An England team managed to win a penalty shootout to prevail in the Soccer Aid charity match on Sunday, as Usain Bolt fulfilled his dream of scoring at Old Trafford and Eric Cantona made his return.
Bolt, the eight-time Olympic gold medallist, has long spoken of his wish to play for Manchester United, and the Jamaican took advantage of his opportunity to play on his favourite team’s home pitch.
Playing for the “Rest of the World” team against an England side made up of former players and celebrities, Bolt had a goal chalked off for offside and later hit the crossbar, but was able to convert a penalty in the shootout low into the corner after the game ended 3-3.
But actor Blake Harrison, a former star of “The Inbetweeners,” was England’s unlikely hero that netted the decisive spot kick — perhaps providing an omen ahead of the World Cup that the Three Lions’ penalties hoodoo could come to an end.
The loudest ovation of the night may have been for Cantona, who was dubbed “The King” by United fans during his five seasons at Old Trafford in the 1990s. The Frenchman got a standing ovation when he replaced Yaya Toure in the 73rd minute.
The presence of Darren Bent gave England an advantage as the still-active forward scored past Edwin van der Sar. Football freestyler Jeremy Lynch showed he’s more than just tricks by also finding the net.
Robbie Keane, Juan Sebastian Veron and Clarence Seedorf scored for the World side, but Michael Owen was able to equalise for England and force the shootout, when “Supergirl” actor David Harewood saved two penalties to allow England to win 4-3.
The real winner, of course, was UNICEF, as the event raised over £5.5 million for the charity.
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