LONDON (AP) — Dominic Calvert-Lewin, Danny Ings and Conor Coady scored their first England goals in a 3-0 victory over Wales in a friendly on Thursday when international football returned to Wembley after 11 months.
A prolific start to the season with Everton earned Calvert-Lewin an England debut, and the striker took only 26 minutes to head in from Jack Grealish’s cross inside an empty stadium.
While finding the target was anticipated of a player who now has 10 goals in seven matches for club and country, Coady making the scoresheet was not expected.
But the defender, who has only one goal in five years for Wolverhampton Wanderers, got on the end of Kieran Trippier’s free kick with a half-volley eight minutes into the second half of his second England appearance.
The most spectacular of the three goals came from the player who had to wait the longest to make his mark for England.
Meeting Tyrone Mings’ cross, Ings sent an overhead kick past goalkeeper Wayne Hennessey in the 63rd minute.
Having first been called up for international duty in 2015, this was only the third time the 28-year-old Southampton striker had worn the Three Lions jersey and his first start.
It was an experimental starting lineup, with Gareth Southgate prioritizing England’s Nations League Games against Belgium on Sunday and Denmark on Wednesday.
Three games are being squeezed in over the next week as countries catch up on games postponed earlier in the pandemic.
While fans are still being shut out of Wembley, supporters are returning to stadiums elsewhere in Europe with thousands attending in Brussels to see Belgium draw 1-1 with the Ivory Coast in a friendly. Michy Batshuayi’s opener for the hosts was canceled out by Franck Kessié’s penalty in the 87th minute.
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