Gareth Southgate was back on his old stomping ground the Riverside stadium in Middlesbrough. The Three Lions made it two out of two in the North East with an uncomfortable 1-0 win. Plenty of debutants on show here, the highly rated Brighton and Hove Albion defender Ben White, the other Albion- West Brom’s Sam Johnstone and Ben Godfrey making it two Bens in that back four. And how about it , Marcus Rashford only 23 years of age captaining England. Sam Johnstone was the best of them pulling off a miracle save. Romania played without any fear hats off to them.
Romania’s biggest threat coming from Cluj attacker Adrian Paun. For some reason England always struggle historically against the Romanians who beat them at a World Cup by the way in 1998. Best chance of a dominant first half from England came from Everton striker Calvert-Lewin whose looping header had Nita beaten except the cross bar. Ward-Prowse’s dead ball skills will come in handy come crunch time in the next few weeks. Manchester United-target Jadon Sancho also crashing an effort onto the crossbar a few minutes later. Romania had targeted Jack Griealish for special treatment, fouling him at every opportunity quite surprising only one player got booked for the visitors the entire match.
Right back for Romania looks a useful player Sorescu that is. In the end a penalty from a foul on Grealish(surprise surprise) was the difference. Rashford converting(is he getting pointers from Bruno?). There was one last chance for Romania on 73 minutes. Ivan’s shot looked a certain goal after a goal mouth scramble but Tyrone Mings thwarting Cicaldau with a heroic block and then Ivan’s shot was saved point blank by Johnstone. England facing a must see opening match against old nemesis Croatia at the weekend and Southgate pretty much knows now his best eleven.