Southgate pleased as England pass 'decent test' against Nigeria

Posted June 04, 2018

England's midfielder Ruben Loftus-Cheek (L) vies with Nigeria's midfielder Oghenekaro Etebo (C) and Nigeria's defender Bryan Idowu (R) during the worldwide friendly football match between England and Nigeria at Wembley stadium in London on June 2, 2018.

1 - Nigeria: Uzoho; Idowu, Troost-Ekong, Balogun (Omeruo, m.46), Shehu (Ebuehi, m.46); Mikel, Onazi (Etebo, m.46), Obi (Ogu, m.46); Moses (Musa, m.62), Iwobi, Ighalo (Iheanacho, m.76).

His movement, instinct and ability to score under pressure make him England's key player at the World Cup. This is a World Cup match for us.

Nigeria coach Gernot Rohr said his side could have conceded half a dozen goals in a poor first-half performance which he said reflected a heavy travelling schedule for his players.

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Despite the slow start, England had pace and controlled the game in the first 45 minutes.

The England chief continued: "The second half, it would be easy to say we were complacent".

Raheem Sterling admitted he would have had no cause for complaint if Gareth Southgate had dropped him for England's friendly with Nigeria on Saturday.

Nigeria was looking for a second goal right until the final whistle with England working hard to see out the match, but ultimately it was the hosts who claimed a hard-fought win in preparation for the upcoming World Cup in Russian Federation.

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"The team as a whole is strong and posses the ability to pass the group stage of the World Cup".

England boss Southgate said: "There was a bit of a statement with the selection of Jordan". He played 90 minutes against Congo but today I made a decision to bring Musa also in that position. If we can combine those together in the ideal way then we can go far.

"I think we played really well with the ball especially, created a lot of good chances, far more good situations than we've had in recent games", He told ITV, per FourFourTwo. I have played here many times in so many finals and have managed to have great success here and win pretty much all of the finals I have played.

"We can not play like we did in the first half".

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England should have won easily, they should have been three of four goals up during that first period but they showed familiar failings: a lack of ruthlessness in front of goal and, just as crucially, a lack of game-management when Nigeria did finally turn up and upped the tempo themselves.