Bukayo Saka and Jorginho went head-to-head in Naples on Thursday night, but it was the England star who ended up on the winning side as the Three Lions recorded a 2-1 win over Italy.
Having met in the final of Euro 2020, the two sides began their quest to reach the finals again next year, but it was the visitors who came out on top.
Bukayo was involved in both of the goals through corners - one which fell to Harry Kane whose shot spun into the path of Declan Rice to tuck away, and then another which caused Giovanni Di Lorenzo to handle in the box, allowing Kane to convert a penalty.
Jorginho’s team kept pushing and debutant Mateo Retegui pulled one back, before Luke Shaw was dismissed with 10 minutes to go but Gareth Southate’s side held on.
Bukayo played 85 minutes of the clash at the Diego Armando Maradona Stadium, while Jorginho lasted 69 before being replaced. Aaron Ramsdale was an unused substitute.
Both teams will be back in action on Saturday, when England host Oleksandr Zinchenko’s Ukraine, while Italy head to Malta.
Hein the penalty hero
Despite losing 1-0 in a friendly to Hungary, Karl Hein impressed for Estonia as he saved a penalty in Budapest.
Martin Adam grabbed the all-important goal for the hosts on 37 minutes, but Karl denied Roland Sallai from 12 yards with 20 minutes remaining to keep his side in the game, but they couldn’t find an equaliser.
Estonia will get their Euro 2024 qualification campaign underway on Monday when they travel to Austria.
Thomas plays his part
Over in Africa, Thomas Partey played the full 90 minutes as Ghana snatched the only goal of the game six minutes into stoppage time against Angola, to take a giant step towards qualification for next year’s Africa Cup of Nations.
The two sides went into the game level on points at the top of their group, but Bournemouth striker Antoine Semenyo popped up with the crucial goal deep into stoppage-time to hand the Black Stars all three points, and put Chris Hughton’s new team one win away from securing their spot in the finals.
Thomas captained his country, and was lauded by many as the man of the match thanks to a dominant display in midfield that saw him carve out a number of opportunities for his teammates. That was his 44th cap, and he’ll get the opportunity to add another on Monday when the two sides face off again.
Nwaneri nets a brace
At youth level, Ethan Nwaneri impressed as he netted twice for England under-17s in a 3-1 Under-17 Euros qualifying win against Denmark.
Ethan started alongside Myles Lewis-Skelly in Katwijk in the Netherlands, and took just nine minutes to get on the scoresheet. He then doubled his tally on 31 minutes, which was his fifth goal in 10 caps at that level.
The Young Lions went on to win their opening group match, with encounters against Northern Ireland the hosts to come over the coming days. Ethan and Myles remained on the field for 61 minutes, and will be looking to feature against their British counterparts on Saturday.
Two more Gunners hoping to help England reach a tournament finals are Reuell Walters and Amario Cozier-Duberry, and they played their part in the under-19s’ 1-0 win against Hungary.
Reuell played the full match in Walsall, while Amario was introduced from the bench in the 77th minute of the Under-19 Euros qualifier, with their next game coming on Saturday against Iceland in Rotherham.
Lino Sousa played his part in helping England under-18s come from behind to hosts Croatia 2-1 in a friendly. After being introduced in the 61st minute, he was involved during a crazy period that saw all three goals netted in a three-minute period just after he arrived on the pitch.
Omari Benjamin also got himself on the scoresheet for Wales’ under-19 side as they beat Scotland 2-1 in friendly action, with the two teams facing off again on Sunday in Wrexham.
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