National Teams

Lingard’s First International Goal Helps England Secure Victory

English player Jesse Lingard (2ndR) celebrates after scoring during a friendly football match between the Netherlands and England at the Amsterdam Arena in Amsterdam on March 23, 2018. / AFP PHOTO / ANP / Koen van Weel / Netherlands OUT (Photo credit should read KOEN VAN WEEL/AFP/Getty Images)
Lingard’s First International Goal Helps England Secure Victory

Jesse Lingard’s first international goal extended England’s unbeaten run to seven games and gave them a deserved friendly victory against the Netherlands in Amsterdam.

Lingard made the decisive contribution just before the hour, arriving on the edge of the penalty area to fire low past Dutch keeper Jeroen Zoet, who got a hand to the shot but could not keep it out.

It was just reward for manager Gareth Southgate and his players after a controlled display with an experimental side, including Kyle Walker on the right side of a three-man defence.

Southgate’s only complaint will be England should have made more of their domination of possession, though they should also have had a penalty when Marcus Rashford was brought down by a combination of Zoet and defender Matthijs de Ligt.

Everton goalkeeper Jordan Pickford had the satisfaction of keeping a second successive clean sheet for England, although there was a setback when Liverpool’s Joe Gomez went off early through injury.

Southgate’s team selection raised eyebrows in a defensive context – particularly his use of Walker in a three-man defence rather than in his accustomed right-back position.

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But Southgate can be satisfied with how his system worked, despite the early disruption when Gomez went off.

It was a performance that must be placed in context as it came against a very poor Dutch side in an obvious period of transition, but England were solid and composed, got a lead they deserved and protected it in complete comfort.

Walker settled well into his new role, and his raw pace certainly gives Southgate another option as he finalises his defensive options for Russia.

Greater tests will lie ahead with more threat than this lame and lacklustre Netherlands but England fully merited stretching their unbeaten run since their loss to France in Paris in June 2017.

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National Teams
@alexclapham

An Englishman that is a coach and analyst within the youth academy of a Spanish club whilst studying Sports Coaching. Obsessive over the tactical concepts of the European game, Alex regularly attends games in the La Liga, Bundesliga and Serie A.

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