Unicef the winner as (Usain) bolt out of the blue inspires Rest of the World comeback and victory on
England 2 v Rest of the World 2 (1-3)
Forget the football, it’s the money raised that counts and Soccer Aid for Unicef will be much the better for this entertaining match between two teams - England and the Rest of the World, whose ex-professional players have seen better days. For the celebrities, it was a chance to get out of their comfort zone and for the supporters a chance to see them out of their comforts zone. No one was disappointed.
In an era of equality, it was terrific to see female players such as ex-Chelsea skipper Katie Chapman grace the Stamford Bridge pitch.
That the score should end 2-2 after 90 minutes was fitting - that the Rest of the World side should win on penalties, well, it was deserved for a spirited second half performance alone.
A brace from freestyler Jeremy Lynch and a couple of goals from Usain Bolt and Kem brought the game to its predictable conclusion.
Every time John Terry touched the ball, there were cheers from the sell-out 40,000 crowd. Every time, his centre-back partner Jaime Carragher touched it, there were boos of equal measure. When Arsenal supporting Mo Farrah touched it, he was generally ignored.
Ex-Blue Glen Johnson should have out England ahead on 25 minutes but Cesar produced a wonder save to thwart the defender by trade but midfielder for this charity match.
Two minutes later and the The Three Lions took the lead, when freestyler Jeremy Lynch was on hand to smash home from close range.
A double save from Cesar kept the first half scoreline down but he could do nothing about the smarter twist and turn by Lynch who then produced a daisy-cutter from 10 yards that saw then ball zip past Cesar to double the ‘home side’s lead.
The Rest of the World halved the lead when speed merchant Usain Bolt managed to squeeze the ball home from the edge of the penalty area, past David Seaman, with a low left-footer.
Joe Cole came on for England at half-time where the Rest of the World started brightly.
Didier Drogba was denied by a goal-line clearance from Carragher as the ‘away’ side continued to dominate the half.
With eight minutes left on the clock, and inspired by an Eric Cantona pass, Kem, from something called Love Island, cut in from the right and unleashed a brilliant shot that sailed past actor David Harewood to level the scores at 2-2. And so that’s how it ended.
Then it was straight to penalties which saw Joe Wicks, Mark Wright and Lee Mack all fail from the spot to gift the away side the win.
Penalties as they happened:
1-1 saved - Joe Wicks
1-2 missed Mark Wright
1-3 saved Lee Mack
England XI: Seaman, Farah, Terry, Carragher, Wright, Johnson, Katie Chapman, Jeremy Lynch, Sam Claflin, Rachel Yankey, Danny Jones
🌎 ROTW XI: Cesar, Roman Kemp, Carvalho, Locksmith, Fran, Niall Horan, Martin Compston, Essien, Rosana, Usain Bolt, Drogba