Hodgson: That was a perfect night

England manager Roy Hodgson said his side's win against Peru was the perfect end to a perfect two weeks

England manager Roy Hodgson said his side's win against Peru was the perfect end to a perfect two weeks

First published in National Sport News © by

Roy Hodgson hailed England's 3-0 win over Peru as the perfect World Cup send-off.

Daniel Sturridge hit a stunning opener before Gary Cahill and Phil Jagielka scored in the second half in England's final game on home soil before the World Cup.

Some of England's play in the first half at a near-full Wembley was laboured. Wayne Rooney was lacking match sharpness and had it not been for a good performance from Joe Hart, Peru would have got the goal they probably deserved.

Still, Hodgson was happy to sign off with a win ahead of next week's training camp in Miami, where England will play Ecuador and Honduras.

"It is the perfect end to a perfect two weeks," the England manager said.

"It was a wonderful send-off to the World Cup by a quite incredible crowd.

"It didn't look as if it would be too comfortable in the first half, but as soon as Daniel scored that wonderful goal the game wasn't in doubt.

"To do it in front of 85,000 people was a great send-off, the atmosphere was a vote of confidence.

"When you play against teams with 10 men behind the ball you have to be patient but I had no doubt we would win."

The build-up to Hodgson's first tournament as England boss two years ago was marred by injury.

Gareth Barry, Frank Lampard, John Ruddy and Gary Cahill all had to withdraw through injury just before Euro 2012 began.

The England manager was delighted, therefore, that his squad came through Friday's game against Peru without any major injuries.

"The most important thing for us was to come through it unscathed, injury-wise," he said.

The only man to suffer a slight problem was Leighton Baines, who went off with a minor calf injury.

"(Taking him off) was caution on our part," said Hodgson, who replaced Baines with debutant John Stones.

"He could have continued but the game was over."

Hodgson confirmed that Phil Jones, Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain and Luke Shaw would all travel to Miami with the squad on Sunday despite not appearing among the substitutes.

"They'll play on Tuesday (against Ecuador)," Hodgson said.

"They could have both played tonight, but I determined they'd start the game on Tuesday and we had a lot of subs on the bench. We thought we'd give them another day's training."

Rooney put in a typically industrious performance - at one point he dashed to the right-back position to put in a crunching tackle.

But the Manchester United striker offered little at the other end of the pitch.

The 28-year-old failed to test the Peru goalkeeper and some of his passing was not up to his high standards.

But Hodgson had no complaints about the striker, who missed Manchester United's final three games of the season with a groin injury.

"I was happy with Wayne Rooney's performance," said the England boss, who brought Rooney off in the 66th minute.

"Rooney and (Steven) Gerrard are important members of our squad, and 3-0 seemed an opportunity to give younger ones a go.

"We think (Rooney's) fitness is progressing.

"I don't have any fears in that respect. His attitude and commitment are first class, even in a game of this nature. He has two more weeks to keep that going.

"I'm very pleased with the options I've got in my strike force."

Pacy Peru debutant Jean Reza pierced the England defence on a number of occasions, but Hart kept him at bay.

Peru manager Pablo Bengoechea was happy with his team's performance.

The Uruguayan's countrymen will take on England in their second group match on June 19 and he cannot pick a winner at the moment.

He said: "I'd call it 50-50. They're two strong national teams, and it's a tough, difficult group full of strong sides.

"The key to it all will be the first set of matches. Get three points in the first game and it'll set you up nicely for the group stage.

"This was a warm-up game. I guess the England manager is reasonably satisfied with their performance, but the really tough stuff is still to come."

Comments (1)

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10:24am Sat 31 May 14

sburman says...

For me that was a boring match, typical of modern football. Loads of passes that go, nowhere. If I wanted to watch a game of chess I would go to a chess tournament.

There was one fine individual goal and two from corners. It would seem that the tactics of today’s football team is to pass the ball around the opposition’s penalty area until you win a free kick or corner then it is down to pre-practiced moves.
For me that was a boring match, typical of modern football. Loads of passes that go, nowhere. If I wanted to watch a game of chess I would go to a chess tournament. There was one fine individual goal and two from corners. It would seem that the tactics of today’s football team is to pass the ball around the opposition’s penalty area until you win a free kick or corner then it is down to pre-practiced moves. sburman
  • Score: 1
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