Monday 23 October 2017

Round-up: Relentless Gyan lights up Wembley

Fabio Capello may reckon he needs just 100 words to communicate with his team, but Asamoah Gyan had the final word at Wembley last night. Just when England looked to have secured a good friendly win through Andy Carroll, Gyan equalised brilliantly in the dying moments to scecure a 1-1 draw.

Gyan's 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 at the death.

Elsewhere, Northern Ireland saw their Euro 2012 qualifying hopes plummet for the second time in five days as they mustered only a goalless draw against Group C rivals Slovenia.

After defeat in Serbia on Friday, a stalemate at Windsor Park leaves their prospects in dire straits, despite having lost only one of their five games.

Chris Brunt was almost the hero for his side, but the West Brom man fell agonisingly short of of converting Corry Evans' cross in the 80th minute.

Arsenal's Premier League title ambitions may have taken another injury blow as Robin van Persie was forced out of Holland's 5-3 victory over Hungary at half time last night.

The striker put the Dutch in front in the 13th minute, but it's the knee injury picked up by his striker that will be of most concern to Arsene Wenger with his team due to face Blackburn on Saturday.

Ireland's Group B rivals Russia were held to a 1-1 draw against Qatar in a friendly match with Roman Pavlyuchenko scoring his first international goal in nearly 19 months.

Irish Independent

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