Create Profile

Creating your profile will enable you to submit photos and stories to get published on News24.

Please provide a username for your profile page:

This username must be unique, cannot be edited and will be used in the URL to your profile page across the entire 24.com network.

Facebook Sign-In

Hi News addict,

Join the News24 Community to be involved in breaking the news.

Log in with Facebook to comment and personalise news, weather and listings.


Smalling saves England against 10-man Portugal

03 June 2016, 08:40

London -An 86th-minute header from centre-back Chris Smalling spared England's blushes as they squeezed past 10-man Portugal 1-0 at Wembley on Thursday in their final Euro 2016 warm-up game.

While Portugal captain Cristiano Ronaldo was rested following his involvement in Real Madrid's Champions League final victory over Atletico Madrid last weekend, England manager Roy Hodgson was effectively able to name a full-strength line-up.

But with his side's Group B opener against Russia in Marseille just nine days away, it took Smalling's first international goal to secure victory after the hosts had toiled badly despite playing against 10 men following the 35th-minute dismissal of Bruno Alves.

A bullish Hodgson told ITV: "I'm not prepared to accept that we didn't play well. We looked good, we had composure throughout the game and it would have been better to play against 11.

"I'm not prepared to stand here and criticise some players. If I start being dissatisfied with three wins against Australia, Turkey and Portugal, I'm going to be a hard coach to satisfy."

Nonetheless, despite having managed to prevail in all three of their pre-tournament friendlies, England will travel to France on Monday accompanied by more doubts than certainties.

There was little for Portugal's supporters to cheer on a chilly night in west London as their team lost to England for the first time in six games, but coach Fernando Santos will have Ronaldo back in his ranks for their final warm-up match against Estonia in Lisbon on June 8.

"Today was a difficult match," said Santos. "It was a friendly and we had 10 men. It's always difficult with 10 men, especially against England and in this atmosphere.

"But we're enjoying our preparation and we hope to get better in France."

Enterprising Walker

England's fans have been clamouring for Wayne Rooney, Harry Kane and Jamie Vardy to be aligned together in attack, but although Hodgson selected the trio in the same team for the first time, Kane and Vardy took up wide positions, with Rooney in the centre.

With newly appointed Manchester United manager Jose Mourinho in attendance, keeping a close eye on new charges Rooney and Smalling, as well as his Portuguese compatriots, the initial chances England created stemmed from right-back Kyle Walker.

The Tottenham Hotspur player crossed for Rooney to head into Rui Patricio's hands and later slammed narrowly wide from 25 yards.

Portugal, with Nani wearing the captain's armband and starting up front in Ronaldo's absence, saw old-stager Ricardo Carvalho head over from a Joao Moutinho free-kick.

The momentum lurched in England's favour 10 minutes before half-time when Fenerbahce centre-back Alves was shown a straight red card for a dangerous, head-high challenge on Kane near England's right-hand touchline.

Fortunately, the Tottenham striker emerged unscathed and shortly after he worked Patricio with a drilled shot from Rooney's pass.

It was a measure of the tedium in the second half that it took nearly 20 minutes for either team to muster a shot on target, with Eric Dier curling a long-ranger straight at Patricio as a Mexican wave rolled lazily around the ground.

Both managers made a raft of changes in the second half, but while the introduction of Jack Wilshere in place of James Milner added fluency to the hosts' passing, England continued to labour in attack.

Portugal substitute Ricardo Quaresma gave England a scare by curling a shot just wide, but with four minutes remaining Raheem Sterling crossed from the left for Smalling to head in the winner.



Read more from our Users

Submitted by
Shakila Alivitsa
Types of men that are a waste of ...

Most women end up heartbroken because they were trying to convince the wrong man to be in a relationship/ marriage. Read more...

Submitted by
Shakila Alivitsa
Cheating is hardwork!

Cheating, although enjoyable by the person doing it initially, it gets to a point they start realizing that it was never even worth it. Read more...

Submitted by
Shakila Alivitsa
Dating that one person that socie...

Works at a massage parlour. Works at Millionaires Club (that one on Baricho road) - you know the ones I am talking about. Read more...

Submitted by
Shakila Alivitsa
Submitted by
Shakila Alivitsa
What do men mean when they say th...

As much as men think they are the ones confused by relationships, they have a better idea of it than most women actually do. Read more...

Submitted by
Wilson Ochieng
ODM rebels sweat in Kisii as Oran...

ODM rebels are sweating in Kisii after the Orange Party won by elections despite concerted efforts by the ruling Jubilee Party to win the elections. Read more...