Friday 23 February 2018

Impressive Carroll comes of age but Ghana have the last laugh

England 1
Ghana 1

Henry Winter

Fabio Capello may have 100 words for his players but Asamoah Gyan had the final word last night. Just when England looked to have secured a good friendly victory through Andy Carroll, Gyan equalised in the dying moments.

Gyan missed Ghana's game against Congo Brazzaville on Sunday, and his hunger to impose his talent on England was relentless from start to finish. His team-mates shrugged off the jet-lag to keep going, earning a famous draw at Wembley, a result rapturously received by their 20,000 support in the 80,102 crowd.

Until Gyan struck, this had been an occasion of positives for England. The 4-3-3- system again worked. Joe Hart again reminded Capello why he should have started at the World Cup, barring one mistake.

Gareth Barry anchored diligently. Stewart Downing and Ashley Young roamed intelligently. Carroll took his goal just before the break expertly.

But it was Welbeck's club-mate, Gyan, who really excelled, exposing Joleon Lescott's weakness. The Manchester City defender was comprehensively eluded by Gyan, who weaved through to bend his shot past Hart.

Wembley had been far from full but there was plenty to stir up an atmosphere, particularly when Ghana threatened Joe Hart's goal on three occasions in the first half and especially when Carroll struck moments before the break.

It was a terrific goal, imaginatively conceived and expertly put away. Downing controlled the ball well, adroitly setting up Carroll, whose left foot came swinging down and into the ball, sending it flying low past Kingson. That was why Capello so believes in him, why Kenny Dalglish and Damien Commolli invested £35million in him.

A half-time lead slightly flattered England but after the break Ghana refused to go quietly and Lescott rarely looked comfortable and it was little surprise when the City defender was squared up by Gyan who prodded past Hart for a deserved equaliser. (© Daily Telegraph, London)

Irish Independent

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