Home Football MATCH REPORT: England 2-1 Australia

MATCH REPORT: England 2-1 Australia

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Marcus Rashford was the star of the show, as he marked his senior England bow with a goal inside two minutes, during the Three Lions 2-1 win over Australia at the Stadium of Light on Friday night.

Rashford opened the scoring early on, when he neatly volleyed past Matthew Ryan from close-range, which was followed up by Wayne Rooney hammering home a second, ten minutes after the interval.

Eric Dier’s own goal halved the lead for Roy Hodgson’s side, but England hung onto claim a second friendly victory, in their warm-up schedule for the European Championships in France.

In a much changed squad to Sunday’s win over Turkey at the Etihad Stadium, Rashford’s inclusion was joined by starts for Fraser Forster, Nathanial Clyne, Ryan Bertrand and Danny Drinkwater, amongst others.

With the game just two minutes old, Rashford marked his senior England debut by opening the scoring, as he connected with Raheem Sterling’s deflected cross to volley low beyond the dive of goalkeeper Ryan.

Up the other end, despite their early setback, Australia responded well, though Rogic and Kruse both failed to test Forster.

Meanwhile, Rashford was making the most of his maiden cap for the Three Lions, when the Manchester United starlet found Adam Lallana, but Ryan was on hand to make a sprawling save at the feet of the Liverpool winger.

The visitors looked to threaten as the half wore on, with Captain Chris Smalling and his fellow defenders thwarting anything that came their way.

As the match edged towards the half-time whistle, England so nearly doubled their advantage courtesy of home-town hero Henderson, however, his curled right-footed effort was helped over the crossbar, and to safety by Ryan.

Wayne Rooney and James Milner joined the action at the home of Sunderland, as play got underway for the second-half.

And ten minutes after his arrival, Rooney was on hand to make it two, initially starting the move which led to his goal, the 30-year-old profited from Sterling’s pin-point delivery, to take a touch and drill right-footed past Ryan, after 55 minutes played.

Rashford departed proceedings after an hour, as Ross Barkey replaced him, while Nathanial Clyne nearly made it three, zipping a long-range effort just over the upright, as Roy’s boys looked for more.

Later on, Josh Risdon and Chris Ikonomidis had opportunities to half the disadvantage, though the pair both saw chances go begging.

But, after 74 minutes, the Australians dis have a goal back, through Eric Dier, who glanced through the legs of his own goalkeeper from a cross from the right.

England looked to wrap up the game, but manager Roy Hodgson has been given food for thought in deciding his full squad on Tuesday, for the Championships next month.

The Three Lions return to Wembley on June 2nd, for a final friendly fixture against Portugal.

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