Wednesday, 14 August 2013

International Friendly: England vs Scotland - LIVE Commentary

Fiercest rivals: England go head-to-head with Scotland at Wembley today in an International Friendly.

Hello again everyone and welcome to my latest blog post, where I have a LIVE Commentary of an International Friendly between England and Scotland, two fierce local national rivals.

Officially it's only a friendly but there will be a lot of national pride at stake tonight, as England and Scotland go head-to-head for the first time in 14 years. 

Team Line-Ups: 

England: Hart, Walker, Baines, Gerrard, Cahill, Jagielka, Walcott, Wilshere, Welbeck, Rooney, Cleverley.

Manager Roy Hodgson has said before the game that "Rooney is physically fit to play tonight, but that does not automatically mean he is match fit so we will be careful with him."

Scotland: McGregor, Hutton, Hanley, Martin, Whittaker, Snodgrass, Brown, Morrison, Forrest, Maloney, Miller.

Some EPL players on display today for Scotland, Robert Snodgrass and James Morrison from Norwich and West Brom respectively. 

Look out for the pace and silky dribbling for Wigan winger Shaun Maloney as well, he has an attacking mind and could run rings around the England defenders tonight.  

19:55: Sad to hear that both sides are booing each other's national anthems but that is what is to be expected when you have two fierce rivals.

20:00: The match has kicked off at Wembley, hostile reception for the hosts. 

20:05: CLOSE! A great cross by Everton left-back Leighton Baines fed Manchester United striker Wayne Rooney inside the box to strike home, but his connection with the ball was not hit properly and the ball ended up trickling past the post. Still 0-0, interesting so far.

10: GOAL! Scotland have broken the deadlock at Wembley!! England fail to clear the ball out after a corner and give West Brom midfielder James Morrison enough time and space to have a powerful swerving shot towards goal - and the ball bounced off Manchester City goalkeeper Joe Hart into the net. 

Deadlock: West Brom midfielder James Morrison broke the deadlock with a powerful shot from outside the box.

Shock: Scotland celebrated wildly as Morrison opened the scoring at Wembley in the 10th minute.

Unlucky to concede for Hart, he saw the ball too late and he got a hand to it but could not stop it from going in his net, qestions asked of the England defenders, they did not mark their men properly enough and paid the ultimate price. 1-0 down at home against their fiercest rivals. Not good.  

12: Scotland comfortable in possession at the back now, England are stunned after conceding that goal.

14: England do not look dangerous on the counter, too slow to move forward and by the time they have momentum on their side Scotland win possession back with tough tackling and good man-marking.

16: Walcott and Rooney are only England players who are trying to equalise, a nice 1-2 pass and move but Walcott was overwhelmed by the Scotland players around him. 

19: Now England are starting to wake up and pass the ball around properly, but have not yet tested the goalkeeper, Walcott had a strike but it was well over the bar.

26: Great quick passing by Cleverley and Walcott, one touch football, Walcott crosses the ball low and hard into the box for Cleverley to tap into the net past the goalkeeper, but a Scotland defender read the cross well and blocked it well to deny the United midfielder from equalising. 

27: Blackburn defender Grant Hanley is nursing some discomfort, and is clutching his head. He needs some physio treatment as he has a cut on his head which drew blood.  

28: GOAL! Arsenal striker Theo Walcott used his blistering pace on the counter attack to run down the wing and strike the ball past the goalkeeper into the far corner of the net. 
1-1 and England have equalised, with Walcott scoring his 5th England goal. 

Pacy run: Walcott capped off an amazing solo run after a great ball by Tom Cleverley to equalise for England.

Wake up: Theo Walcott celebrates his 5th goal for the England senior team to make it 1-1.

30: CLOSE! Cleverley almost made it 2-1 to England after Walcott got into space and fed him a cross from outside the box, but his half-volley effort was not hit properly and it was a comfortable catch for McGregor. 

32: CLOSE! Great play again by England, nice footwork by Danny Welbeck to get past two defenders using skill before laying the ball off for club team-mmate Wayne Rooney to strike towards goal, but his effort was just past the post. Good play by England, who have finally woken up. 

40: Scotland corner whipped into the box... cleared away to safety.

45: The fourth official has put up his electronic board to signal the am.ount of stoppage time to play - just the 1 minute.

45+1: Half-time at Wembley, 1-1 in an interesting match-up so far. Scotland have made a real game of this, the supporters especially have made it a hostile reception but this match is not being classed as a friendly by any means.

England need to take more shots and create chances if they are to win this game tonight, but need to be stable at the back and press when they do not have possession of the ball or else they will get punished with another goal.  

21:01: The second half has begun at Wmbley, with England making only the one substitution. Frank Lampard on for Jack Wilshere, who is returning from an ankle operation during the summer.

49: GOAL! Scotland have gone back in-front again! Stunning strike by striker Kenny Miller low into the corner of the net, unstoppable finish for Joe Hart to prevent and it is 2-1 just after half-time. 

Unstoppable effort: Striker Kevin Miller scored a stunning strike to give Scotland their lead back.

Can't believe it: Miller celebrates his goal against England to make it 2-1 straight after the half-time break.

52: GOAL! England have equalised again! A swinging free-kick delivery by Liverpool midfielder and captain Steven Gerrard was whipped into the box well and Welbeck connected with the cross to finish and make it 2-2.  

Steven Gerrard's free-kick delivery was met well by Danny Welbeck inside the box to head home and make it 2-2.

Back and forth: Welbeck celebrates his goal to equalise for England soon after Miller scored.
53: Back and forth football so far, intense but a great game nonetheless! 

FACT: Danny Welbeck scored more goals for England than for Manchester United last season.

55: Scotland and West Brom midfielder James Morrison gets taken down in the centre of the pitch with a late tackle by England full-back Kyle Walker. Yellow card brandished for the Spurs player, and believe it or not it is the first yellow card of the entire game. 

56: A bit of rumble and tumble, heated argument between Theo Walcott and the Scotland defenders. No need for Blackburn defender Grant Hanley to push him in an off the ball incident though, he is half his size. 

58: Frank Lampard had a powerful shot towards goal from just outside the box, but it was parried away by McGregor. The ball fell into the path of left-back Leighton Baines to try and take a shot, but he was off balance and his strike fell into McGregor's comfortable hands.

60: England SUB:
Steven Gerrard OFF
Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain ON

Gerrard gives the captain's armband to Lampard as he is replaced by young Arsenal midfielder Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain. Chamberlain turns 20 tomorrow. 

67: Scotland SUB:
James Forrest OFF
Robert Snodgrass OFF
Craig Conway ON
Charlie Mulgrew ON

England SUB:
Tom Cleverley OFF
Wayne Rooney OFF
James Milner ON
Rickie Lambert ON

70: GOAL! England have gone ahead for the first time in the match thanks to super sub and England debutant Rickie Lambert, who jumped the highest from a corner kick to head the ball into the top corner of the net on a dream debut.  

Bullet: Southampton striker Rickie Lambert towers above the Scotland defence to score on his England debut.

Dream match: Lambert celebrates scoring his goal on his England debut to win the game for The Three Lions.

73: Both teams making substitutions; as two goalscorers come off the pitch. Zaha on for Walcott and Griffths on for Miller.

75: Too many substitutions in this game now, play keeps stopping. 

90: Lampard was denied due to a good save by McGregor earlier, and now we are officially into stoppage time at Wembley. 3 minutes to be played.

90+2: Unlucky! Southampton striker Rickie Lambert missed two great opportunities to finish the game off, hit the posts from close range after a Zaha cross before his near post shot was parried away by the goalkeeper. Scotland try to go on the counter attack to look and counter attack but England are staying strong at the back.

90+3: The referee has blown his whistle to end the match at Wembley, with England just edging out a fierce win against their local national rivals Scotland in a great, entertaining match. 

I will be back for my blog posts tomorrow, have a nice night everyone! 

Before I go, here is a round-up of the international friendlies that were played elsewhere tonight: 

Japan 2 Uruguay 4 - Diego Forlan scored a brace as Liverpool wantaway striker Luis Suarez also got on the scoresheet for Uruguay as they beat Japan 4-2.
Midfield duo Keisuke Honda and Shinji Kagawa both scored for Japan, but it was not enough.

Sweden 4 Norway 2 - PSG striker Zlatan Ibrahimovic scored a hat-trick for Sweden as they cruised to a comfortable 4-2 win against Norway.

Belgium 0 France 0 - A goal-less draw between two attacking sides, surprise? 

Bosnia 3 USA 4 - Manchester City striker Edin Dzeko scored a brace but it was not enough as new Sunderland striker Jozy Altidore scored a hat-trick for USA to win.

Germany 3 Paraguay 3 - Germany scraped a 3-3 draw against Paraguay thanks to goals by Bundesliga midfield trio Muller, Gundogan and Lars Bender.

Italy 1 Argentina 2 - New Napoli signing Gonzalo Higuain scored for Argentina along with Valencia midfielder Ever Banega to give Argentina a 2-1 win over the Euro 2012 runners-up. 
Young Napoli startlet Lorenzo Isigne scored a late consolation for Italy but it was too late.

Poland 3 Denmark 2 - Surprise, surprise, Borussia Dortmund striker Robert Lewandowski did not score for Poland, and they still won tonight! 

Young playmaker Christian Eriksen scored for The Dens, but it was not enough.

Switzerland 1 Brazil 0 - Shock 1-0 victory for The Swiss, as they beat Confederations Cup winners Brazil tonight. Barcelona right-back Daniel Alves with the only goal of the game - an own goal just after half-time.

Portugal 1 Netherlands 1 - A late finish by Real Madrid winger Cristiano Ronaldo in the 87th minute saved Portugal from a defeat against Holland thanks to new Roma midfielder Kevin Strootman.