INTERNATIONALS: COLE CAPTAINS AS LAMPARD SCORES

Posted on: Fri 31 May 2013

Ashley Cole played 53 minutes as captain before handing the armband to goalscorer Frank Lampard in England's 1-1 draw with Ireland at Wembley on Wednesday night.

The left-back was rewarded by manager Roy Hodgson for reaching the 100-cap mark back in February, and led the side out on his 102nd appearance.

Ashley-Cole - Chelsea and England

England fell behind to a Shane Long header 13 minutes in, but Lampard was soon on the spot to level matters when his perfectly timed run into the area was followed by a calm finish from close range.

Lampard was winning his 96th cap and scored his 29th goal, while Gary Cahill, who also played the full game, made his 14th appearance.

Frank Lampard scores for England

After the game, Cole, who almost converted his first England goal just before being substituted, said: 'I never expected to get 100 caps and to get the reception I did. I'd like to thank the fans for the reception. It's a very proud moment for me and one I'll never forget.

'It was a great atmosphere. We knew it would be a tough game. In my mind I wanted to be captain. I don't really like speaking to the media and the press, but it was a dream come true to be captain. I've lived a little boy's dream today.'

On loan pair Romelu Lukaku and Kevin De Bruyne featured prominently as Belgium beat USA 4-2 in Cleveland.

Lukaku was involved in the first goal, forcing a save from Tim Howard before the goalkeeper's Everton colleague Kevin Mirallas converted the rebound, while De Bruyne laid on the second for Aston Villa's Christian Benteke, and the third from a corner for Marouane Fellaini.

The winger, who spent the season at Werder Bremen, was replaced after 68 minutes.

Eden Hazard was missing through injury, while his younger brother Thorgan, who was in the squad for the first time, replaced Lukaku late in the game. Thibaut Courtois didn't feature.

Lamisha Musonda was a 73rd minute substitute for Belgium in their 2-1 defeat to Brazil in the Under-21 Toulon tournament in France. They next play on Friday against Portugal.

Milan Lalkovic, who captained Slovakia Under-21s against Israel, was on the wrong end of a 1-0 friendly defeat. He played 90 minutes on the left wing. 

On loan Matej Delac kept a clean sheet in his 45 minutes for Croatia Under-20s. They drew 0-0 against Montenegro, also in a friendly.

At Under-19 level, both England and Scotland will miss out on this summer's European Championships after Georgia were victorious against Belgium in the same qualifying group, guaranteeing their progress to the finals in Lithuania.

Chelsea's Lewis Baker converted a penalty in England's 3-0 win against the Scots in Belgium on Wednesday afternoon. John Swift accompanied Baker in midfield for England, with both completing the 90 minutes. Alex Davey played the full game on the other side.