England exact revenge against valiant Socceroos

England has avenged its friendly defeat to Australia 13 years ago with a 2-1 win in Sunderland.

In the first meeting between the two countries since 2003, England warmed up for Euro 2016 with a victory thanks to goals from Manchester United pair Marcus Rashford and Wayne Rooney.

An own goal from English defender Eric Dier in the 75th minute cut the 2-0 deficit at a packed Stadium of Light.

Ange Postecoglou went for rookie Jamie Maclaren up front, Mark Milligan partnering Bailey Wright in the centre of defence as anticipated. Australia employed a rare midfield diamond with Tom Rogic playing in behind Robbie Kruse and Maclaren.

It was a terrible start for the Socceroos with debutant Rashford opening the scoring in just the third minute. The Red Devils youngster linked well with Raheem Sterling and was left unmarked in the box to easily volley home past Mat Ryan.

Rashford’s dream run had continued, scoring in his first shot for England just like he did with his first strike in the Premier League and the Europa League.

Australia worked themselves back into the game, with Robbie Kruse first having a shot deflected and then shooting over the goal from distance. Rogic started to have an impact and soon sprayed a shot wide.

The Socceroos were dominating possession but struggled to create clear-cut chances, and England looked dangerous on the break. Ryan was called into action several times, smothering an Adam Lallana strike and then making a pivotal intervention.

Just before half-time Ryan made a brilliant save on Jordan Henderson from outside the box. The goalkeeper’s heroics ensured the score remained 1-0 at the break.Rooney and James Milner were brought on for Lallana and Jack Wiltshire at half-time for England.

The second half was a scrappy period to begin with, Rogic knocking a shot over Fraser Forster’s bar early.

Sterling’s pace continue to cause the Socceroos problems and it was the Manchester City winger who linked with Rooney for England’s second in the 54th minute. Sterling beat his man, was unleashed on the left wing and crossed for Rooney to score.

Postecoglou reacted by bringing on Matt McKay and Chris Ikonomidis for Massimo Luongo and Maclaren.

Roy Hodgson replaced Rashford with Ross Barkley after 63 minutes. Ikonomidis headed wide late on and then Forster knocked away a Kruse drive, after he had been played in by Aaron Mooy.

In the 73rd minute Postecoglou made a double substitution with Tomi Juric and debutant Milos Degenek replacing Rogic and Josh Risdon. It was Degenek’s cross that Eric Dier headed home past Forster for an own goal.

With eight minutes left Jackson Irvine and Craig Goodwin were introduced for Kruse and Mooy.

The Socceroos pressed for an equalizer in the final quarter but were unable to pull a goal back.