Everton trio feature in England draw

, 7 June, 0comments  |  Jump to most recent
Howard earns 100th cap in USA win

Phil Jagielka and Leighton Baines both started for England against Honduras in Miami and Ross Barkley played the second half in a weather-interrupted but ultimately goalless encounter against Honduras who finished the game with 10 men.

Roy Hodgson named a team close to the likely XI that will kick off the Three Lions' World Cup Finals campaign against Italy next week but they laboured through a first period that was suspended for half an hour due to an electrical storm over Miami's Sun Life Stadium.

Baines and Jagielka had been restored to the lineup after being rested for the 2-2 draw against Ecuador while Barkley dropped back to the bench alongside John Stones who still has a chance of making the trip to Brazil given the uncertainty over Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain's ability to compete.

The Arsenal winger damaged medial knee ligaments against Ecuador and has been given a prognosis of a 10-day to three-week recovery period. England have until 13th June to make a final decision on whether to retain him in the squad; if he is forced to drop out, Hodgson has confirmed that either Stones or Liverpool's John Flanagan will be promoted from the standby list. Stones's ability to play at right back or in central defence may give him the edge.

The game was just 22 minutes old when the players were withdrawn by the referee because of the weather. Daniel Sturridge had missed the best chance of the game to that point when he flashed a shot inches past the post. Earlier, Baines had limped out of a heavy collision with an opposition player but was able to run the knock off, which he would do repeatedly in the second half after being battered by the Central Americans throughout.

Chances were few and far between but Barkley raked a shot narrowly wide shortly after coming on at the interval and though the Hondurans were reduced to 10 men when Brayan Beckeles elbowed Baines and picked up a second yellow, England couldn't carve out a winner.

The last quarter of an hour was notable, however, for the fact that Jagielka took the captain's armband from Joe Hart to become the first Everton player to skipper England.

Further north in Jacksonville, Florida, Tim Howard earned his 100th cap for the United States as they took on fellow World Cup qualifiers, Nigeria, and won 2-1 thanks to Jozy Altidore's first goals in 2014.

Meanwhile, Kevin Mirallas started for Belgium in their last friendly against Tunisia in Brussels this evening, a match that was also held up, this time by a large hailstorm in the first half. The Blues' forward played just over an hour before being replaced by Nacer Chadli as the Red Devils won late on thanks to a Dries Mertens goal.

Romelu Lukaku limped out of the action after coming on as a second-half substitute after sustaining heavy bruising to his ankle but he is expected to be fit for Belgium's World Cup opener in 10 days' time.


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