SUNDERLAND: Marcus Rashford maintained his remarkable progress by scoring on his England debut in a 2-1 win over Australia in a pre-Euro 2016 friendly at Sunderland.
The 18-year-old had previously set English football alight after breaking into the Manchester United team, winning the FA Cup and becoming his country’s youngest goalscoring debutant in the space of 92 days.
Rashford opened his England account in style, capitalising on Daniel Sturridge’s absence through a calf strain, by strking after only two minutes 18 seconds.
The Liverpool striker’s latest setback and Rashford’s man-of-the-match display gives Hodgson a selection headache ahead of whittling his squad down to 23 on Tuesday, but there is no doubt about Wayne Rooney’s place in France.
Brought off the bench at half-time, England’s all-time top scorer gleefully collected a pass from Raheem Sterling and rifled into the top corner.
More fragile moments at the back shows there still remains fine-tuning, though, epitomised by substitute Eric Dier directing Milos Degenek’s cross past his own goalkeeper after injury to stand-in captain Chris Smalling.
The win was harder than had been expected against the world’s 50th ranked Asian champions as Hodgson tried different combinations in England’s second home match away from Wembley since 2007. John Stones, Jack Wilshere and Sterling were the only survivors from Sunday’s 2-1 win against Turkey in Manchester.
England wrap their Euro 2016 preparations with a friendly against fellow finalists Portugal at Wembley on Thursday.