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Calvert-Lewin scores twice as England thump San Marino
- Updated: March 26, 2021
LONDON – England kicked off their World Cup 2022 qualifying campaign with a 5-0 thrashing of San Marino as Dominic Calvert-Lewin scored twice and Ollie Watkins marked his debut with a goal.
On a night when Gareth Southgate could have dispensed with defenders altogether, England toyed with FIFA’s lowest-ranked nation who rarely got past the halfway line in the Group I game.
They might be disappointed, however, that San Marino goalkeeper Elia Benedettini only had to pick the ball out of his net five times despite England’s 32 attempts at goal.
San Marino held out for 14 minutes before James Ward Prowse opened his England account and Calvert-Lewin made it 2-0 seven minutes later. Raheem Sterling, who missed a succession of early chances, got the third goal just after the half-hour at which point it seemed England might be heading for double figures.
To their credit San Marino’s part-timers dug deep in the face of a siege at Wembley with Calvert-Lewin’s second goal after the break, a tap-in, the only addition to the score until substitute Watkins slotted in late on.
Calvert-Lewin became the first Everton player to net a double for England since Wayne Rooney in 2004.
“I think we did as well as we could, really,” Southgate, who fielded a largely second-string side, said. “Of course it’s an opponent we should beat, but I thought we played really well.
“The midfield moved the ball really well. It was good to see (the recalled) Jesse (Lingard) enjoying his football again. It was nice to give Watkins half an hour and for him to get a goal is a fairytale.”