England now look set to qualify for next year’s finals in Russian Federation and Rashford, who is also hoping to fill Rooney’s boots at Old Trafford after his return to boyhood club Everton, will surely be a major part of manager Gareth Southgate’s plans.
Marcus Rashford made amends after an expensive early mistake to fire England to a 2-1 win over Slovakia and within sight of next year’s World Cup in Russian Federation on Monday.
England almost turned the game on its head five minutes later but Ryan Bertrand, who scored against Malta on Friday, saw his shot palmed away by Dubravka, who also saved well from Rashford at his near post just before the break.
Danny Welbeck scored on his first appearance since last March and fellow substitute Jamie Vardy caused the odd problem for a Maltese defence that struggled to cope with Marcus Rashford. As a result, Slovakia opened the score at the 2 and half minutes.
England’s Harry Kane (second, right) celebrates scoring his side’s first goal of the game against Malta with his team-mates during the 2018 FIFA World Cup Qualifying Group F match (pic: Nick Potts/PA Images). I thought the captain (Jordan Henderson) was excellent, really drove the team from midfield.
Gareth Southgate’s side had to do it the hard way at Wembley as they fell behind after just three minutes, but showed great character to fight back and secure an important three points, which has done rivals Scotland favour in their hopes of claiming a play-off spot.
“What it obviously does was detract from probably what was his best performance for us since I’ve been the manager”, said Southgate.
An early Marcus Rashford blunder put host England behind, but the 19-year-old forward made amends by scoring the victor to put his country five points clear in Europe Group F with two rounds remaining. Rashford’s miss-hit corner found Dier, who swept the ball home on the half-volley.
“A fantastic show of character after making a mistake to score and then score the victor which got us closer to the World Cup where hopefully he will shine”. Then came his stunning second-half goal, which gave England the lead and control of the game.
Rashford said, of his winning strike: “It was an important goal, we started slowly as a team and me on a personal level too”. They’re unbelievably proud to play.
We believe the game should end in a draw with both sides finding the back of the net.
England must now concentrate on their two remaining World Cup qualifying games and learn from their mistakes.
“We have good attacking players but we need someone in the middle of the park who can spray the passes, switch the play quickly and play at a tempo that Gareth likes”.