LONDON, May 30 (Reuters) - England won their last home warm-up match before leaving for the World Cup finals when they beat Peru with a comfortable 3-0 scoreline in a friendly at Wembley Stadium on Friday.
An excellent opener by Daniel Sturridge after 32 minutes lit up a lifeless first half before goals from set-pieces by central defenders Gary Cahill and Phil Jagielka after the break sealed victory in the first match between the countries for 52 years.
Peru, who failed to reach this year’s finals in Brazil after a poor campaign in the South American qualifiers, defended well and Jean Deza stood out in midfield with a solid performance, forcing England goalkeeper Joe Hart into two good saves.
He also had a 40-metre shot that swirled and dipped and just went over the bar.
England, playing the first of three warm-up games before opening their Group D campaign against Italy in Manaus on June 14, took time to find their rhythm.
Sturridge, playing as the lone central front man, failed to produce anything of note until the Liverpool striker cut in from the right just after the half-hour mark and sent a perfectly struck left-foot curler wide of goalkeeper Raul Fernandez.
England dominated possession without a great deal of pace or invention until the latter stages, although skipper Steven Gerrard, winning his 110th cap on his 34th birthday, continually found the front men from his deeper midfield role.
Wayne Rooney, playing behind Sturridge, also attempted some neat flicks and layoffs, and England finally added to their one-goal tally with later strikes from set-pieces.
Both goals came from Leighton Baines corners, with Cahill powering in a header after 65 minutes and Jagielka firing home five minutes later after keeper Fernandez dropped the ball when he clattered into his own defender Alexander Callens.
Most of the crowd entertained themselves by throwing paper aeroplanes on to the field, although the final quarter of the match was more lively than the rest of the game.
The increase in tempo came after England coach Roy Hodgson introduced some of his younger substitutes like Raheem Sterling and Ross Barkley, plus teenage defender John Stones who came on to earn his first cap.
England now fly to Miami where they continue their build-up with friendlies against Ecuador on Wednesday and Honduras next Saturday before their World Cup games against Italy, Uruguay and Costa Rica in Group D. (Reporting by Mike Collett; Editing by Ken Ferris)