Roy Hodgson selected a strong England squad to face Honduras, yet they were held to a 0-0 draw, despite there opponents being reduced to 10 men midway through the second-half. The game was delayed for 40 minutes because of stormy weather and England failed to reignite when play was restarted.
Hodgson chose to select a squad similar to the one he is likely to play in England’s first World Cup game against Italy. The game had to be delayed within 20 minutes of kick-off because of the stormy weather and neither side created anything of note before the break. When the game was restarted, Honduras played with fire in their belly and there were several reckless challenges. England had a lot of possession, but were unable to create much going forward. There were very few attempts on goal, and neither team was able to develop any offensive momentum. Honduras looked to sit deep and hit England on the counter-attack, but they never committed enough players to their attacks. The score was 0-0 when the teams went in at half-time.
Hodgson made two changes to start the second-half, bringing off Steven Gerrard and Wayne Rooney. Neither player had provided much offensively, but I think they were taken off to make sure that there was no risk of either player being injured. The referee,Ricardo Salazar, had been very card happy in the first-half, and this continued throughout the game, culminating in the 65th minute when he sent off Honduras right-back,Brayan Beckeles. Beckeles had been booked in the first-half and was shown a second yellow when he was judged to have gone up unfairly for a header. With the side down to 10 men, Honduras looked to defend for the rest of the game and gave England very little space to work with. Daniel Sturridge had one of the best chances of the game, heading over the bar from eight yards out, but neither team could find a breakthrough. The result will definitely disappoint Hodgson considering the dominance in possession that his side had, but I do not think that he will be overly concerned because there were some definite bright spots.
One of the most encouraging parts about this game was that players were starting to show more creativity and individual spark. They were unable to capitalize on the moments but Hodgson will be happy to see the team is starting to increase in confidence. Jordan Henderson was one of the players who shown and he played some really nice passes. I think that Hodgson will see this as the team starting to get into their stride, despite not scoring. Five goals in three games is not a terrible ratio, especially when you consider that they have only conceded two goals. Glen Johnson looked a lot more comfortable defensively so that will be another encouraging sign for Hodgson.
If there is one thing that will worry Hodgson it will be the lack of drive that occurs in midfield. Players would find space but were unable to make use of it and would get closed down quickly. Raheem Sterling, who was suspended for this game, is a perfect way to fix that problem. When he gets the ball he looks to attack players, which was something this England side lacked, particularly in the first-half. Overall England should not pay too much attention to this result. They are capable of performing far better, which hopefully they will show in the World Cup.