World Cup: England defeat Peru 3-0 in final Wembley warm-up ahead of Brazil
By Rob Parrish - Follow me on Twitter @RobParrish75. Last Updated: 31/05/14 9:38am
England eased to a 3-0 victory over Peru at Wembley in their final warm-up match on home soil before the World Cup in Brazil this summer.
Daniel Sturridge's superb first-half strike opened the scoring with central defensive duo Gary Cahill and Phil Jagielka converting second-half corners from left-back Leighton Baines in quick succession midway through the second period.
Peru may have been limited opposition, but they still caused concerns for England at the back, with Joe Hart called upon to make a couple of smart saves and Jagielka also producing one excellent last-ditch challenge after an error from right-back Glen Johnson.
Roy Hodgson started the match with what could well be his XI for the opening World Cup Group D match against Italy in Manaus on June 14, with captain Steven Gerrard at the base of the midfield which also included Liverpool team-mate Jordan Henderson.
Adam Lallana and Danny Welbeck provided an additional attacking threat alongside Wayne Rooney, with Sturridge the focal point for Hodgson's line-up, while the defensive unit was the anticipated five of Hart, Johnson, Jagielka, Cahill and Baines.
Peru threatened twice in the early exchanges as Luis Ramirez threaded a fine pass through the England defence and Hart raced off his line to gather ahead of Jean Deza, before the England keeper had to make a scrambling save as Deza's shot deflected off Jagielka.
Sturridge should have broken the deadlock in the 20th minute when Lallana's run was halted by the Peru defence, but the ball fell kindly to the Liverpool man who could only fire across the face of goal and inches wide when he really should have worked Raul Fernandez.
Rinaldo Cruzado went into the book for a heavy and late challenge on Gerrard in front of the benches which would have had Hodgson's heart in his mouth, before the England skipper was cautioned by referee Viktor Kassai for his challenge on Deza in centre circle.
A previously pedestrian contest was then brought to life in the 32nd minute by Sturridge's stunning finish as he collected a short throw from Johnson, held off two challenges on the edge of the box and then curled a sublime left-footed strike into the top corner.
Rooney got ahead of Josepmir Ballon with a run to near post to head Gerrard's corner over soon after, before the half ended with another good Hart stop, getting down well to deny Ramirez after Andre Carillo's pass sprang the England offside trap.
Deza had Hart scrambling back towards his line with an ambitious long-range effort which landed on the roof of the net in the 54th minute, before an error from Johnson allowed Carillo to play in the striker, but Jagielka slid in with a superbly-timed challenge.
Hodgson withdrew Gerrard for Jack Wilshere in the 64th minute and England were two goals to the good moments later as Cahill planted a firm header beyond Fernandez after Baines' corner from the right eluded the Peru defence.
Rooney was taken off for Liverpool's Raheem Sterling soon after and in the 70th minute England were gifted a third as Fernandez fumbled another Baines corner and Jagielka had the simple task of poking the ball into the empty net.
Hodgson later threw on James Milner, Chris Smalling, John Stones and Ross Barkley to give more of his party a taste of the action with the contest already won, but the England boss will be fully aware of the significantly greater challenges which await in Brazil.
The squad will now jet off to Miami for further friendlies against Ecuador and Honduras before the serious business begins with their Group D campaign against Italy, Uruguay and Costa Rica at the global showpiece.
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