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Saturday, 2 June 2018
A Vauxhall World Cup Finals warm-up Friendly match

England 2 Nigeria 1 [2-0]
 

The National Stadium connected by EE, Wembley, Brent, Greater London
Kick-off (BST): 5.17pm.
Attendance: 70,025.

England kicked-off. 95 minutes 45:57 & 48:57 Match Summary
England Squad
Nigeria Squad
[1-0] Gary Cahill 7 6:33
 10-yard header from a Trippier corner
[2-0] Harry Kane 39 38:44
 18-yard strike from a Sterling lay-off
 
[2-1] Alex Iwobi 47 46:38
16-yard placed strike after shot hit the post
Raheem Sterling 52 51:42 Ahmed Musa 77 76:45
Commentator: Clive Tyldesley with Glenn Hoddle
 

Match Summary

Officials from Italy

England

Type

Nigeria
Referee (salmon pink) - Marco Guida
  36 (7 June 1981), Pompeii, FIFA-listed 2014.

Assistant Referees - Riccardo Di Fiore and Alessandro Giallatini

Fourth official - Davide Massa
Video Assistant Referee - Michael Fabbri
Assistant Video Assistant Referee - Giulio Dobosz

Black armbands were worn, and a minute's applause held, for Ray Wilson and Ray Wilkins.

4 Goal Attempts 4
12 Attempts on Target 12
0 Hit Bar/Post 1
7 Corner Kicks Won 3
Offside Calls Against
9 Fouls Conceded 12
59% Possession 49%

England Team

 

Rank:

FIFA (17 May 2018) 13th
EFO ranking Group 3
ELO rating 7th
Colours: The Nike 2018 home uniform - White v-necked jerseys with red trim on collar, dark blue shorts, white socks.
Capt: Harry Kane, fifth captaincy.
Eric Dier after 73rd min (72:32)
Manager: Gareth Southgate, 47 (3 September 1970), appointed caretaker manager on 24 September 2016, appointed as permanent manager on 30 November 2016.
seventeenth match, W 9 - D 6 - L 2 - F 25 - A 11.
England Lineup
1 Pickford, Jordan L. 24 7 March 1994 G Everton FC 3 1 GA
2 Trippier, Kieran J. 27 19 September 1990 RWB Tottenham Hotspur FC 6 0
3 Young, Ashley S., off 68th min. 32 9 July 1985 LWB Manchester United FC 34 7
4 Walker, Kyle A. 28 28 May 1990 RD Manchester City FC 35 0
5 Stones, John 24 28 May 1994 LD Manchester City FC 25 0
6 Cahill, Gary J. 32 19 December 1985 CD Chelsea FC 59 5
7 Lingard, Jesse E., off 67th min. 25 15 December 1992 RAM Manchester United FC 11 1
8 Dier, Eric J.E. 24 15 January 1994 CM Tottenham Hotspur FC 26 3
9 Kane, Harry E., off 73rd min. 24 28 July 1993 RF Tottenham Hotspur FC 24 13
10 Sterling, Raheem S., off 73rd min. 23 8 December 1994
in Jamaica
LF Manchester City FC 38 2
Sterling cautioned in the 52nd min. for simulation. He dived before contact with the Nigerian keeper in the six-yard box.
11 Alli, Bamidele J., off 82nd min. 22 11 April 1996 LAM Tottenham Hotspur FC 24 2
England Substitutes
scoreline: England 2 Nigeria 1
17 Loftus-Cheek, Ruben I., on 67th min (66:40) for Lingard 22 23 January 1996 RAM Chelsea FC 3 0
12 Rose, Daniel L., on 68th min (67:07) for Young 27 2 July 1990 LWB Tottenham Hotspur FC 17 0
21 Welbeck, Daniel N.T.M., on 73rd min. (72:46) for Kane 27 26 November 1990 RF Arsenal FC 38 15
20 Rashford, Marcus, on 73rd min. (72:57) for Sterling 20 31 October 1997 LF Manchester United FC 18 2
15 Delph, Fabian, on 82nd min (81:03) for Alli 28 21 November 1989 LAM Manchester City FC 10 0
result: England 2 Nigeria 1

unused substitutes:

13-Jack Butland, 14-Harry Maguire, 16-Jake Livermore, 18-Adam Lallana, 19-Jamie Vardy, 23-Nick Pope, 24-Tom Heaton.

team notes:

Manager Gareth Southgate was on the bench for England against Nigeria in the 2002 World Cup Finals.
 
3-5-2 Pickford -
Walker, Cahill, Stones -
Trippier
, Lingard (Loftus-Cheek), Dier, Alli (Delph), Young (Rose) -
Kane
(Welbeck), Sterling (Rashford).

Averages (Starting XI):

Age 25.9 Appearances/Goals 25.9 2.8
 

Nigeria Team

 

Rank:

FIFA (17 May 2018) 47th
EFO ranking
n/a
ELO rating
43rd
Colours: Made by Nike - Light green v-necked jerseys with white striped chevrons, white sleeves with black striped chevrons, white shorts, lime green socks with white band.
Capt: Mikel John Obi Chief Coach: Gernot Rohr, 64 (28 June 1953 in Mannheim, Germany), appointed 5 August 2016.
tbc match, W 0 - D 0 - L 0 - F 0 - A 0.
Nigeria Lineup
23 Uzoho, Francis O. 19 28 October 1998 G RC Deportivo de La Coruña SAD, Spain 5 0
2 Idowu, Brian O. 26 18 May 1992
in St. Petersburg, Russia
LB FC Amkar Perm, Russia 4 1
12 Shehu, Abdullahi, off 46th
min.
25 12 March 1993 RB Bursaspor KD, Turkey 23 0
5 Troost-Ekong, William P. 24 1 September 1993
in Haarlem, Netherlands
CD Bursaspor KD, Turkey 21 1
6 Balogun, Leon-Aderemi, off
46th min.
28 28 June 1989
in West Berlin, West Germany
CD Brighton & Hove Albion FC, England 18 0
17 Onazi, Ogenyi E., off 46th min. 25 25 December 1992 DM Trabzonspor Kb, Turkey 52 1
15 Obi, Joel C., off 46th min. 27 22 May 1991 DM Torino FC SpA, Italy 17 0
18 Iwobi, Alexander C. 22 3 May 1996 LM Arsenal FC, England 18 5
9 Ighalo, Odion J., off 77th min. 28 16 June 1989 CF Changchun Yatai FC, China 18 4
10 Ncekwube Obinna, John
Michael
31 22 April 1987 AM Tianjin Teda FC, China 84 6
11 Moses, Victor, off 63rd min. 27 12 December 1990 RM Chelsea FC, England 33 11
Nigeria Substitutes
scoreline: England 2 Nigeria 0
8 Etebo, P. Oghenekaro, on 46th min. for Onazi 22 9 November 1995 M UD Las Palmas SAD, Spain, on loan from CD Feirense, Portugal 14 1
21 Ebuehi, Tyronne, on 46th min. for Shehu 22 16 December 1995
in Haarlem, Netherlands
RB Ado Den Haag, Netherlands 6 0
19 Ogu Ugochukwu, John, on 46th min. for Obi 30 20 April 1988 M Hapoel Be'er Sheva FC, Israel 19 2
4 Omeruo, Kenneth J., on 46th min. for Balogun 24 17 October 1993 D Chelsea FC, England 39 0
scoreline: England 2 Nigeria 1
7 Musa, Ahmed, on 63rd min.(62:28) for Moses 25 14 October 1992 F Leicester City FC, England 71 13
Musa cautioned in the 77th min. for a foul. Ater he tripped the sprinting Loftus-Cheek in his own half.
14 Iheanacho, Kelechi P., on 77th min (76:04) for Ighalo 21 3 October 1996 F Leicester City FC, England 17 8
result: England 2 Nigeria 1

unused substitutes:

1-Ikechukwu Ezenwa, 3-Elderson Echiéjilé, 7-Ahmed Musa, 13-Wilfred Ndidi, 16-Daniel Akpeyi, 20-Chidozie Awaziem, 22-Simeon Nwankwo, 26-Ola Aina, 27-Mikel Agu.
 
4-5(2-3)-1 Uzoho -
Shehu (Ebuehi), Ekong, Balogun (Omeruo), Idowu -
Onazi (Etebo), Obi (Ogu) -
Moses (Musa), Obinna, Iwobi -
Ighalo
(Iheanacho)
notes: started the second half with five at the back

Averages (Starting XI):

Age 25.6 Appearances/Goals 26.6 2.5

 

    Match Report by Mike Payne

The build up to the forthcoming World Cup tournament began with this friendly against a Nigeria side who show lots of promise and improvement over other African nations.  It was to prove a tough test for England and although their first half performance was excellent, the Nigerians change of tactics after the break seemed to flummox England for a while.

The match began with a tribute to two much revered former England stars who sadly passed away recently, Ray Wilkins and World Cup winner Ray Wilson.  After the fitting tribute England kicked off and started confidently.  The match quickly developed into an encounter full of pace and end to end attacking.  Nigeria were very open at the back and England looked to exploit the gaps.  Deli Alli was first to break into that space down the left but his cross was poor and the chance was lost.  Two Nigerian defenders both went for the same ball moments later and the clash of heads looked very nasty, although both players recovered after treatment.  A free-kick to England had been awarded just prior to the clash of heads and Kieran Trippier's shot brought a full stretch save out of 19-year-old goalkeeper Francis Uzoho.  Trippier also took the resultant corner and this time he found the head of Gary Cahill and the Chelsea man scored with a superb header into the top corner.

The goal came in the seventh minute and England continued on the front foot with Alli and Raheem Sterling combining well for the latter to see his shot blocked.  It was one of several chances to fall Sterling's way, but it was John Stones who so nearly added a second goal for England, following a scramble, within seconds of that Sterling miss.  In the 13th minute Sterling had another fine chance after Alli had again put the Manchester City man through.  Sterling tried to lift the ball over the keeper, which he did,  but unfortunately the ball was also placed wide of the far post.

At this point Nigeria's defence was all at sea and with Trippier and especially Ashley Young finding lots of space down the wings it seemed only a matter of time before England added to their one goal.  In fact Sterling found Young in one attack and the Manchester United player saw his shot blocked when he seemed certain to score.  Meanwhile, England had to be alert at the back as Nigeria also attacked with pace and at times the England defenders had to react quickly.  But the chances were all falling to England and on 28 minutes a lovely piece of interplay between Alli and Trippier ended with a cross to the near post where Jesse Lingard got a touch only for the ball to strike Uzoho and bounce wide.  Immediately the same three players combined again but this time Lingard's cross was cut out by a desperate lunge from a defender.

As the pressure grew, Sterling had another chance as he beat the offside trap, but his cross was stopped by the keeper again.  A minute later and Lingard saw a shot deflected for a corner by another defensive challenge.  On 37 minutes Harry Kane hit a long ball that found Alli in the clear.  He teed up Sterling but this time he fired a shot over when he really should have done better.  England were getting in good positions but the clinical finish necessary was not forthcoming.  However, with six minutes of the half remaining England finally doubled their lead.  Eric Dire's through pass once again gave Sterling possession.  This time he laid the ball square and Kane needed no second bidding to fire in a hard low shot.  The ball flew under the keeper, who maybe should have saved it, but Kane wasn't bothered, and not for the first time this season a goalkeeper had been caught out by a Harry Kane shot!

Before the break, Nigeria finally managed a shot in anger when Victor Moses beat Kyle Walker and fired at goal, Jordan Pickford was down well though and got everything behind the shot at his near post.  The half ended without further alarm and it had been a satisfactory first 45 minutes for England.

A game of two halves?  Certainly the second half brought added problems to an England side who had largely controlled proceedings so far.  Nigeria brought on four substitutes immediately and their manager cleverly changed their tactics to mirror England's formation, and it immediately set England a puzzling question.  For the first two minutes after the restart England never touched the ball, and, in fact, the first touch after the break came when Pickford fetched the ball from the back of his net.  A lovely through ball found Odion Ighalo whose cross-shot cannoned back off the post with the goalkeeper beaten.  First to the rebound was Arsenal's Alex Iwobi, who fired home confidently from just inside the box.  England were caught cold, and worryingly, there were some bewildered 'what do we do now' expressions on the home players' faces.

The change in the Nigerian formation, and the goal, definitely lifted the visitors, but England gradually stifled the threat and the next significant moment came when Sterling was rightly booked for 'simulation', a blatant dive before any challenge came anywhere near him.  That was frustrating and after the week Sterling had had, it was the last thing anyone wanted to see from him.

However, on 62 minutes Dier could have put the result beyond doubt.  A corner came in and Dier seemingly only had to hit the target, but instead headed hopelessly wide.  After that a series of substitutions disrupted the flow of the game (why do the authorities allow so many in international friendlies?).  Danny Rose and Rueben Loftus-Cheek came on for Lingard and Young and the game slowed to a walking pace.  Poor play by Alli gave John Obinna a free shot at goal, but Pickford again saved comfortably.  Off went Kane and Sterling with Danny Welbeck and Marcus Rashford coming on as the substitutions continued, and then we had another repeat of the earlier incident when two Nigerians headed each other!  Luckily neither were seriously hurt.

A
fter two further substitutions from Nigeria, the game meandered along, with little to excite the crowd.  England were now comfortably back in control and the Nigerian's attacking bubble had burst after their explosive start to the half.  Dier sent Welbeck away but the ball was cleared for a corner, and then Rashford shot wide with a first-time effort.  Rashford also had the final chance when yet another substitute, Fabian Delph, found him with an excellent cross, but Rashford headed over.  After that, England saw the game out with no further alarms and the satisfactory win was achieved.  We now move on to the visit of Costa Rica in a few days time for the last 'practice' match, before the important stuff begins in Russia.
   

Source Notes

BBC Sport
TheFA.com

Mike Payne - football historian and contributor

____________________

CG