Marcus Rashford stole the headlines and reinforced the fact he could be on the plane to France for the opening game against Russia in just over a fortnights time. Roy Hodgson’s men put in a resilient performance without regularly threatening the Australia goal. But by maintaining their 100% win ratio leading up to the Euro’s, morale and confidence will be high ahead of the tournament.
Much like last Saturday’s match against European Championship qualifiers Turkey, the back four looked shaky against a counter attacking Australia side. Fraser Forster was nearly caught napping prior to Rashford’s opener, but a sliced clearance saved the Southampton goalkeepers blushes.
Rashford grabbed his first senior England goal just three minutes into his debut at the Stadium of Light. A deflected Raheem Sterling cross found the Manchester United frontman who emphatically volleyed in first time past Matt Ryan. Fans were still taking their seats as the 18-year-old opened the scoring, and Rashford would continue to contribute to a steady opening half.
He turned provider as his pinpoint pass found the feet of Adam Lallana, but Aussie number Matt Ryan stood firm to prevent England from doubling their advantage. The Valencia stopper was there to tip over once again to deny Jordan Henderson as the Socceroos were caught unaware from an England corner.
The England advantage was eventually doubled five minutes into the second half. Raheem Sterling once again grabbed the assist as he stretched the Australia defence leaving Wayne Rooney with all the tie in the world, to all but seal the victory.
Just four minutes later the Red devils captain was almost on the scoresheet once again, Marcus Rashford’s driven cross evading a clean touch as it dribbled out for a goal kick.
The three lions cushion was reduced to a single goal with a quarter of an hour to play. Eric Dier steering into his own net. The versatile Spurs man is supposedly the backup option at centre half, but may be pushed to the back of Roy Hodgson’s mind after his defensive nightmare.
England 2-1 Australia