England winger Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain will be fit to play at the World Cup after damaging his medial knee ligament against Ecuador in a warmup game, according to manager Roy Hodgson.
“I think he will make the tournament without a shadow of a doubt. That’s good news,” Hodgson said on Saturday after his side were held to a 0-0 draw by 10-man Honduras.
A disconsolate Oxlade-Chamberlain had hobbled off during the 2-2 draw with Ecuador on Wednesday at the Sun Life stadium.
England were relieved to get through their latest test ahead of the finals in Brazil without any more injuries but captain Steven Gerrard was not happy with the Honduras tackling.
Striker Daniel Sturridge was lucky to escape without injury when Emilio Izaguirre booted the ball against his midriff having just brought him down with a reckless challenge.
“I don’t understand the referee when the ball is being kicked into a player’s chest,” said Gerrard. “That should have been a straight red card and with 10 men it could have been different.”
Fellow World Cup qualifiers Honduras were eventually reduced to 10 men in the 65th minute when right back Brayan Beckeles was shown a second yellow card for catching England’s Leighton Baines in the head with his arm as they jumped for the ball.
“We’re quite frustrated in the dressing room. We thought the referee was poor, they were doing some stupid fouls,” added Gerrard, who was frustrated that England had failed to score.
“Maybe we could have moved the ball a bit quicker, but there were some horrific challenges. I certainly got caught by one.”
Gerrard said he was withdrawn at halftime as a precaution with Hodgson not wanting to risk his skipper’s fitness.
“I had a tight groin in midweek so it was always the plan for me to play just 45 minutes,” he said.
Best of Express