New England captain Harry Kane scored the decisive goal as England edged Nigeria 2-1 at Wembley in their first warm-up game for this month’s World Cup.
Gareth Southgate’s side got off to the perfect start with Gary Cahill rising highest to meet a Kieran Trippier corner on seven minutes.
It was a dynamic and lively start with the front four of Jesse Lingard, Dele Alli, Raheem Sterling and Harry Kane linking up well.
As half-time approached, skipper Harry Kane lashed home a second after a neat tee up from Sterling, his 13th goal in 24 caps.
The second half brought a consolation for Nigeria. Former Watford striker Odion Ighalo hit the post but Alex Iwobi swept home the rebound, wrong-footing Jordan Pickford.
A thrust of England changes were made but there weren’t many cases stamped to challenge for starting places in Russia.
Raheem Sterling was a man with a spotlight on him at Wembley after a week of unwanted and unfair press, but Southgate kept faith with the winger and he put in an impressive display, full of intelligent runs and capping it with an assist. No one can doubt he’s a vital part of England’s World Cup campaign.
Going forward, some positions aren’t nailed on with Jack Butland, Jordan Henderson, Harry Maguire and Reuben Loftus-Cheek still believing they can force their way into their respective positions for the opening encounter with Tunisia.
ENGLAND: PICKFORD, TRIPPIER, WALKER, STONES, CAHILL, YOUNG (ROSE, 68), ALLI (DELPH, 82), DIER, LINGARD (LOFTUS-CHEEK, 68), STERLING (RASHFORD, 73), KANE (WELBECK, 73)
NIGERIA: UZOHO, SHEHU (EBUEHI, 46), TROOST-EKONG, BALOGUN (OMERUO, 46), IDOWU, MIKEL, OBI (OGU, 46), ONAZI (ETEBO, 46), IWOBI, IGAHLO (IHEANACHO, 77), MOSES (MUSA, 63)