International focus

By SFC Media Fri 06 Sep Club

Rickie Lambert maintained an impressive start to his England career with another standout performance at Wembley Stadium on Friday evening.

Following on from his winner in the 3-2 win over Scotland last month, Lambert notched his second goal in as many international games by putting Roy Hodgson’s side 2-0 up after 27 minutes of the World Cup qualifier against Moldova.

Rickie nodded home a rebound from close range after former Saint Theo Walcott’s shot was parried inside the six yard box.

England went on to record a 4-0 success, with Lambert playing 70 minutes. He was on the pitch for all of the goals scored though and claimed two assists to his name, by playing in the third and fourth goals which were both scored by Manchester United’s Danny Welbeck.

Welbeck picked up a yellow card on the night, and as a result is suspended for Tuesday’s trip to Kiev, which further enhances Lambert’s prospects of playing in his third successive game for the Three Lions next week.

Lambert strikes in the first half at Wembley Stadium

England went top of Group H after previous leaders Montenegro were held to a 1-1 draw by Artur Boruc’s Poland in Warszawa. Robert Lewandowski levelled for the hosts, who play lowly San Marino on Tuesday.

Elsewhere in the World Cup qualification matches involving Saints players, Dejan Lovren played the full 90 minutes of Croatia’s 1-1 draw with Serbia. The Croats were pegged back ten minutes after taking the lead through Mario Mandžukić.

Croatia remain second in Group A and play a friendly against South Korea next week.

Over in Belfast, a hat-trick from Cristiano Ronaldo saw Portugal beat Steven Davis’s Northern Ireland 4-2 at Windsor Park in Group F. The hosts did take a 2-1 lead in the game before the Real Madrid midfielder struck three times in the second 45 minutes.

Saints’ new signing was not amongst the action on Friday however, as Italy beat Bulgaria 1-0 without Dani Osvaldo, but the frontman will hope to be back for the match against Czech Republic on Tuesday.

Earlier in the day, and away from World Cup qualification, Maya Yoshida and Japan ran out 3-0 winners over Guatemala in the Kirin Challenge Cup.  Keisuke Honda, Masato Kudo, and Yasuhito Endō scored for Samurai Blue, who are back in action against Ghana next week.

Young winger Lloyd Isgrove played 90 minutes of the Welsh U21s’ 1-0 defeat to San Marino, but that’s not the end of the international scene this weekend.

Gaston Ramirez’s Uruguay take on Peru in the early hours of Saturday morning, whilst Victor Wanyama will feature for Kenya against Namibia on Sunday.

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