Jack Grealish was delighted to finally get off the mark in an England shirt after adding the final goal in Saturday’s 5-0 win at Andorra.
A reshuffled England side were comfortable throughout as they closed on World Cup qualification, recording their sixth win in seven matches in this campaign.
The Three Lions were two up by half-time through Ben Chilwell and Bukayo Saka, the latter assisted by the outstanding Phil Foden. It was the first time two England players aged 21 or under had combined for a World Cup qualifying goal since Steven Gerrard’s assist for Michael Owen against Germany in 2001.
Tammy Abraham got in on the act after half-time, before Grealish made a significant impact from the bench.
In 17 minutes, the £100million man won a penalty, which James Ward-Prowse saw saved before tucking away the rebound, and then hit the net following Sam Johnstone’s throw from an Andorra set-piece.
The last substitute to win a penalty and score a goal in a European World Cup qualifier while playing 17 minutes or fewer had been Nicklas Bendtner in a six-minute cameo for Denmark against the Republic of Ireland in November 2017.
Grealish’s goal came in his 16th appearance for his country, and the Manchester City winger acknowledged the drought had been on his mind.
“It has been a long time coming, and it’s about time that I scored because everyone has been saying it to me,” Grealish told BBC 5 live.
“I think that is 16 games now. It was coming, and I’m just delighted that I’ve got off the mark.
“I want to be starting games, to be starting the biggest of games and keep playing for England. Luckily over the past few months and during the Euros I’ve had the chance to do that.
“In the back of my mind there has been that feeling that I’ve just wanted to score, just to get off the mark. Obviously I’ve done that tonight, I’m delighted, and it’s a night I won’t forget.”
For Abraham, meanwhile, it was his first England goal for almost two years.
The Roma striker became the first England player to score while affiliated to an Italian team since David Platt, then with Sampdoria, netted against Sweden in 1995.
“I need to keep performing for my club and I hope I’ll be in more camps going forward leading to the World Cup,” said Abraham.
“It is never straightforward against Andorra. It was hard to break them down, but you could see the quality in the team as we had to find ways to score, and we did.
“I knew the opportunity would come. Jadon told me at half-time that sometimes he would cut back on his right and try and find me in the middle of the goal, so I should be ready.
“I was ready that time and got a good toe onto the ball. I was in the right place at the right time and I took my chance.”
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