(AP) England and Ireland tie 1-1 in peaceful match
By ROB HARRIS
AP Sports Writer
England and Ireland played to a 1-1 tie Wednesday in a scrappy but peaceful exhibition game in their first matchup since hooliganism forced the abandonment of a game 18 years ago.
Shane Long headed Ireland in front after 13 minutes, and Frank Lampard tied it 10 minutes later.
England fans rioted during the 1995 game in Dublin. On Wednesday, they heeded the warning of England manager Roy Hodgson by largely refraining from anti-Irish chanting at Wembley Stadium.
The potential for provocation was avoided during the national anthems as the music was turned up to full volume, leaving some speakers crackling.
In the second half, Ireland goalkeeper David Forde denied Theo Walcott twice and Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain once.
While England heads to Brazil for a friendly against the 2014 World Cup hosts Sunday, Ireland will prepare for a qualifier against the Faro Islands on June 7.
This was the third consecutive 1-1 draw between England and Ireland stretching back to the 1990 World Cup.
More significant was the chance to show that tensions between the countries has thawed since the previous game lasted only 28 minutes before being called off.
After all the pre-match fears, the only scattered boos were heard when Ashley Cole _ who is not universally popular among England fans _ received a commemorative cap for having reached the 100 mark for his country. On his 102nd appearance, Cole captained England for the first time.
It didn’t start well as Cole’s fellow defenders were beaten too easily for the opener as Seamus Coleman floated a cross into the penalty area. Long darted through and rose above Glen Johnson before sending the header past goalkeeper Joe Hart.
On England’s goal, Daniel Sturridge worked his way down the left flank and, as he whipped in a cross, Lampard started to move into the penalty area. As the ball came off Sean St. Leger and Glenn Whelan, Lampard exploited the confusion to stab the ball home from close range.
There was a blow for England when Sturridge was carried off injured, with Jermain Defoe taking his place. But the attack lacked spark, with Wayne Rooney, who has missed recent games for Manchester United, never coming close to score in his first match in nearly a month.