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World XI defeat England in the Soccer Aid for UNICEF 2021 charity match

Soccer Aid for UNICEF 2021 – Etihad Stadium
(Image credit: Martin Rickett)

The Rest of the World XI beat England 3-0 in the Soccer Aid for UNICEF 2021 charity match at Manchester City’s Etihad Stadium.

England were managed by former national team boss Sven-Goran Eriksson and captained by Wayne Rooney, with Harry Redknapp helping take charge of the World XI.

Both teams – which included a mix of celebrities and other famous names such as Olympic champion sprinter Usain Bolt – took the knee before kick-off, applauded by the Etihad Stadium crowd.

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In the 10th minute, World XI captain Bolt was pulled back by former Manchester United defender Gary Neville on the edge of the box, conceding a free-kick which Dutchman Clarence Seedorf rattled against the crossbar.

England threatened with long-range efforts from freestyler Harriet Pavlou before reality television star Mark Wright, who had a spell with Crawley last season, fired over.

Bolt shot into the side netting after being played in one-on-one against England goalkeeper David James, while at the other end singer-songwriter James Bay was also off target after being picked out by Shaun Wright-Phillips.

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The second half saw celebrities go in goal, with presenter Ore Oduba sent on for the World XI while Joel Dommett, host of The Masked Singer TV show, stood in for England, with Paddy McGuinness out injured and Roman Kemp unavailable after a positive Covid test

Presenter Stephen Mulhern was then introduced as England’s ‘Masked Winger’, but – still in his bulky costume – was soon shown a yellow card for clattering into Darren Fletcher.

Dutchman Nigel de Jong saw his cross drop through the box and onto the far post before World XI took the lead in the 51st minute as Love Island’s Kem Cetinay sent a slow effort goalwards from 20 yards – which rolled past Dommett’s miss kick and on into the net.

World XI’s Lee Mack scores in Soccer Aid for UNICEF 2021

Comedian Lee Mack scored a late third goal for the World XI (Martin Rickett/PA)

Mulhern was physically carried off as Sir Mo Farah came on, with 2020 Olympic champion Max Whitlock also another substitute. Farah, though, appeared to soon pull a muscle and limped off.

Oduba saved from Rooney and fellow former England international Joe Cole before Cetinay added a second goal with a low finish into the corner after being played onside by Bay with 15 minutes left.

Jamie Carragher sent Rooney clear late on, but England’s all-time record scorer blazed over.

Comedian Lee Mack missed two good chances before eventually tapping home a third for the World XI in the final minute.

Following the match, it was announced the event had raised a record £13,014,769, the most in the 10-year history of Soccer Aid.