It is the night young Marcus Rashford will cherish for the rest of his career as the 18-year-old Manchester United striker has scored in his first-ever game for England to inspire a win against Australia.
England continued down the road to Euro 2016 with a 2-1 win over Socceroos, but it was young Marcus Rashford who stole the limelight as he made history on senior England debut.
The 18-year-old has become the youngest player in England’s history to score in a first-ever game as he bagged a goal inside the first three minutes of the international friendly match against Australia at the Stadium of Light.
Marcus Rashford has bettered Tommy Lawton’s 77-year record as Manchester United starlet continues to make his case in front of Roy Hodgson and his staff in a bid to find his place in the 23-man England squad.
The Three Lion’s boss claimed last week that Marcus Rashford will have a difficult time convincing the coaching staff, but after his inspiring performance against the Socceroos it is actually Roy Hodgson who is faced with a challenge.
Rashford was expected to be dropped from the provisional squad, but his performance tonight and a calf injury to Daniel Sturridge could pave the way for the young striker. Liverpool striker Daniel Sturridge was left out of tonight’s squad after missing a series of training sessions this week and he will be sweating over his fitness as he races to be fit for the Tuesday’s squad announcement deadline.
Tonight’s match was pretty successful for Manchester United players and Red Devils new manager Jose Mourinho should be pleased with the fact that Wayne Rooney also got his name on the score sheet against Australia.
Manchester United captain was the second half substitute, but has done enough to make his presence known straight from the bench. It took him just ten minutes to double the score as he sent a 20-yard rocket into the top of the net for his 52nd international goal.
Unlike the last couple of games for United when Wayne Rooney was deployed as a deep lying midfielder, Roy Hodgson decided to fit the Red Devils’ skipper up front and it paid off as Wayne Rooney displayed a compelling performance that sure came as a delight for the excited fans.
Rooney took part in a couple of more chances in the game such was the one in the dying moments of the game when he tied up Jordan Henderson with a fine ball only for Liverpool skipper to send it blazing over the bar.
England boss can be pretty pleased with what he saw from Wayne Rooney tonight though and will face a huge dilemma regarding to Rooney’s position in the team with all of the striking options he has at disposal.
Eric Dier and static defending
Tonight’s game against Australia revealed England’s weakest points.
The Three Lions are roaring upfront with plenty of attacking potential to boast for, but the back four remains vulnerable and exposed even against the likes of Australia, who can’t be considered world’s best.
Stones and Smalling had plenty of problems in the heart of defence which proved to be too static and unresponsive to create plenty of problems for Fraser Forster who played until 87th minute when he was replaced by Heaton.
Roy Hodgson’s showed boldness when he decided to take Chris Smalling off and put on Eric Dier, who came on to play at centre-back with 20 minutes on the clock, but his decision backfired as Tottenham man scored an own-goal with a diving header just three minutes after his introduction.
England have limited options in the back and it will be fairly interesting to see how the Three Lions will fare in France.
All in all, the tonight’s match was quite a show for the anticipating fans, who are eagerly expecting their team to make a noteworthy result at the continental championship as England their second consecutive 2-1 win, and their eighth in last ten matches.
ENGLAND: Forster 6.5 (Heaton 6) – Vlyne 7, Smalling 6.5, Stones 6.5, Bertrand 7 – Henderson 6.5, Drinkwater 7, Wilshere 6 (Milner 6.5) – Sterling 7 (Townsend 6), Rashford 8 (Barkley 7), Lallana 6 (Rooney 8)
Unused subs: Alli, Hart, Kane, Rose, Walker
AUSTRALIA: Ryan 6.5 – Risdon 6 (Degenek 6.5), Wright 6, Milligan 6.5, Smith 6 – Mooy 6.5 (Goodwin 6.5), Jedinak 7, Luongo 6.5 (McKay 6.5) – Rogic 7 (Juric 6.5) – Kruse 7 (Irvine 6.5), Maclaren 6.5 (Oikonimidis 6)
Unused subs: Behich, Birighitti, Federici, Inman, Mauk, Wilkinson
REFEREE: Danny Makkelie
Other results this evening
Slovakia 3-1 Georgia
Czech Republic 6-0 Malta
Togo 1-0 Zambia
Nigeria 1-0 Mali
Morocco 2-0 Congo
Croatia 1-0 Moldova
Ireland 1-1 Netherlands
Northern Ireland 3-0 Belarus