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England’s countdown to the Euros got a boost yesterday as Arsenal wonder kid, Bukayo Saka inspired a narrow win over Austria at Riverside Stadium.
Manager Gareth Southgate saw his experimental side secure when Saka crowned a fine move with an angled finish for his first international goal after 56 minutes.
Southgate, who named his 26-man squad for the Euros on Tuesday, picked a side with an unfamiliar look as players involved with Manchester United, Chelsea, and Manchester City in the Europa League and Champions League finals were not selected, so he will be happy to come out with a win – but it was not a convincing display.
England survived scares when Everton defender Ben Godfrey, making his debut as a substitute, sent keeper Jordan Pickford scrambling to retrieve a wayward backpass, while the keeper touched Marcel Sabitzer’s shot onto the bar.
And as Alexander-Arnold walked gingerly around the pitch with the England medical staff, debutant Ben White cleared off the line from Alessandro Schopf after Pickford’s punch fell to him in the area.
England have now won their past seven friendly matches, their best run in friendlies since winning seven in a row under Sir Bobby Robson between June 1985 and May 1986.
AFRICA TODAY NEWS, NEW YORK