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Rediff.com  » Sports » First Look: Brian Lara catches the football fever

First Look: Brian Lara catches the football fever

June 08, 2010 15:38 IST

Brian LaraBrian Lara was back on the field.

But, this time round, not with a bat or ball in hand.

In fact, he was on a football field, testing his footballing skills, during a match between the Rest of the World and an England Eleven at Manchester United's Old Trafford stadium.

The teams were a mix of professional footballers and celebrities.

The batting legend policed the midfield along with international stars like Zinedine Zidane, Luis Figo, Ryan Giggs, Henrik Larsson and Sammi Hyppia in a holding role in the centre of the park.

The England team comprised greats like Alan Shearer, Teddy Sherringham and Nicky Butt.

The match was a charity event, organized by UNICEF, for those displaced by the Haiti earthquake.

Lara was impressive as he slipped a delightful through ball that split the tiring England backline late in the contest, but retired Swedish international Larsson did not do justice to the quality ball, sending the game into the dreaded shoot-out.

The West Indies great scored from the 'spot' in the shoot-out.

Spurs boss Harry Redknapp gave England the lead on the stroke of half-time, finishing after a one-two with Shearer. Sheringham made it 2-0 for the Three Lions in the 61st minute with a header.

The World XI fought back and pulled a goal back through Welsh boxing legend Joe Calzaghe before Hyypia headed home a Figo corner late to take the match to penalties.

In the shoot-out England failed to hold their nerve, as UNICEF ambassador Robbie Williams, who kicked off Soccer Aid in 2006 -- missed from the spot. American film star Woody Harrelson then scored to give the Rest of the World a 7-6 win on penalties.