT
CCM vs ADE 15:00Central Coast Stadium
WSW vs WEL 17:00Pirtek Stadium
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Round 20
Fri, 19 FebTimes shown AEDT
VIC vs ADE 19:40AAMI Park
Sat, 20 FebTimes shown AEDT
NEW vs WEL 17:15Hunter Stadium
SYD vs WSW 19:30Allianz Stadium
PER vs BRI 21:40nib Stadium
Sun, 21 FebTimes shown AEDT
MCY vs CCM 17:00AAMI Park
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Round 21
Fri, 26 FebTimes shown AEDT
WEL vs MCY 17:30Westpac Stadium
WSW vs PER 19:40Pirtek Stadium
Sat, 27 FebTimes shown AEDT
ADE vs BRI 17:15Coopers Stadium
VIC vs SYD 19:30AAMI Park
Sun, 28 FebTimes shown AEDT
CCM vs NEW 17:00Central Coast Stadium
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Round 22
Fri, 04 MarTimes shown AEDT
BRI vs WSW 20:00Suncorp Stadium
Sat, 05 MarTimes shown AEDT
WEL vs ADE 17:15Westpac Stadium
MCY vs SYD 19:30AAMI Park
Sun, 06 MarTimes shown AEDT
CCM vs VIC 17:00Central Coast Stadium
Mon, 07 MarTimes shown AEDT
PER vs NEW 20:00nib Stadium
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Round 23
Fri, 11 MarTimes shown AEDT
ADE vs MCY 19:40Coopers Stadium
Sat, 12 MarTimes shown AEDT
SYD vs WEL 17:15Allianz Stadium
BRI vs VIC 19:30Suncorp Stadium
PER vs CCM 21:40nib Stadium
Sun, 13 MarTimes shown AEDT
NEW vs WSW 17:00Hunter Stadium
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Round 24
Fri, 18 MarTimes shown AEDT
MCY vs BRI 19:40AAMI Park
Sat, 19 MarTimes shown AEDT
CCM vs SYD 17:15Central Coast Stadium
WSW vs ADE 19:30Pirtek Stadium
Sun, 20 MarTimes shown AEDT
WEL vs PER 15:00Westpac Stadium
VIC vs NEW 17:00AAMI Park
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Round 25
Fri, 25 MarTimes shown AEDT
VIC vs WSW 19:40AAMI Park
Sat, 26 MarTimes shown AEDT
NEW vs PER 17:15Hunter Stadium
BRI vs SYD 19:30Suncorp Stadium
Sun, 27 MarTimes shown AEDT
ADE vs CCM 17:00Coopers Stadium
Mon, 28 MarTimes shown AEDT
MCY vs WEL 19:30AAMI Park
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Round 26
Fri, 01 AprTimes shown AEDT
WSW vs CCM 19:40Pirtek Stadium
Sat, 02 AprTimes shown AEDT
WEL vs VIC 17:15Westpac Stadium
SYD vs ADE 19:30Allianz Stadium
Sun, 03 AprTimes shown AEST
BRI vs NEW 17:00Suncorp Stadium
PER vs MCY 19:00nib Stadium
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Round 27
Fri, 08 AprTimes shown AEST
MCY vs ADE 19:40AAMI Park
Sat, 09 AprTimes shown AEST
CCM vs NEW 17:15Central Coast Stadium
VIC vs BRI 19:30AAMI Park
Sun, 10 AprTimes shown AEST
WEL vs WSW 15:00Westpac Stadium
SYD vs PER 17:00Allianz Stadium
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Overall standings
Team P W L +/- Pts
Western Sydney Wanderers FC 18 10 4 10 34
Brisbane Roar FC 18 10 4 9 34
Melbourne City FC 18 8 6 11 28
Melbourne Victory 18 8 6 6 28
Sydney FC 18 7 4 5 28
Adelaide United 18 7 5 3 27
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