Already qualified for EURO2024, Gareth Southgate’s England welcomed Malta to Wembley Stadium on Friday. Victory would bolster the Three Lions’ chances of being a seeded team at next summer’s tournament, which would likely result in a favourable draw.
ENG: Pickford; Tomori, Maguire, Guéhi, Trippier; Gallagher, Henderson, Alexander-Arnold; Rashford, Kane, Foden
MAL: Bonello; Camenzuli, J Borg, Pepe, S Borg, J Mbong; Teuma, Guillaumier, Yankam, Reid, P Mbong
After a touching tribute to remember the life of the late Sir Bobby Charlton, the Three Lions stormed into the lead after just eight minutes at a sold-out Wembley Stadium. Seeking to find a colleague inside the penalty area, Phil Foden’s cutback landed in the back of the net – thanks to an unfortunate touch from Malta’s Enrico Pepe.Embed from Getty Images
But despite holding the advantage, England failed to register a shot on target throughout the first sixty minutes of Friday’s clash – as fans were left disappointed by an uninspiring performance from Gareth Southgate’s men.
Harry Kane was on hand to double the lead with fifteen minutes remaining through, with Bukayo Saka teeing up the Bayern Munich striker. The ex-Spurs man would be the cause of a disallowed goal moments later, as he was found to have been in an offside position while in the goalkeeper’s line of sight as Declan Rice’s curling effort snuck past the Maltese goalkeeper.
England now travel to North Macedonia on Monday, with a draw in their final qualifying fixture enough to confirm a top seeding spot in Germany next summer.