Marcus Rashford on target again as England see off Switzerland

Gavin Whyte scores two minutes into his debut as Northern Ireland beat Israel

 England’s Marcus Rashford  scores his team’s first goal during the international friendly against  Switzerland at The King Power Stadium  in Leicester. Photograph Laurence Griffiths/Getty Images

England’s Marcus Rashford scores his team’s first goal during the international friendly against Switzerland at The King Power Stadium in Leicester. Photograph Laurence Griffiths/Getty Images

 

England 1 Switzerland 0

Striker Marcus Rashford scored a second-half winner as a young and much-changed England avoided an unprecedented fourth successive defeat by beating Switzerland 1-0 in a friendly international on Tuesday.

The Manchester United forward clinically side-footed the ball home at the back post in the 54th minute at Leicester City’s King Power Stadium after an over-hit corner was swung back in by Kyle Walker.

It was Rashford’s fifth goal for England in 27 matches.

The World Cup semi-finalists, who made nine changes to the side beaten 2-1 by Spain in the Nations League at Wembley on Saturday, had provided few thrills in a first half controlled by the more flowing Swiss.

The hosts looked much sharper after the break, however, with manager Gareth Southgate making a raft of substitutions, including bringing on striker Harry Kane in the 61st minute despite having indicated that he would be rested.

Leicester City’s Ben Chilwell also came off the bench, making his England debut at his Premier League club’s home ground to loud applause.

Switzerland had their chances in the first half, with Xherdan Shaqiri hitting the outside of the post from inside the box after seven minutes.

While England goalkeeper Jack Butland made some important saves, Southgate’s side too often looked vulnerable in defence in the opening 45 minutes.

Television footage of the players walking out onto the pitch was broadcast in black and white for 25 seconds to mark the 25th anniversary of the anti-racism campaign Kick It Out.

Northern Ireland 3 Israel 0

Gavin Whyte needed less than two minutes of his Northern Ireland debut to find the net as Michael O’Neill’s side enjoyed a 3-0 win over Israel in a friendly at Windsor Park.

Northern Ireland’s Gavin Whyte scores their third goal during the international friendly against Israel at Windsor Park. Photograph: Jason Cairnduff/Action Images via Reuters
Northern Ireland’s Gavin Whyte scores their third goal during the international friendly against Israel at Windsor Park. Photograph: Jason Cairnduff/Action Images via Reuters

Whyte scored the third goal of the night moments after coming on as a substitute to add to first-half strikes from captain Steven Davis and Stuart Dallas.

It helped the hosts to a first win in four and a much-needed result after the frustration of Saturday’s 2-1 Nations League loss to Bosnia & Herzegovina in a match Northern Ireland dominated.

Though they did not enjoy the same levels of possession or create as many chances, Northern Ireland did succeed in carving out clear openings – and then made them count.

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