#ENGNGA: Kane scores winners as England beat Nigeria 2-1

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Harry Kane scored the winner as England beat Nigeria 2-1 at Wembley in an international friendly match
Harry Kane scored the winner as England beat Nigeria 2-1 at Wembley in an international friendly match
Harry Kane scored the winner as England beat Nigeria 2-1 at Wembley in an international friendly match

England began their preparations for the World Cup with a 2-1 victory over Nigeria at Wembley.

Gareth Southgate’s side controlled the first half after Gary Cahill gave them an early lead with a powerful header.

Then Harry Kane doubled their advantage with a drilled shot near half-time, as the visitors struggled to cope with England’s clever movement.

Nigeria improved after the break with Arsenal’s Alex Iwobi scoring, while Raheem Sterling was booked for diving.

England’s preparations continue with another friendly against Costa Rica at Elland Road on Thursday.

Sterling has dominated the headlines and the build-up to this friendly after he was pictured sporting a tattoo of a gun on his leg and revelations about his late arrival for England’s pre-World Cup training camp when they assembled earlier this month.

And he was a central figure again here at Wembley as manager Gareth Southgate puts the finishing touches to his plans for the World Cup in Russia.

Sterling, whose name was warmly greeted by England’s fans when it was announced, formed a lively partnership with captain Kane – but it was also a day of frustration for the Manchester City attacker.

Southgate, who admitted he briefly considered dropping Sterling after that late arrival to join up with England, will have relished some aspects and the signs of promise in that link with Kane but will demand much greater end product.

Sterling never stopped running and probing but was too wasteful, chipping a good chance wide of the far post in the first half and failing to find the final delivery on occasions.

He was also rightly booked for diving in the second half as he tumbled theatrically when confronted by Nigeria keeper Francis Uzoho as he raced into the area.

Sterling’s energy and application, however, could not be doubted and he will play a key role in Southgate’s line-up when their World Cup campaign opens against Tunisia in Volgograd on 18 June.