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Tuesday, February 10, 1998 Published at 23:05 GMT

Sport: Football

Chile too hot for England B
image: [ Manuel Neira celebrates the first of his two goals against England B ]
Manuel Neira celebrates the first of his two goals against England B

England B's proud home record was destroyed by Chile during 12 minutes in the second half of their friendly match at The Hawthorns.

Ian Brown reports from The Hawthorns (53")
Manuel Neira's clinical finishing showed England's strike force how to convert chances.

For most of the match England dominated but squandered their chances.

Neira had three opportunities and Chile won 2-1.

His pace and perfectly timed run beat the England offside trap putting him one-on-one with Kevin Pressman for the first.

As the Sheffield Wednesday goalkeeper narrowed the angle, Neira calmly slotted the ball past him along the ground and into the net.

England in driving seat

Until the 70th minute goal England were firmly in control with much of the possession but lacking a killer touch in front of goal.

After the goal Chile grew in confidence but when Neira received the ball in the penalty area on 82 minutes there seemed no danger with three defenders around him.

Somehow he found space before firing a shot that Pressman was only able to palm into the net.

Neira came close to his hat-trick when he was again one-on-one with Pressman but as he went past the goalkeeper he was running away from the goal and could not guide the ball back towards the goal.

Merson lynchpin

For England, Middlesbrough's Paul Merson shone with a range of passing that could force him into Glenn Hoddle's World Cup plans.

With a bit of luck his distribution could have given Leicester City striker Emile Heskey a first-half hat-trick.

Heskey did eventually get onto the score sheet but only after 92 minutes when he slotted home Darren Huckerby's low cross.

Chile goalkeeper Carlos Tejas saved three good Heskey opportunities in the first half as well as chances by Huckerby.


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