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Rediff News  All News  » Sports » England escape to draw against Czech

England escape to draw against Czech

August 21, 2008 09:34 IST

England were lucky to escape with a 2-2 draw against Czech Republic thanks to a stoppage-time equaliser from Joe Cole in a friendly at Wembley on Wednesday.

The Czechs were one minute away from a well-deserved win in new coach Petr Rada's first match in charge when Cole scrambled the ball home from close range. 

The evening proved eventful on and off the field with news emerging during the game that Brian Barwick, the chief executive of the English Football Association, would be leaving his job at the end of the year.

The Czechs dominated the game for long periods on a wet night and deservedly took the lead after 22 minutes when Milan Baros collected a pass from Radek Sirl in the centre of the penalty area.

Baros turned England captain John Terry before powering a shot that took a deflection off Ashley Cole and flew past the outstretched arm of goalkeeper David James for his 32nd goal on his 66th appearance.


Fabio Capello's England, like the Czechs, were playing their last warmup before the start of the World Cup qualifiers next month but created little up front until they levelled a minute before halftime.

David Beckham, winning his 103rd cap, swung in a perfect ball from the right and defender Wes Brown headed firmly home for his first England goal in his 18th international.

Three minutes into the second half the Czechs regained the lead with an excellent strike after Beckham conceded a free kick on the edge of his own penalty area, Marek Jankulovski's set piece flying over the wall and under the bar with James stranded.

The Czechs, whose first touch and technique were far superior to England's, had a good chance to make it 3-1 after an hour when substitute Vaclav Sverkos raced clear and rounded James before shooting wide of an empty net from a narrow angle.

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