By Jake Davies
- Eric Dier header earns a well-deserved England win
- Wales reply late to snatch a draw with Northern Ireland
- Republic of Ireland get their Euro 2016 preparation off to a great start
Germany 2-3 England
In a well-contested football match that delivered on many fronts, England managed to take the spoils in a well-spirited victory against the World Champions Germany in a fantastically positive performance by the Three Lions. Slowly but surely, we are starting to see some continuity in this England set up under Roy Hodgson. Young, exuberant players with bags of potential like Dele Alli and Danny Rose, provided two extremely great performances for two players with not a great deal of experience to call upon.
Danny Rose offered great reliability and consistent width offensively, which made a difference in the final third. As many have witnessed at domestic level, his ability going forward adds an extra threat from an offensive stand point.
Real Madrid player Toni Kroos grabbed the first goal of the game, as he caught Jack Butland off guard to score a goal from long range. Subsequently Jack Butland would be stretchered off through injury, moments before Mario Gomez scored his first international goal in four years.
England were resilient, daring and played with great tenacity even with the 2-0 deficit and eventually they got rewarded. Harry Kane added to his international tally with a great piece of individual play in order to create the goal for himself and moments later, Jamie Vardy equalized for England with sublime flair, which was his first goal in an England Shirt.
As the game moved into stoppage time, Tottenham sensation Eric Dier delivered the last blow to Germany to snatch the game at the death in a game that demonstrated many positives for Roy Hodgson’s men.
There are tremendous positives for England to take from this win with the World Champions. First of all they didn’t get bullied by one of the best teams in the world. Secondly, the England Players didn’t throw in the towel when the scoreline looked a fairly daunting prospect for anyone wearing an England shirt. Lastly, England are slowly but surely introducing new faces with bags of potential that are starting to show their qualities at international level. After the World Cup many were questioning whether England could challenge for international success after star players like Frank Lampard and Steven Gerrard reached the twlight of their careers- now players are stepping up to the challenge that’s been put in front of them.
Wales 1-1 Northern Ireland
Chris Coleman’s Men salvaged a late draw through a Simon Church equalizer in the dying moments. Wales were without their main star attractions that have guided them to the European Championships, as Gareth Bale and Aaron Ramsey were both out through injury. Often a lot of the Welsh team’s productive and incisive football has come through the qualities of having Gareth Bale on the counter-attack, so their team was considerably under-strengthened without his name on the team sheet.
In the 60th minute, former Manchester United defender Craig Cathcart put Northern Ireland in front, in a match where Wales didn’t realize show their true quality without their star men. Although Chris Coleman will take many positives from this match, including the fact that his team could muster up a draw with the limited resources he had at his disposal.
Republic of Ireland 1-0 Switzerland
Martin O’Neill’s Republic of Ireland added another sensational result in the build up to their Euro 2016 campaign, as they picked up a gritty and determined win over a good Switzerland side in the Aviva Stadium on Friday Night. Aston Villa defender Ciaran Clark’s early strike was enough to separate the two sides in a tightly contested match. The injury to Kevin Doyle that required surgery, casted a shadow over, an otherwise, great performance. In the aftermath of the international friendly, the injury to the Republic of Ireland and Colorado Rapids striker turned out not to be as harsh as feared originally.
Republic of Ireland will now face Slovakia on Tuesday Night in another tune up match for the competitive internationals in the summer.
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