England ease to 3-0 friendly victory over Bosnia and Herzegovina


England kicked off their European Championship preparation with a 3-0 victory over non-qualifiers Bosnia and Herzegovina on Monday at St James' Park, thanks to goals from Cole Palmer, Trent Alexander-Arnold and captain Harry Kane.

England stepped up their pace after a dull first half and Palmer, who scored nine penalties for Chelsea this season, broke the deadlock with his first England goal in the 60th minute from the spot after Ezri Konsa was tugged down in the box.

"It's a great feeling to get my first England goal," Palmer told Channel 4, who was interviewed alongside Kane, a late-game substitute.

"Of course (Kane) would have taken it if he had been on the pitch," a grinning Palmer added.

Liverpool's Alexander-Arnold, who was one of the bright spots on the night, doubled their lead in the 85th minute with his third goal for England when he fired home from a tight angle off a beautiful pass from Manchester City's Jack Grealish.

Bayern Munich striker Kane, who has 12 goals in his last 12 international appearances, scored perhaps one of the easiest goals of his career four minutes later when he poked the ball in from close range after Jarrod Bowen's shot hit Konsa in a scramble in front of goal.

"I'm feeling good," said Kane, who had not played for Bayern since May 8 due to an ongoing back issue. "A lot of the end of season was precaution. It was a good chance to get a good break at the end of the season. I feel fine.

"It's about getting minutes. I'm not someone who takes too long to get sharp."

Several key players including midfielder Jude Bellingham, who won the Champions League with Real Madrid on Saturday, were missing, but the match was much about manager Gareth Southgate deciding on which seven players he must cut before Friday's deadline for their 26-man squad.

He liked what he saw for much of Monday's match.

"We had players that needed minutes and we needed a competitive game," Southgate said. "The opposition was dogged so we had to be patient and keep probing - we felt our quality would tell.

"There was some good individual performances and hopefully we have come through with no issues."

The second half salvaged what looked destined to be a disappointing night for the sold-out crowd at St James' Park, in England's first game away from Wembley in a year.

With a talent-laden squad and after their runners-up finish at the last Euros, the Three Lions carry high expectations to Germany.

Southgate now faces a tough task in selecting his squad, although several players including Alexander-Arnold, Eberechi Eze, Conor Gallagher and Palmer stood out on Monday.

The manager's job is made more difficult by the fact Harry Maguire, Luke Shaw and Anthony Gordon are recovering from injuries and were not available on Monday, and Southgate chose to rest Bukayo Saka and John Stones.

Six of England's starting 11 arrived at Monday's match with less than 10 caps.

England host Iceland in their final friendly on Friday at Wembley before departing for Germany.

They face Serbia in their opening Group C match on June 16 in Gelsenkirchen.

More from Sports News