Roy Hodgson’s England reign got off to a winning start on Saturday courtesy of a 1-0 friendly victory away to Norway in Oslo.
Manchester United forward Ashley Young scored his seventh international goal when he finished off a fine solo run in the ninth minute of the match at the Ullevaal Stadion.
Morten Gamst Pedersen came close to equalising when he struck the woodwork for the hosts directly from a corner.
Phil Jones also hit the post in the second half and although Hodgson’s side were unable to extend their lead, they succeeded in holding on for the win.
England will now prepare to face Belgium at Wembley Stadium on June 2, with their Euro 2012 opener against France just over two weeks away.
Hodgson started with the Liverpool trio of Steven Gerrard, Stewart Downing and Andy Carroll for England, while Robert Green was preferred in goal to Joe Hart.
Standby defender Phil Jagielka, not named in the Euro 2012 squad, was paired with former Everton team-mate Joleon Lescott at centre-back.
England almost took the lead within the first five minutes through a move made in Liverpool. Downing burst down the left before whipping in a cross to Carroll at the near post, but the striker could only head wide when he looked certain to score.
The former Newcastle centre-forward was making his presence felt on the pitch. On eight minutes he dropped deep to win the ball and find Young, who went on a darting run, skipped past a challenge and fired the ball left-footed into the far corner to give England the lead.
Moments later, Green had his palms warmed for the first time in the match, tipping a Markus Henriksen drive wide. The woodwork then came to the keeper’s rescue, as Pedersen’s curling corner struck the near post, much to Green’s relief.
Young had a chance to double his tally inside a quarter of an hour after Carroll nodded down to Gerrard.
The Liverpool captain guided the ball over the Norway defence and into the path of Young, but he sliced his first-time effort tamely over the bar.
The hosts eventually settled and started enjoying a greater share of possession, but struggled to create any clear-cut chances.
After Daniel Braaten had earlier headed over, John Arne-Riise cut inside from the left wing and drilled a low ball into the England area, drawing an excellent block from Jagielka.
Downing then produced another fine cross from the left, forcing Norway goalkeeper Rune Almenning Jarstein to come out of goal and tip the ball out of danger.
Young set James Milner free down the right-hand side, and the Manchester City midfielder produced a strong run forward, cutting inside and drilling a left-footed effort toward the near post, which Jarstein got behind easily.
Mostafa Abdellaoue managed to direct a shot through the legs of Phil Jones after some fine build-up play, but the ball rolled wide of Green’s goal.
Young won a free-kick on the edge of the area within the first few minutes of the second half, and Leighton Baines curled a low effort across goal which Jarstein did well to keep out.
Jones then made a driving run forward, continuing unchallenged to the edge of the box and drilling a deflected effort against the post.
Pedersen looked to draw the hosts level with a long-range effort, but the Blackburn Rovers man fired well wide.
Riise drove an effort straight at Green and soon after showed some fine skill to skip past Walcott, but saw his ambitious effort comfortably saved.
Norway were much improved, and Fulham fullback Riise continued to be the main source of the home side’s threat.
He fired another delivery across goal which England struggled to clear, and the ball fell to substitute Christian Grindheim, who could only blast over from the edge of the area.
Hodgson then gave Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain his first England cap with just over fifteen minutes remaining, bringing on the Arsenal youngster for Young.
Oxlade-Chamberlain almost made an immediate impact, linking up with club team-mate Theo Walcott, but the Norway defence managed to scramble the ball clear.
Adam Johnson, another player on the standby list, then came on for Downing in the closing stages of the match, with Liverpool defender Martin Kelly shortly following him on to the pitch, replacing Jones at right-back for his international debut.
Despite Norway’s improved showing in the second half, Hodgson’s side saw out the time remaining in relative comfort.
They may well face a sterner challenge next Saturday at home to a Belgium side boasting the likes of in-demand Lille midfielder Eden Hazard and Manchester City captain Vincent Company.