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Published 13 October 2023 5 min read
England Men's Senior Team

England 1-0 Australia - Men's International match centre

Written by:

Ben Hart

  • O. Watkins (57′)
  • L. Colwill (34′)
  • C. Gallagher (35′)
International Match Friendlies 1
Friday 13 October, 07:45 PM Wembley Stadium
1 0
HT: 0 - 0
  • K. Baccus (34′)
  • R. Strain (40′)
  • J. Irvine (79′)

A second-half goal from Ollie Watkins sealed victory for the Three Lions against a rugged Socceroos side at Wembley

13 Oct 2023 5:13

Highlights: England 1-0 Australia

Watch the best of the action from Wembley as the Three Lions see off the Socceroos

 Gareth Southgate and Jack Grealish spoke to the media on Thursday evening
Gareth Southgate and Jack Grealish spoke to the media on Thursday evening

England v Australia 
International Match
7.45pm BST, Friday 13 October 2023
Live on Channel 4
Wembley Stadium connected by EE

Gareth Southgate will look to strike the perfect balance when it comes to his starting line-up against Australia on Friday night.

On one hand, the Three Lions boss knows Australia will relish the chance to beat one of their great sporting rivals if they do not produce an impressive performance in front of a sold-out crowd at Wembley Stadium connected by EE.

But Southgate also knows that with a UEFA EURO 2024 qualifier against Italy to come on Tuesday and another two qualifiers before the year is out, the Australia match does provide England with a chance to play some of the extremely talented players who are knocking on the door when it comes to selection.

When asked about the prospect of naming an ‘experimental’ side against Australia or potential resting players, Southgate said: "Well, firstly, it's one of the great sporting rivalries. If Australia has any inkling that we're not taking the game seriously, then we'll be in trouble. Our mindset has to be spot on.

“Equally, we still have some work to do to qualify for a European Championship. We're potentially six games away from that.

“We have good players and we need to give people opportunities to show what they can do. Part of our bond as a team is ensuring people get chances to play and feel part of the group and it is important within that. So, we have to get that balance right.

“Most importantly, we have good players, and we need to place them in positions on the field where they can excel and where they feel comfortable—positions they play in with their clubs—so the transfer is as smooth as possible."

Southgate was asked about the prospect of John Stones featuring, with the defender’s 22 minutes as a substitute against Arsenal on Sunday his only competitive game time since the 2023 FA Community Shield at the beginning of August due to injury.

The England head coach said: “With John, we've had a good dialogue, which we always do, with Manchester City, so we have a plan in place for that.

“There's a reality around how much we should be playing him, considering the amount of football he's had and the time he's been out. We always look after all of our players physically; that's crucial.”

One of the options at centre-half is talented Chelsea defender Levi Colwill.

The 20-year-old also provides an option at left-back, where he has largely featured for Chelsea this season and is a position he played a lot as a youngster.

Southgate said: “As for Levi, we know he can play both positions. We appreciate him in both roles. You'll see where he's positioned when he appears on the pitch in whichever game."

Southgate was joined in the pre-match press conference by Jack Grealish.

The forward was part of a Manchester City side who won the treble last season, claiming the club’s first Champions League, the Premier League and the Emirates FA Cup.

When asked if last season’s success with Manchester City has increased his appetite for success with England, Grealish replied: "Yes, definitely. I was recently asked, 'What's next?' The season I had with City was an incredible one, probably the best of my career, especially in the second half when I played more and with confidence.

“Now, with the perfect team and the perfect manager guiding us, I believe it's something we need to achieve. We've come close on two occasions, and I feel we're only getting better and stronger.

“Look at the players that we have in our team, there's quite a few that could play for any club in the world or any international team in the world. So yeah, I think that [winning a major trophy with England] would obviously be next on the list hopefully.”

Australia in profile

The Socceroos
 Graham Arnold
Captain: Matthew Ryan
Last encounter: England 1-0 Australia, 27 May 2016


Match Facts

● England and Australia will face at Wembley for the very first time. Only two nations have ever beaten the Three Lions in their first game against them at the national stadium – Hungary in 1953 (6-3) and Sweden in 1959 (3-2).

● Australia last faced a European nation in a friendly in June 2018, beating Hungary 2-1. Indeed, the Socceroos have won their last two friendlies with European nations (also 4-0 versus Czechia in June 2018), after losing nine of their previous 12 (W1 D2).

● England are unbeaten in their last 17 games in all competitions at Wembley (W13 D4) since a 1-0 defeat to Denmark in October 2020. It is their best unbeaten run there since going 24 without defeat between September 1984 and May 1990.

● Australia have won one of their last five games in all competitions (D1 L3), after having won four of their five games before this run (L1). They’ve shipped nine goals in these five games, as many as in their previous ten combined.

● England have scored 19 goals in six games in 2023 (3.2 per game), only three fewer than they scored in 13 games in 2022 (22). It’s currently only the second year in the last 60 years that England are averaging three or more goals per game, along with 2019 (38 goals in ten games, 3.8 per game).

Harry Kane has scored 22 goals in 31 England appearances at Wembley, just one behind the record for goals scored at the national stadium for the Three Lions, set by Bobby Charlton, who scored 23 times in 44 games there between 1958 and 1970.

Lewis Dunk earned his second England cap against Scotland in September, four years and 301 days after his first cap against the USA in November 2018, the biggest gap between a player’s first two starts for England since Frank Lampard Sr. between October 1972 and May 1980 (7 years, 233 days). England have won every single game when a Brighton player has featured (9/9), the most games to have featured a player from a specific club with the Three Lions winning every game.

● Both Kane (Bayern Munich) and Jude Bellingham (Real Madrid) scored in England’s last game against Scotland, but only one player has netted at Wembley this century while playing for a non-English team, with Jadon Sancho doing so in November 2020 against the Republic of Ireland while playing for Borussia Dortmund.

● England have only lost one of their seven previous matches against Australia (W4 D2), a 3-1 defeat at Upton Park in February 2003 with Francis Jeffers scoring in his only cap and Wayne Rooney making his debut that game.

● This is the first meeting between England and Australia since May 2016 in a friendly at the Stadium of Light, won 2-1 by England with goals from Marcus Rashford and Wayne Rooney.

Head to head

In total, the Three Lions have played the Socceroos on seven occasions, winning four times and drawing twice, but only two of those fixtures have come on home soil with the pre-EURO 2016 game at Sunderland in 2016 and a match at West Ham’s Upton Park in 2003.

“This will be a good challenge for us as Australia performed well at the World Cup despite against having four tough opponents,” said England manager Gareth Southgate.

“I imagine there will be a strong Aussie contingent in London for both games. We all know the sporting rivalry between our two countries and that alone will add an extra edge.”

28 May 2016 5:33

Last time out: England 2-1 Australia

A look back at our most recent encounter with the Aussies, during the build up to the UEFA EURO 2016 competition


Stéphanie Frappart will lead the team of match officials taking charge of the game.

Joining Frappart will be assistant referees Mikael Berchebru and Aurélien Drouet and fourth official Hakim Ben El Hadj, with VAR Mathieu Vernice and Assistant VAR Nicolas Rainville completing the lineup of French officials.

The trailblazing referee was the first woman to referee in men’s Ligue 2 and Ligue 1 in France and then became the first woman to referee in the UEFA Champions League and UEFA Super Cup.

During Qatar 2022, Frappart became the first woman to referee a men’s FIFA World Cup fixture, and this will be another historic milestone for our game as she becomes the first female official to take charge of a men’s international match at Wembley Stadium.

England Squad News

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Match Programme

You can order a copy of the match programme for England v Australia here.

How to watch or stream

This game will be shown live on Channel 4 in the UK. 

The England team to face Australia at Wembley on Friday evening has been named.

Gareth Southgate has handed a senior debut to Levi Colwill, while there are also starting berths for the likes of Sam Johnstone, Fikayo Tomori, Ollie Watkins and Jarrod Bowen. Jordan Henderson will captain the team.

England: 1 Sam Johnstone, 2 Trent Alexander-Arnold, 3 Levi Colwill, 4 Conor Gallagher, 5 Lewis Dunk, 6 Fikayo Tomori, 7 Jack Grealish, 8 Jordan Henderson (c), 9 Ollie Watkins, 10 James Maddison, 11 Jarrod Bowen

Substitutes: 12 Kieran Trippier, 13 Jordan Pickford, 14 Harry Maguire, 15 Kyle Walker, 16 John Stones, 17 Marc Guehi, 18 Declan Rice, 19 Marcus Rashford, 20 Harry Kane, 21 Phil Foden, 22 Aaron Ramsdale, 23 Kalvin Phillips, 24 Jude Bellingham, 25 Eddie Nketiah 

 Ollie Watkins celebrates the opening goal at Wembley with his team mates
Ollie Watkins celebrates the opening goal at Wembley with his team mates
Ollie Watkins’ second-half strike handed England a hard-fought 1-0 win over Australia at Wembley.

One of ten changes from the team which swept Scotland aside last month, Watkins tapped home for his third Three Lions goal from Jack Grealish’s cross-shot on 57 minutes.

Australia pushed until the last and very nearly levelled late on as Connor Metcalfe’s far-post header cannoned off the post, but Gareth Southgate’s side held firm and stretched their unbeaten run at the home of football to 18 matches.

A testing night for England started slowly, with the Socceroos alert in defence and ambitious in attack.

Jarrod Bowen was the hosts’ brightest spark early on and created the first chance of the evening, slipping Conor Gallagher in behind but his ball across evaded the stretching Jordan Henderson and Watkins, allowing Australia to clear.

It was the visitors who registered the first shot of the evening, as Keanu Baccus’ curling effort from distance flicked off the head of Fikayo Tomori and drew Sam Johnstone into a superb diving save.

Australia continued to play with confidence which belied their status as the world’s 27th ranked team, with Mitchell Duke volleying just wide at the midway point of the half.

Defender Kye Rowles was the next to go close, firing just over after corner chaos, but less than 60 seconds later England’s best chance of the half arrived.

Watkins broke clear of the Australia defence, collecting a pinpoint through ball from James Maddison, and after drawing Mat Ryan from goal, his low shot trickled off the far post and away to safety.

That near-miss failed to knock Australia off their stride, and they very nearly snatched the lead on the stroke of half time.

 Three Lions defender Fikayo Tomori makes a challenge in the first half
Three Lions defender Fikayo Tomori makes a challenge in the first half
After some neat footwork on the edge of the box, Martin Boyle rolled the ball across to Ryan Strain and he was only denied a first goal for his country by a brilliant diving block by Lewis Dunk.

A tally of four yellow cards at half time, two for each team, perhaps reflected an angst among both camps around their inability to find an opener.

England improved after the interval and took the lead when Watkins latched onto Grealish’s inviting low cross.

After a slinged ball in from Trent Alexander-Arnold, Grealish fizzed a low effort towards the back post which Watkins raced onto to break the deadlock.
 Debutant Levi Colwill gets to grips with Australia's Jackson Irvine
Debutant Levi Colwill gets to grips with Australia's Jackson Irvine
Australia pushed for an equaliser, with Baccus driving wide from distance before midfielder Metcalfe missed a golden opportunity with a back-post header which deflected off Johnstone’s post.

And despite a flurry of late corners there was to be no fairytale finish for Australia, as England held on for the win ahead of a sterner test on Tuesday, as Italy travel to Wembley in UEFA EURO 2024 qualifying action.
England: 1. Sam Johnstone (Crystal Palace), 2. Trent Alexander-Arnold (Liverpool), 3. Levi Colwill (Chelsea), 4. Conor Gallagher (Chelsea), 5. Lewis Dunk (Brighton and Hove Albion), 6. Fikayo Tomori (AC Milan), 7. Jack Grealish (Manchester City), 8. Jordan Henderson (c) (Al-Ettifaq), 9. Ollie Watkins (Aston Villa), 10. James Maddison (Tottenham Hotspur), 11. Jarrod Bowen (West Ham)

Substitutes: 19. Marcus Rashford (Manchester United) for Grealish 61’, 12. Kieran Trippier (Newcastle United) for Henderson 61’, 23. Kalvin Phillips (Manchester City) for Gallagher 61’, 16. John Stones (Manchester City) for Tomori 61’, 21. Phil Foden (Manchester City) for Maddison 72’, 25. Eddie Nketiah (Arsenal) for Watkins 72’

Substitutes not used: 13. Jordan Pickford (Everton), 14. Harry Maguire (Manchester United), 15. Kyle Walker (Manchester City), 17. Marc Guehi (Crystal Palace), 18. Declan Rice (Arsenal), 20. Harry Kane (Bayern Munich), 22. Aaron Ramsdale (Arsenal), 24. Jude Bellingham (Real Madrid)

Goals: Watkins 57’

Cautions: Colwill 34’, Gallagher 35’

Australia: 1. Maty Ryan, 3. Cameron Burgess, 4. Kye Rowles, 6. Martin Boyle, 8. Connor Metcalfe, 10. Craig Goodwin, 13. Ryan Strain, 15. Mitch Duke, 19. Harry Souttar, 20. Keanu Baccus, 22. Jackson Irvine

Substitutes: 17. Lewis Miller for Strain 74’, 9. Brandon Borrello for Goodwin 74’, 5. Jordan Bos for Duke 74’, 11. Awer Mabil for Boyle 83’, 16. Aziz Behich for Rowles 83’, 26. Mohamed Toure for Metcalfe 90’

Substitutes not used: 2. Milos Degenek, 7. Sam Silvera, 12. Andrew Redmayne, 14. Aiden O’Neill, 18. Tom Glover, 21. Massimo Luongo, 23. Alessandro Circati, 24. Alexander Robertson, 25. Patrick Yazbek

Cautions: Baccus 34’, Strain 40’, Irvine 79’