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World XI defeat England in Soccer Aid match for Unicef

Soccer Aid celebrations (Zac Goodwin/PA)
Soccer Aid celebrations (Zac Goodwin/PA)

The Soccer Aid World XI team have beaten England in a penalty shoot-out during a match raising money for Unicef.

The winning penalty was taken by comedian Lee Mack at the London Stadium at the Queen Elizabeth Olympic Park in Stratford, east London, after singer Tom Grennan and comedian Russell Howard missed their shots for England.

World XI manager Arsene Wenger and co-manager actor Idris Elba celebrated the fourth consecutive win for the team at West Ham United FC’s home stadium.

Soccer Aid
World XI players celebrate with the trophy (Zac Goodwin/PA)

In the first half, social media personality Noah Beck, 21, who used to play football in the US, scored a penalty in his debut Soccer Aid game, following a foul by YouTuber Chunkz.

Minutes before half time, Beck then fouled Chunkz, giving away a penalty which was scored by TV and radio presenter Mark Wright, levelling the match.

Coming off the pitch at half-time, Chunkz, real name Amin Mohamed, told presenter Alex Scott: “I wanted to take it,” after he missed a penalty in a previous Soccer Aid match, but the decision had been made by England manager Harry Redknapp.

Less than two minutes into the second half, Little Bit Of Love singer Grennan scored a second goal for England. He was later named player of the match, following a fan vote on twitter.

However, last year’s Soccer Aid player of the match, Kem Cetinay, went on to score a second goal for team World XI in the 61st minute – making it his fourth Soccer Aid goal in total.

The game was decided on penalties, for the fifth time in Soccer Aid history.

World XI’s Beck, Martin Compston, Cetinay and Mack all scored their penalties, as did England’s Wright, but Grennan and Howard missed their shots, meaning the team lost the title for a fourth consecutive year.

The dramatic match also saw Olympic gold medallist Sir Mo Farah carry off a young pitch invader in his arms before the game continued.

Both teams featured a mix of celebrities and other famous names, including singer Aitch, Kingsman star Mark Strong and comedian Munya Chawawa.

Soccer Aid
England’s Tom Grennan scores a goal in the second half (Zac Goodwin/PA)

The annual charity match sees England take on the World XI during a live show hosted by Dermot O’Leary and Alex Scott on ITV.

Former One Direction singer Liam Payne captained England while the Soccer Aid World XI team saw Usain Bolt return as captain – a decade on from his gold medal wins at the 2012 London Olympics.

At the beginning of the match, Bolt placed the captain’s armband, sporting the colours of the Ukrainian flag, on Ukrainian teammate Andriy Shevchenko in a “touching moment”.

During the game, England’s goalkeeper David James made a spectacular save from a strike by Bolt 18 minutes into the game.

The match also featured the debut of Alex Brooker, who was the first physically disabled Soccer Aid player, and Dragons’ Den investor Steven Bartlett.

At half-time, pop superstar and Soccer Aid co-creator Robbie Williams performed his hit 1997 ballad Angels for the 60,000 fans in the stadium.

Love Island narrator and comedian Iain Stirling, who was commentating on the match, told viewers more than £1.1 million had been raised.

Speaking ahead of the match, Williams told O’Leary: “It has become a bona fide massive real deal thing.

“It gets bigger and bigger and better and better. I only thought we were doing it once, I thought this will be a laugh when the football is off in the summer and here we are, however many years later.”

Former England footballer David Beckham was at the stadium, alongside singer Peter Andre, actor Warwick Davis and newsreader Lucrezia Millarini, who were taking donations on the phone.

Since its creation in 2006, Soccer Aid has raised more than £60 million for the humanitarian organisation, which helps to provide aid to children worldwide.

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