DREAM DEBUT FOR MARCUS RASHFORD

DREAM DEBUT FOR MARCUS RASHFORD

Marcus Rashford

Marcus Rashford enjoyed a dream senior debut for England, scoring two minutes and 18 seconds into his first cap, with Wayne Rooney blasting the eventual winner in a 2-1 triumph over Australia in Sunderland.

Rashford mirrored Rooney in making his bow against the Socceroos and took no time to introduce himself to Roy Hodgson’s side. After passing to Raheem Sterling, he found space to latch onto the Manchester City man’s cross when it looped into the air and, watching it drop, the 18-year-old volleyed past keeper Matt Ryan.

It means he is the youngest-ever scorer on his England debut, beating Tommy Lawton’s record that has stood since 1938, and the third-youngest marksman for the Three Lions behind Rooney and Michael Owen.

Rashford was unable to accept a chance of a second from a Sterling pass on the break but he did supply a wonderful ball to Adam Lallana that the Liverpool man failed to convert. The teenager’s 63 minutes on the pitch were so impressive, he earned the Man-of-the-Match award as he showed plenty of neat touches and attacking flair.

Rooney came off the bench at the interval and smashed in the second goal on 55 minutes, with Rashford’s dummy a feature of the build-up and Sterling again providing the assist. The United skipper looked lively in attack and was unlucky not to profit from a dangerous Rashford cross.

The Reds’ other representative, Chris Smalling, captained the team from the off and performed well at the heart of the defence before appearing to pick up a knock and leaving the field on 73 minutes. Smalling’s replacement, Eric Dier, put through his own goal to halve the hosts’ lead.

England’s next match is on Thursday against Portugal and Hodgson must name his Euro 2016 squad before then with Rashford, who was afforded a standing ovation by the Stadium of Light crowd, now difficult to leave out.

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