LONDON: An 82nd-minute header by Daniel Sturridge was the only moment of quality in a dire performance as a pedestrian England team squeezed a 1-0 win over Denmark at Wembley on Wednesday.
Sturridge, unmarked at the far post, nodded substitute Adam Lallana’s cross beyond the reach of Kasper Schmeichel who had a superb match in goal for Denmark.
England was generally uninspiring against opposition who has failed to reach the World Cup in Brazil in June.
There were, however, promising displays from young Liverpool winger Raheem Sterling and teenage Southampton left back Luke Shaw.
Apart from chances for Wayne Rooney, Sterling and Sturridge in the first half, and one excellent effort from the goal-scorer before his late strike, uninspired England were content to meander around Wembley in slow-paced fashion.
Denmark had one chance on the break in the first half when Jakob Poulsen’s shot was cleared by Gary Cahill but the visitors also lacked any real ambition going forward.
Rooney, playing as the target man in attack with red-hot Liverpool marksman Sturridge out wide, had a poor game and was off target on the rare occasions he carved out a scoring opportunity.
England have been drawn in World Cup Group D with Uruguay, Costa Rica and Italy.