March 30, 2011

England held at home by Ghana

A revamped England side looked to have won the friendly match against African side Ghana on Tuesday night, but a late Asamoah Gyan equaliser ensured the game finished 1-1. Liverpool’s £35million striker Andy Carroll had given the home side the lead at Wembley on 43 minutes, but Gyan had the last laugh, scoring in injury time.

England coach Fabio Capello changed his side from the one that beat Wales 2-0 at the weekend, and had sent Wayne Rooney, John Terry, Ashley Cole, Frank Lampard and Michael Dawson back to their clubs. The omission of Terry gave the captaincy on the night to Manchester City midfielder Gareth Barry, and there were debuts for Danny Welbeck and Matt Jarvis, who featured from the subsitute bench.

In a lively encounter both sides had chances to break the deadlock in the first half, with England’s best chance falling to Ashley Young, who rattled the crossbar from three yards. Ghana had over 20,000 fans at Wembley, and Dominic Adiyah saw two attempts at goal saved by England keeper Joe Hart.

However the home side took the lead just before half time, with good build up play by Young and Aston Villa teammate Stewart Downing resulting in th chance for Carroll, who drilled the ball into the bottom corner for his first international goal, and the game went into the break 1-0 to England.

There were chances at both ends in the second half, and Young almost doubled England’s lead with a curling shot, only to be denied by a fine save from visiting goalkeeper Richard Kingston. Sunderland striker Gyan was proving to be a handful for the England defence, and broke through the offside trap to create a chance at goal, but he could only fire into the side netting. However the sprightly forward made no mistake in injury time as he outfoxed Man City defender Joleon Lescott and clipped a tidy finish past Hart to give the African team a deserved draw.

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