Tuesday, 13 November, 2018

Gareth Southgate pleased with England first-half display in win over Nigeria

England Hungary 2006 World Cup GETTY England beat Hungary 3-1 at Old Trafford before the 2006 World Cup
Rita Gibson | 04 June, 2018, 13:07

The substitutes are Daniel Akpeyi, Ikechukwu Ezenwa, Kenneth Omeruo, Mikel Agu, Chidozie Awaziem, Simeon Nwankwo, Kelechi Iheanacho, Ahmed Musa, John Ogu, Tyronne Ebuehi, Ola Aina, Elderson Echiejile, Oghenekaro Etebo and Wilfred Ndidi.

It is the first of two sets of friendlies, with Gareth Southgate's English football team also scheduled to play against Costa Rica at a Leeds' football stadium in five days time.

Southgate will no doubt be pleased with the win, but concerned at a sloppy start to the second-half by his charges. The 23-year-old has had a tumultuous week, but didn't help himself as he threw his body to the floor in an attempt to win a penalty while the score was 2-1.

Iwobi's goal was Nigeria's first against England in three games while the Three Lions keep their record of not losing to an African side.

After a week of being subjected to media scrutiny for his choice of tattoo and subsequent late arrival at the team's training camp, Raheem Sterling - who was booked for diving in the second half - had a sight of glory soon after the opener, but he miscued when one-on-one.

It was that kind of evening for Southgate, with pluses and negatives in equal measure.

England started brightly with Nigeria displaying some early nerves. Former Middlesbrough manager Southgate has instilled a recognisable tactical identity in England with the use of full-backs, which is something encouraging to take to Russian Federation for this summer's World Cup.

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Raheem Sterling nearly made it 2-0 for the hosts in the 13th minute after going through inside the box but his lobbed effort over goalkeeper Francis Uzoho sailed wide.

"I think we played really well, with the ball especially".

Despite seeing Sterling spurn another couple of promising openings, England did double their lead before the interval when captain Harry Kane's low drive squirmed underneath Francis Uzoho.

"I think first and foremost he has conducted himself fantastically well this week, he has managed that situation very well".

"This bad beginning was an opportunity to change and play a bit more like England in the second half".

Odion Ighalo got free to shoot against a post and Arsenal winger Iwobi pounced on the loose ball to give Pickford no chance with a clinical finish.

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