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June 07, 2010

Soccer Aid 2010: England 2-2 Rest Of The World (6-7 Pens)

Robbie teamed up with celebrities and football legends at Manchester's Old Trafford yesterday to raise money for UNICEF at Soccer Aid 2010… and they sure made it a day to remember.

The game got off to a thrilling start at a sold-out Old Trafford, with Liverpool legend Jamie Redknapp hitting the bar in the opening five minutes and a certain Mr Williams giving away a penalty for chopping up Westlife's Nicky Byrne inside the 18-yard box. Luckily for Robbie, who received deafening applause from the fans with every touch of the ball, Byrne dusted himself off to take the penalty but couldn't beat David Seaman. The ex-England goalkeeper expertly stopped the shot with his legs before receiving a relieved hug from Robbie for getting him off the hook!

It was Redknapp who opened the scoring just before half time with a neat move on the edge of the box with ex-Newcastle goal machine Alan Shearer. The pair linked up with a tidy one-two, with Shearer playing the ball over Finnish centre-back Sami Hyypia and chef Gordon Ramsay's heads for Redknapp to tuck the ball home.

Following the half time interval, England struck again with Teddy Sheringham doubling their lead and celebrating with a Klinsmann dive towards the corner flag, much to the delight of the jubilant fans in the Stretford End.

Undeterred, The Rest Of The World team, who looked a little jaded before England's second goal, sprung into action and replied with a quick-fire goal of their own. Following a Luis Figo corner, ex-Liverpool star Hyypia out-leaped the English defence, which included GTMV presenter Ben Shepherd and Robbie's best mate Jonny Wilkes, to head past second-half sub Jamie Theakston in the net and pull a goal back for Kenny Dalglish's team.

Theakston pulled out all the stops to keep England ahead but with the referee's stopwatch ticking, The Rest Of The World team left it late to deliver a knockout blow to England's hopes of retaining the Soccer Aid trophy as World champion boxer Joe Calzaghe bundled the ball into the net and take the game to an exciting penalty shoot-out.

The ex-pros were ineligible to take participate in the penalties, so the pressure rested firmly on the shoulders of the celebrities! Wilkes got England off to a promising start with his strike, though a catalogue of misses from both sides, including a skied effort by Robbie, took the match to a nail-biting sudden death climax.

After looking likely winners earlier in the match, it all went horribly wrong for England as Dominic Cooper's miss meant Woody Harrelson simply had to score from the spot to secure the first ever win for The Rest Of The World XI. Sure enough, Harrelson slotted past Theakston to win it for the boys in blue and it was Welshman Michael Sheen who lifted the silverware instead of England captain Robbie. Boo!

Click here to visit Photos and check out more photos from the Soccer Aid 2010 game.

Thank You!

Thanks to all of you who donated and helped raise money during Soccer Aid 2010, UNICEF have received over £2 million worth of pledges! These funds will change the lives of thousands of children all across the world and it couldn't have been achieved without your support. If you've not yet donated it's not too late...


More Soccer Aid 2010 news:

- Soccer Aid Photos: Suit Fitting
- Soccer Aid Photos: Team Line-Up
- Soccer Aid Photos: Training
- Soccer Aid Photos: Team Meeting
- Robbie's Diary Of UNICEF Trip To Haiti