England 2-1 Nigeria - Reaction

England 2-1 Nigeria - Reaction

England 2-1 Nigeria - Reaction

It is a sign of England's decline that Gareth Southgate, and the Football Association, would readily take the deal now if a last eight-place was on offer in Russian Federation.

- England are unbeaten in 18 encounters against African nations (W12 D6), with this the third time they've faced Nigeria - winning twice and drawing once.

Over the next two-and-a-half years he made 88 official appearances for the team, scoring 24 goals.

His movement, instinct and ability to score under pressure make him England's key player at the World Cup.

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.

The goalkeeper, who has recovered from a hairline fracture in his left foot, played the entire match but couldn't prevent the world champions from losing for the second straight game after a 1-0 defeat to Brazil in March.

After a tepid start, the Europeans took the lead with a thumping header off Cahill on seven minutes following an in-swinging corner.

England have one more warm-up match - against Costa Rica at Elland Road on Thursday - before their campaign in Russian Federation begins against Tunisia on June 18.

Sterling later broke the offside trap but could not find a colleague with a low cross before firing narrowly over when picked out by Jesse Lingard towards the end of the first half.

"We played football like we wanted to play".

"What we saw in the second half was very positive", the German said.

Their manager Gernot Rohr also knows they have a friendly against the Czech Republic on Wednesday, but their captain John Obi Mikel, Wilfred Ndidi, Victor Moses, Alex Iwobi and Kelechi Iheanacho will be among those expected to start.

"We are a very young team and we have to learn, it is good for this young team to have a taste of what we are going to face in Russian Federation", he added.

The England boss opted to start Raheem Sterling despite the Manchester City forward's late arrival to England's World Cup training camp, per Dominic Fifield at the Guardian.

"We will try to play with our best team", said the 64-year-old Rohr, from Germany.

They will play the Czech Republic in a friendly on June 6 before heading off to Russian Federation on June 11 where they will face Croatia, Iceland and Argentina in the Group phase.

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