Wickham scores in England romp
England Under 19 debutant Connor Wickham marked his first international game in the age group with his first goal as England thrashed Albania 6-1 in a European Championship qualifier.
The Ipswich Town striker took just 44 minutes of his debut in the age group to score as England controlled the first of three quick-fire European qualifiers.
England got off to a flyer in this afternoon’s match with two goals inside 18 minutes from Tottenham’s Harry Kane and Josh McEachran of Chelsea before Wickham made his mark.
The 17-year-old capped a perfect half for his country with a goal just before the interval as England dominated proceedings.
Wickham was replaced in the 70th minute by Arsenal frontman Benik Ofobe as England romped home with three more goals after the departure of the Town youngster.
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Kane helped himself to a second and although Albania pulled a goal back in the 74th minute through a Vasil Shkurtaj penalty, late goals from Jonjo Shelvey, also from the spot, and a sixth from Ofobe ensured an excellent start to a run of three matches in five days.
England now face Cyprus on Sunday before facing Belgium on Wednesday in the Under 19 European Championship qualifiers.
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A trio of Town players will later look to follow Wickham’s example and complete a good international day for Ipswich.
Gareth McAuley will be hoping to replicate the form of fellow defender Tommy Smith and impress against Italy in tonight’s home Group C qualifier in the European Championships.
Smith was part of the New Zealand backline who helped earn the All Whites a surprise 1-1 draw against the Italians in this summer’s World Cup and McAuley has admitted that he spoke with his centre back partner over the threat posed by the Azzurri.
Town’s mainstay in the heart of the defence is again expected to continue for his country on the right-hand side of a back four and should be in for a busy evening with Italy expected to start with three upfront.
Meanwhile, Marton Fulop and Tamas Priskin will once again be hoping to get the nod when Hungary host San Marino in Group E.