Capello content to draw fiery friendly

THE friendly no-one wanted turned into the best of its kind since the new Wembley was opened in 2007 — and ended with gleeful Ghana racing to their fans in jubilation following Asamoah Gyan’s last-minute leveller.

Gyan equalised Andy Carroll’s first England goal, but Fabio Capello was still a content man afterwards.

“It was a fantastic game, I’m very happy,” he said. “It was not a friendly game, there were two teams on the pitch playing well, strongly, with lots of tackles. I’m really happy with the performance.

“The players played without fear, with confidence. Ghana are a really good team, the performance was fantastic.”

Ghana’s fans were 20,000 strong and made enough noise to match, even marking Danny Welbeck’s England debut with deafening boos given he has rejected the chance to play for them.

Capello kept the same formation that served him so well against Wales but the personnel were different, with stand-in skipper Gareth Barry not as successful in keeping Ghana at arm’s length as Scott Parker had done at the Millennium Stadium.

Gyan tested Joe Hart with a thunderous 40-yard drive, then got behind Phil Jagielka but failed to beat the England keeper from rather closer.

Hart turned away Dominic Adiyiah’s goal-bound header with a splendid one-handed reaction.

Yet England were far from outplayed. Despite the pre-match moans about players not here, those who were largely excelled.

Ashley Young impressed and his fiercely struck effort fizzed over the bar too in those breathless opening stages. Indeed, as the first half drew to its conclusion, the only English offensive player who had not impressed was Carroll.

That was until Young clipped an excellent pass to the edge of the area and Downing’s attempt to control prodded it straight into Carroll’s path.

The big Geordie found the bottom corner with deadly accuracy.

“It was great to get the goal,” he said. “I’m coming back fit now. Getting the goal proved I’m here and ready to score goals for England.”

England were within touching distance of victory when Gyan slalomed through their defence and equalised, with Joleon Lescott giving him far too much space. After missing the penalty that would have given Africa its first World Cup semi-finalists nine months ago, no-one can begrudge him that.

England were within touching distance of victory when Gyan slalomed through their defence and equalised.

After missing the penalty that would have given Africa its first World Cup semi-finalists nine months ago, no-one can begrudge him that.

ENGLAND: Hart, Johnson (Lescott 46), Cahill, Jagielka, Baines, Milner, Barry, Wilshere (Jarvis 70), Downing, Carroll (Defoe 59), Young (Welbeck 81).

GHANA: Kingson, Paintsil, Vorsah (Jon Mensah 46), John Mensah, L Addy, Adiyiah (Tagoe 69), Annan (D Boateng 46), Agyemang-Badu, Asamoah, (Inkoom, 84), Muntari (Agyei 59), Gyan.

Referee: C Cakir (Turkey).

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