Published 08 March 2021 4 min read
England Men's Senior Team
England 1-0 Austria
Bukayo Saka scored his first senior international goal as England edged out Austria by 1-0 in their first EURO 2020 warm-up match at Middlesbrough's Riverside Stadium.
Just a day after Gareth Southgate named his 26-man squad, the Three Lions were given a tough examination by Austria ahead of their tournament opener against Croatia on 13 June.
The first half saw both sides have chances to open the scoring but it wasn’t until Arsenal youngster Saka found the net just before the hour mark that the deadlock was finally broken.
Austria had several chances to equalise in the closing minutes, with England debutant Ben White clearing the ball off the line in time added on, but the hosts held on to claim victory.
England were meeting Austria for the first time since November 2007 when they won 1-0 courtesy of Peter Crouch’s goal in Vienna and the hosts didn't take long to carve out the first opportunity.
Harry Kane found Trent Alexander-Arnold’s run down the right with a sweeping crossfield ball and the Liverpool defender’s drive was tipped over by Daniel Bachmann inside five minutes.
From the resulting corner, Jude Bellingham nodded a free header straight at the Austrian goalkeeper in what was the 17-year-old Borussia Dortmund star’s first senior start.
The Three Lions then had the ball in the back of the net moments later, with Jesse Lingard lashing home only for the goal to be ruled out for Tyrone Mings' shove on Martin Hinteregger.
Saka was one of the hosts’ biggest threats in the opening half and came close to opening the scoring a minute later before blasting his volley high and wide from eight yards out.
But the best chance of the opening 40 minutes fell to Kane, with the skipper denied by Bachmann after being released one-on-one by Jack Grealish just before the half hour.
The visitors did almost spring a surprise on the cusp of half time when Baumgartner got in behind the England defence but Mings managed to recover and make the block.
Saka continued to cause Austria problems after the restart, with Stefan Lainer receiving a yellow card after being unable to deal with the Arsenal teenager’s persistent run.
And it was the 19 year old who finally broke the deadlock just before the hour mark after a move which saw Grealish, Kane and Lingard link up to cut through the Austrian defence.
Grealish then appeared to be through on goal but just as he lined up a strike at goal, an Austrian player poked the ball into the path of Saka who was able to turn the ball home from a tight angle.
03 Jun 2021 5:28
Highlights: England 1-0 Austria
Watch the best of the action from the Three Lions' victory in Middlesbrough
The goal prompted Southgate to ring the changes on 60 minutes, with Ollie Watkins, James Ward-Prowse, Dominic Calvert-Lewin and debutant Ben Godfrey entering the fray.
Godfrey’s first touch was a blind backpass which forced Everton teammate Pickford to scamper back to make the clearance, having not been in position to receive the ball.
Austria pushed forward again on 65 minutes and Marcel Sabitzer almost equalised with a curling effort from the edge of the box which Pickford brilliantly tipped onto the crossbar.
With 20 minutes to play, White became the latest England debutant as Southgate introduced the Brighton & Hove Albion defender in the place of Grealish for his first cap.
Austria provided a few more frights in the closing ten minutes with Michael Gregoritsc coming the closest for the visitors, steering a header wide of the despairing Pickford.
But despite the away side’s best efforts, with White also forced to clear off the line in time added on, England managed to hold on and ensure their preparations for Euro 2020 got off to a winning start in front of 7000 fans.
England (4-2-3-1): Jordan Pickford (Everton); Trent Alexander-Arnold (Liverpool),Tyrone Mings (Aston Villa), Conor Coady (Wolverhampton Wanderers), Kieran Trippier (Atletico Madrid); Declan Rice (West Ham), Jude Bellingham (Borussia Dortmund); Jack Grealish (Aston Villa), Jesse Lingard (West Ham United, on loan from Manchester United), Bukayo Saka (Arsenal); Harry Kane (Tottenham Hotspur) (c)
Substitutes: Dominic Calvert-Lewin (Everton) for Kane 60’, James Ward-Prowse (Southampton) for Rice 60’, Ollie Watkins (Aston Villa) for Lingard 60’, Ben Godfrey (Everton) for Mings 60’, Ben White (Brighton & Hove Albion) for Grealish 71’
Substitutes not used: Sam Johnstone (West Bromwich Albion), Kalvin Phillips (Leeds United), Jordan Henderson (Liverpool), Jadon Sancho (Borussia Dortmund), Aaron Ramsdale (Sheffield United)
Goals: Bukayo Saka 56’
Austria (4-2-3-1): Daniel Bachmann, Aleksandar Dragovic, Martin Hinteregger, Marco Friedl, Stefan Lainer, Christoph Baumgartner, Konrad Laimer, Xaver Schlager, David Alaba (c), Marcel Sabitzer, Saša Kalajdzic
Substitutions: Florian Grillitsch for Laimer 62’, Louis Schaub for Baumgartner 62’, Michael Gregoritsch for Kalajdzic 71’, Alessandro Schopf for Alaba 71’, Christopher Trimmel for Lainer 81’, Julian Baumgartlinger for Schlager 81’
Substitutes not used: Pavao Pervan, Alexander Schlager, Stefan Ilsanker, Phillip Lienhart, Stefan Posch, Andreas Ulmer