England Rallies for Fourth Straight 1-1 Soccer Draw With Ireland

England rallied for a 1-1 home draw against Ireland in the teams’ first soccer match since their 1995 game was abandoned because of crowd violence.

Shane Long’s headed goal after 13 minutes gave Ireland the lead in last night’s exhibition game at Wembley Stadium in London. Frank Lampard tied it 10 minutes later from close range after Ireland failed to clear Daniel Sturridge’s low cross.

It’s the fourth straight 1-1 tie between the nations, whose match at Lansdowne Road in Dublin 18 years ago was abandoned with Ireland leading 1-0. England last beat Ireland on March 26, 1985, and lost 1-0 to the Irish in their next meeting, at the 1988 European Championships.

England has two more exhibition games, against Brazil in Rio de Janeiro on June 2 and against Scotland at Wembley on Aug. 14, before qualifying for next year’s World Cup resumes in September. England hosts Moldova on Sept. 6 before visiting Ukraine four days later. Its last two qualifiers are at home, against Montenegro on Oct. 11 and Poland four days later.

Montenegro leads Group H with 14 points from six games. England is second with 12 points.

Ireland, Austria and Sweden are tied on eight points in their qualifying group, which is led by Germany on 16 points.

Lukas Podolski and Lars Bender both scored twice in the opening 24 minutes as Germany beat Ecuador 4-2 in the opener of their two-match tour to the U.S. in Boca Raton, Florida.

The Germans next face the U.S. national team, which is coached by former Germany striker Juergen Klinsmann, on June 2 at RFK Stadium in Washington.

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