Sturridge strikes late for England
© AFP

Daniel Sturridge continued his fine spell in front of goal by striking late to give England a 1-0 win over Denmark as Roy Hodgson's side continue their FIFA World Cup™ preparations.

It was England's penultimate Wembley warm-up before heading abroad as they build towards Brazil 2014 and were it not for the impressive Kasper Schmeichel in the visiting goal it could well have been a more comfortable evening.

Before the game the legendary pair of former England striker Tom Finney and UEFA EURO 1992 winning coach Richard Moller Nielsen were remembered by fans and players, but the game rarely lived up to that of the greats it was honouring.

England began brightly with a neat turn inside the area from Raheem Sterling, but his scuffed shot was easily gathered by Schmeichel as the hosts had the better of the early exchanges. Michael Krohn-Dehli had the Dane's fist sight of goal shortly after, volleying high over the bar from inside the England area, before the visitors almost gifted England a pair of openings.

Steven Gerrard robbed a dallying Casper Sloth on the ball only to be up-ended by the defender, before Wayne Rooney caused visiting pulses to race after beating Schmeichel to the ball only to scuff his effort across goal.

Liverpool's in-form striker Sturridge crafted his first sight of goal impressively. Neat feet on the right side of the box saw him develop the space to fire a vicious shot across the face of goal, with Rooney arriving just too late to meet it.

Krohn-Dehli continued to look like Denmark's most creative force, and the visitors should have gone ahead after the Celta Vigo man released Jakob Poulsen through the middle of the England defence, but Chris Smalling recovered well to deny him with the goal at his mercy.

Superb Schmeichel
At the other end there could have been two goals in the final five minutes of the opening period. Firstly, Raheem Sterling slid in to strike the post from an Ashley Cole cross under pressure from Peter Ankersen. Schmeichel was ultimately the only reason it was level at the break, saving superbly with his feet from Sturridge following a Gary Cahill knockdown.

A slip from Glen Johnson almost gifted a chance for Nicklas Bendtner, who shot straight at Joe Hart, while a mis-timed slide from Agger handed England a chance from 20-yard free-kick, but Rooney's last action of the game saw him hit the wall.

Hart was called into action again with 25 minutes to go as a scramble in the England half saw the ball spill to substitute Morten Rasmussen, but the Manchester City stopper charged out to close the angles and snuff out the chance.

At the other end Schmeichel added another save to his name, diving low to his left to deny Daniel Welbeck, who held Andreas Bjelland at bay before unleashing his driven effort. Schmeichel came out on top again as the two squared up moments later, saving with his feet for the second time in the night as he scrambled stop the Manchester United forward.

Sturridge was the next to be thwarted, as his rasping left-footed shot was beaten over the bar, with the Leicester City goalkeeper intent on keeping his sheet clean for the night. However it was not to be for the visiting keeper as the same man struck with just under ten minutes to play.

A short-corner routine allowed Adam Lallana space to run at the Danish defence. Neat skill allowed him time pick out the Liverpool forward at the back post, who duly nodded back across goal and beyond the unfortunate Schmeichel.