England 1-0 Romania

England recorded their second 1-0 win in the space of five days in their final game before Euro 2020. 

Ten changes were made from the match against Austria on Wednesday, with several fringe players given an opportunity. The starting 11 included 3 players – Ben White, Ben Godfrey and James Ward-Prowse – who did not make the final 26-man squad.

However, Ben White has now been called up to replace the injured Trent Alexander-Arnold in the squad. 

Marcus Rashford was named captain of a relatively inexperienced starting eleven due to Harry Kane being given the night off. 

England offered the most attacking threat overall, but laboured a little in the first half although they did hit the crossbar twice, through Dominic Calvert-Lewin and Jadon Sancho. 

Jordan Henderson came on at half-time as he aims to build his fitness up ahead of England’s first group game against Croatia next Sunday. It was Henderson’s first appearance since 20th February. 

After having claims for a penalty in the first half waved away, the hosts were given a chance to take the lead from the spot, when Jack Grealish was brought down in the box midway through the second half. This was just one of many fouls Grealish won throughout a game in which Romania struggled to contain him.

Rashford stepped up and calmly slotted into the bottom corner. 

Rashford celebrates his goal – https://twitter.com/iF2is/status/1401593243729633289

With 12 minutes to go, England were awarded a second penalty after Calvert-Lewin was fouled by Vlad Chiriches. Henderson took the responsibility but saw his effort was saved by Florin Nita in the Romania goal. England looked the most likely to score a second but couldn’t convert any of their chances. 

Sam Johnstone won his first England cap and looked very assured, the highlight of which was an impressive reflex save from Andre Ivan.

Jack Grealish had another good game and was named man of the match. Grealish is now firmly in everyone’s thoughts ahead of England’s first group game next Sunday. 

Another positive was England’s deliveries from set pieces from both James Ward-Prowse and Kieran Trippier. 

All focus now turns to Croatia, Gareth Southgate now has a full week to reflect and prepare before he names his much debated starting eleven.

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