England Ease To San Marino Victory

Last updated : 26 March 2021 By Three Lions

England started their World Cup qualifying campaign in emphatic fashion on Thursday evening with a comfortable victory against San Marino.

The international minnows were forced onto the back foot from the opening seconds at Wembley with Gareth Southgate's side missing a host of early opportunities before James Ward-Prowse netted his first England goal just before the quarter-hour mark.

Dominic Calvert-Lewin and Raheem Sterling added to the tally in the first-half, allowing Southgate the luxury of introducing four substitutes, including teenager Jude Bellingham, for the second-half.

England Badge with Three Lions logo

Calvert-Lewin quickly added his second of the evening with San Marino goalkeeper Benedettini performing well to keep the score down, pushing a Ward-Prowse free-kick onto the post and denying Jesse Lingard a goal on an otherwise bright return to the international fold.

There was still time, however, for debutant Ollie Watkins to notch a fifth goal and give the scoreline the gloss the hosts deserved.

England now move on to face Albania in Tirana on Sunday, a fixture that did appear to be in some doubt due to security issues but which has now received the go-ahead.

Earlier in the day there was disappointment for the Under 21's as they lost their opening European Championship game by a single goal to Switzerland.

Aidy Boothroyd's side face a tough task to make the knockout stages with matches to come against Portugal and Croatia.