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Shabby England hold Ireland at Wembley

England were left with more questions than answers after being held to a 1-1 friendly draw by the Republic of Ireland at Wembley Stadium on Wednesday in the neighbouring countries’ first meeting in 18 years. Frank Lampard quickly cancelled out Shane Long’s early opener for the visitors, and the lack of further goals meant the score between the sides finished 1-1 for the fourth game in succession.

England largely controlled the second half, but manager Roy Hodgson, who saw Daniel Sturridge go off injured, will hope for a more enterprising display in his side’s next assignment. England travel to Rio de Janeiro later this week, ahead of a glamour friendly with 2014 World Cup hosts Brazil on Sunday that will mark the re-opening of the iconic Maracana stadium.

‘I was very pleased with the second-half performance,’ said Hodgson, who revealed that Sturridge would miss the trip to Brazil. ‘We had sufficient dominance and goal chances to win the game, but we must give credit to the Irish goalkeeper. ‘I can’t complain about anything we did today. They scored a good goal, but it was the only time they looked like scoring.’
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