England claim friendly win over Super Eagles

England beat Nigeria 2-1 in an international friendly played at Wembley on Saturday afternoon.

Gary Cahill powered home the opener on seven minutes before Harry Kane fired home with 39 minutes on the clock.

Alex Iwobi pulled a goal back for the Super Eagles two minutes into the start of the second half and despite a number of chances for both sides, the Three Lions claimed the narrow win.

England started brightly with Nigeria displaying some early nerves. They survived an early free-kick whipped in by Kieran Tripper, with goalkeeper Francis Uzoho dealing with the floated delivery.

But Gareth Southgate’s side was soon ahead returning defender Cahill rose highest to head home the resultant corner from Tripper.

Uzoho was then fortunate to be able to dive onto the ball after John Stones failed to profit as the keeper’s punch landed at his feet – in the six-yard box after a Jesse Lingard ball from an Ashley Young short corner.

Raheem Sterling was then just wide after racing onto a good Lingard ball and lifting the ball over the advancing Uzoho.

Young and Sterling combined well but Bryne Idowu was well placed to clear the centre from the left-hand side, before a better passage of play from Nigeria with Odion Ighalo unlucky with an effort that was deflected to safety by Stones.

Lingard was unable to connect to a Tripper ball from the right and after a superb save from Uzoho to deny Sterling, who was again in on goal on 38 minutes but fired over – the Manchester City man set up Kane for England’s second.

It was a fierce low strike from the England captain, who was involved in the build-up and was teed up by a square pass from Sterling.

Nigeria coach Gernot Rohr made four changes at the start of the second half and they were very quickly back in the game, as Iwobi expertly swept home after Igahlo’s initial shot had come back off the right upright.

The goal lifted the Super Eagles, who started to knock the ball around with more confidence.

Sterling slipped after being played through on goal by Kane, while Eric Dier flashed a header just off target on 62 minutes from a Young delivery.

Ahmed Musa, on for Victor Moses, whipped in a super cross from left after getting the better of Kyle Walker, but Stones stood strong before Jordan Pickford kept out Jon Obi Mikel’s follow-up shot.

Idowu did well to stop Danny Welbeck from feeding off a Dier pass late on as England substitute Marcus Rashford fired a snapshot just wide.

Nigeria was looking for a second goal right until the final whistle with England working hard to see out the match, but ultimately it was the hosts who claimed a hard-fought win in preparation for the upcoming World Cup in Russia.

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