Andorra la Vella, October 10 (BNA): Jack Grealish came off the bench to score his first England goal and complete a 5-0 win over Andorra on Saturday, bringing his team one step closer to sealing their place in next year’s world championship. Cup finals.
Manchester City’s Grealish, who made his 16th cap in the 73rd minute, provided a remarkable dribble and finished off a satisfying night for England manager Gareth Southgate resting most of his big guns, Reuters reported.
Ben Chilwell started scoring at Andorra’s small national stadium, and also scored his first goal for England, and Bukayo Saka made it 2-0 shortly before halftime.
And gave Tammy Abraham of Roma for the first time in four years, making it 3-0 with a header, then James Ward-Prowse saved a penalty kick in the 79th minute before converting the rebound.
But the best was eventually saved as Grealish mangled around a tired Andorra defense before firing in a low shot.
“It’s been a long time and it’s time to score my goal because everyone said it to me,” Grealish said. “I’m just glad I went off the mark.
“In the back of my mind there was a feeling that I just wanted to score, just to get off the mark. I did it tonight, I’m happy and it’s a night I will never forget.”
On another mismatch, such as England’s 4-0 win at Wembley last month, Andorra provided the graft and defended aggressively but it was no match for the much-changed Southgate’s sixth win in seven games in the group.
England now have 19 points, four ahead of Albania who won in Hungary, and five over Poland. Two wins in the last three matches, at home to Hungary and Albania and outside San Marino, will book their place in Qatar.
It was a night for the surrounding players in England to make their mark and many of them will be delighted with their night work.
Playing a deeper role, midfielder Phil Foden has been the architect of much of England’s best work while Jadon Sancho has also been impressed after a slow start to his Manchester United career.
It was Foden’s ball that picked Sancho in the 17th minute, then Manchester United’s Chilwell sent a shot past Andorra goalkeeper Josep Gomes.
The goal was initially disallowed for offside, but with all eyes on referee Katrina Monzoll, the first woman to take charge of a major international player in England, she overturned the decision after an examination of the VAR.
England had to wait almost until halftime to double their lead with Foden choosing Saka to finish the match clinically.
After a chaotic start to the second half, England got back to their rhythm and Sancho sent in a cross from the left that was pushed by an unmarked Abraham.
There was more work for Monzol when Chus sent Rubio Grealish into the penalty area, and the Ukrainian official pointed to the spot. Gomez made a superb save but Ward Prowse was unmissable when the ball jumped out.
Grealish put icing on a racy cameo cake when he was picked up by England goalkeeper Sam Johnston before bluffing the Andorra defense with a low shot into the crowd.