England comfortably see off USA as Wayne Rooney bids farewell
As the Three Lions' leading scorer says goodbye to international football, cubs Jadon Sancho and Trent Alexander-Arnold shine
15 November, 2018 — By Paul Cowling at Wembley
ENGLAND 3 (Lingard 25, Alexander-Arnold 26, Wilson 77)
JUST as Wayne Rooney finally said goodbye to England duty, Jadon Sancho, Trent Alexander-Arnold and Callum Wilson did enough in this straightforward win over the USA tonight (Thursday) to suggest there is life after the Three Lions’ leading scorer.
Sancho laid on England’s second goal and showed glimpses of his Borussia Dortmund form, while Callum Wilson marked his debut with a goal. Jesse Lingard and Trent Alexander-Arnold were also on target as Gareth Southgate’s men ran out comfortable 3-0 winners at Wembley.
The impressive Wilson should have been awarded a penalty on 10 minutes when he was clearly brought down by US shot stopper Brad Guzan, but referee Jesus Gil Manzano waved play on.
The US finally got out of their half and almost took the lead on 24 minutes when their star player, Christian Pulisic, raced clean through on goal, but the Dortmund winger shot wastefully at Jordan Pickford.
Within a couple of minutes of this wake up call, England were two goals to the good. First, Lingard’s majestic 18 yard curler flew into the top right hand corner. And then, a minute later, Liverpool’s Alexander-Arnolda celebrated his first senior England goal as he blasted the ball past former Aston Villa keeper Guzan after being set up by Sancho.
In the second half England completely lost their tempo, and, with Pulisic as the fulcrum, the USA were able to show their flair, and cause the home side far more problems then should have been allowed.
That all changed just before the hour mark when Rooney was finally introduced to the occasion. The 33-year-old soon got the 68,000 crowd onside as he enjoyed the open spaces of Wembley.
Rooney – now enjoying his soccer with DC United in the MLS – could have even waved goodbye with a late goal, only for his smart effort to be denied by Guzan.
By this time, England had re-discovered the attacking intent that had so bamboozled the Americans at the start of the match. The gloss to the win was applied by Bournemouth’s Wilson, who flicked in a cross from Fabian Delph in the 77th minute.
Reflecting on the end of an era, England boss Southgate said: “Wayne had some lovely touches and played some exquisite passes. He was a yard away from scoring a fairy tale goal.”
ENGLAND: Pickford (McCarthy, 46), Alexander-Arnold, Keane, Dunk, Chilwell (Dier, 58), Winks (Loftus-Cheek, 70), Delph, Alli (Henderson, 58), Lingard (Rooney, 58), Sancho, Wilson (Rashford, 79)
Substitutes not used: Kane, Butland, Walker, Sterling, Barkley, Stones
USA: Guzan, Yedlin, Miazaga, Brooks, Villafana (Moore, 88), McKennie (Lietget, 76), Trapp (Acosta, 70), Green (Adams, 62), Pulisic, Weah (Saief, 76), Wood
Substitutes not used: Carter-Vickers, Delgado, Horvath, Cannon