Hammers duo shine as England make a perfect start

Declan Rice and Jesse Lingard caught the eye as England started their FIFA World Cup 2022 qualifying campaign with victories over San Marino, Albania and Poland.

Lingard, on loan at the London Stadium from Manchester United, was recalled to the Three Lions squad by manager, Gareth Southgate and subsequently handed his 25th cap as San Manino were brushed aside by five unanswered goals at Wembley Stadium.

During a busy performance, the 28-year-old provided Everton’s Dominic Calvert-Lewin with his second and England’s fourth goal, while visiting goalkeeper, Elia Benedettini denied the in-form attacking midfielder one of his own with a string of superb saves.

Meanwhile, Rice provided classy displays against Albania in Tirana and the tough Poles at Wembley to also claim the individual Man of the Match honour as England took their points tally to nine out of nine.

Declan Rice was named Man of the Match following England’s World Cup qualifying victories over Albania and Poland (Rob Newell CameraSport)

Tottenham’s Harry Kane opened the scoring against the Albanians with a superb header from Luke Shaw’s centre. The England skipper also found the net against Poland, rattling home a nineteenth-minute spot-kick after Michal Helik’s had fouled Raheem Sterling.

Kane is now England’s record scorer from the penalty spot with ten – his overall goal tally for England now 34.

Lingard made a late cameo appearance in both matches, replacing Foden in Tirana and Sterling back at Wembley, taking his haul of caps to twenty-seven for the Three Lions.

England 5-0 San Marino – Thursday, March 25

Pope, James (Trippierat 45′), Stones (Mings 45′), Coady, Chilwell, Ward-Prowse, Phillips, Mount (Bellingham 45′), Lingard, Calvert-Lewin (Watkins 63′), Sterling (Foden 45′)

Albania 0-2 England – Tirana – Sunday, March 28

Pope, Walker, Stones, Maguire, Shaw, Mount, Phillips (Ward-Prowse 71′), Rice, Sterling, Kane, Foden (Lingard 81′)

England 2-1 Poland – Wembley Stadium – Wednesday, March 31

Pope, Walker, Stones, Maguire, Chilwell, Phillips, Rice, Mount, Foden (James 86′), Kane (Calvert-Lewin 89′), Sterling Lingard 90′)


Brian Jeeves

Email: [email protected]