Gareth Southgate sought to clear the air with Phil Foden on his first day back in the England camp and challenged the Manchester City midfielder to "show everybody what he can do".

Foden made his England debut in a 1-0 Nations League win in Iceland in September but was sent home along with Manchester United striker Mason Greenwood prior to the fixture against Denmark for breaching coronavirus protocols.

The duo were left out of the squad for last month's international window, with Southgate explaining at the time: "We have to send a message to all the players in our teams at every age level that that sort of thing isn't how we do things with England, but then we also have to rehabilitate these two boys."

While Greenwood missed out on selection for November's batch of games, Foden did earn a recall and came off the bench in the friendly win over the Republic of Ireland.

Foden is set to get more minutes in England's final Nations League clash against Iceland at Wembley on Wednesday and Southgate insisted there will be no lasting ramifications for the 20-year-old.

"It has been good to have him back this week," the Three Lions boss said. "Phil has trained really well this week and it was good to get him into the game against Ireland.

"Given the players in the squad and the way it is emerging and evolved over the week, it will be good to get Phil into the game. 

"I am sure he has relished the chance to be back with the squad, we know he is a very exciting talent and he is a player who we have a lot of belief in and who Manchester City have a lot of belief in, so this could be a good opportunity for him to show everybody what he can do really.

"I made sure we chatted on the first day and put that behind us immediately.

"It was done once we had made the decision on the October squad. That was it. From then on it was always going to be a judgment on football.  

"I'm sure for anybody walking back in initially that is going to feel a little bit...especially when you're young, but definitely as the week has gone on he has been more relaxed.  

"I gave him a bit of a hiding at two-touch yesterday, which he was probably a little bit upset about, but he's in with the group.

"He's relaxed, and that's what's important because to be able to play his football properly that's where everybody needs to be."

Raul Jimenez and Hirving Lozano struck in the second half as Mexico extended their unbeaten run to 10 matches with a 2-0 friendly win over Japan in foggy Graz on Tuesday.

Japan had the better of the first half at Merkur Arena, but Guillermo Ochoa made a brilliant fingertip save to keep out Genki Haraguchi's drive before denying Musashi Suzuki the opening goal.

Busy captain Ochoa was called into action again to thwart Junya Ito and Daichi Kamada came close with a header as the Samurai Blue remained on the front foot.

Mexico played with much more urgency after the interval, Jimenez forcing a fine reflex save from Japan goalkeeper Daniel Schmidt.

The clinical Wolves striker was not to be denied a fifth goal in his past six international games after 63 minutes, though, poking home from inside the penalty area as Japan were unable to contain Mexico's passing and movement.

Mexico were playing with a swagger after a lacklustre first-half display and Lozano added a second five minutes after Jimenez's opener, racing through and tucking the ball beyond Schmidt in composed fashion.

Giovanni Reyna was one of three United States players to score their maiden international goals in Monday's 6-2 friendly victory over Panama.

USA played out a goalless draw with Wales in their first game for nine months last Thursday but had no trouble converting their chances at Stadion Wiener Neustadt.

Fielding their second-youngest starting XI ever at 22 years and 154 days old on average, made up entirely of European-based players, Gregg Berhalter's charges got off to a slow start as Jose Fajardo glanced in the opener from Panama's only on-target attempt of the first half.

Reyna, making his second appearance just three days after his 18th birthday, levelled up with what was also his side's first direct free-kick goal since Jozy Altidore netted against Jamaica in the 2017 Gold Cup.

Nicholas Gioacchini was next to get off the mark for USA on his full debut with a tap-in after Ulysses Llanez's shot was parried into his path.

He had his second of the game four minutes later with a header inside the six-yard box, making him the fifth different USA player to score multiple goals in their past seven matches. 

Gioacchini squandered a chance to complete his hat-trick when his spot-kick was saved by Orlando Mosquera and Fajardo then appeared to set up a nervy finale when powering a shot past Zack Steffen 11 minutes from time.

Sebastian Soto killed off any hopes of a comeback with a goal five minutes and 46 seconds after being introduced for his debut and he doubled his personal tally in added time, scoring his brace either side of Sebastian Lletget's strike.

Mexico spectacularly turned around a half-time deficit as they scored three goals inside four minutes to record a 3-2 victory over South Korea in Austria. 

Hwang Ui-jo opened the scoring when he scuffed in a volley from Son Heung-min's cross for South Korea, who only had 19 players available for the friendly fixture following further positive COVID-19 cases within coach Paulo Bento's squad. 

Mexico managed 12 shots in the first half but their frustrations were over when they produced a sensational treble to seize command of the contest at Stadion Wiener Neustadt. 

Raul Jimenez turned in a low cross to equalise, while a depleted South Korea were stunned again within a minute when Uriel Antuna provided the finish to fellow substitute Orbelin Pineda's throughball. 

Carlos Salcedo then made it 3-1 in the 70th minute with a crisp, half-volleyed finish and while Kwon Kyung-won pulled a goal back late on, Mexico were deserved winners in the end.

Gerardo Martino's side are back in action again on Tuesday, taking on Japan in Graz. South Korea, meanwhile, go up against Qatar, also on Austrian soil.

Republic of Ireland midfielder Alan Browne has tested positive for coronavirus after playing the full 90 minutes against England on Thursday.

Browne was part of the Ireland team beaten 3-0 at Wembley after goals from Harry Maguire, Jadon Sancho and Dominic Calvert-Lewin.

Testing since that match has revealed the Preston North End man has contracted COVID-19, however.

Browne, who contested a game-high 13 duels, has had "no close contacts", FA Ireland reported on Friday.

"The rest of the staff and squad tested negative ahead of Sunday's UEFA Nations League [game] against Wales in Cardiff," a short statement read on Twitter.

While Ireland visit Wales then host Bulgaria in the Nations League, England go to Belgium before playing Iceland at Wembley.

The Iceland fixture had been in some doubt due to the visitors' prior match in Denmark, where a latest coronavirus outbreak has led to tightening of travel restrictions.

But Iceland were granted exemption on Thursday, allowing the game to go ahead.

Gareth Southgate paid tribute to an inexperienced England side after they claimed a 3-0 friendly win over the Republic of Ireland.

With a Nations League double-header against Belgium and Iceland on the horizon, the Three Lions boss left out the likes of Jordan Henderson, Raheem Sterling and Harry Kane at Wembley on Thursday evening.

Southgate instead went with a youthful team, with goalkeeper Nick Pope the oldest player at 28, while Jude Bellingham came on to make his England bow – becoming the third youngest debutant for the men's team, after Theo Walcott and Wayne Rooney.

He was nevertheless treated to an impressive showing from his fringe players, whose march to victory never looked in doubt.

Southgate told ITV: "I was really pleased with the way the boys played. 

"[With] a lot of young players, a lot of inexperienced players, we used the ball very well, created a lot of chances [and] it could have been more comfortable if we'd taken some of those chances. But overall, very pleased. 

"I think we were a bit slow at the start but that's understandable, it's not a team that has had a lot of time to work together. 

"The longer they went on, some of the interplay, some of the play between our attacking 10s and our wing-backs in particular was very good, especially down this left side: Bukayo [Saka], Jack [Grealish] and then Mason [Mount]. I was very pleased."

Grealish followed up an assist on his England debut with another on his second outing to take his tally to five goals and seven assists in 11 appearances for club and country this term.

It had been suggested that the 25-year-old was in a straight shootout with Mason Mount for a starting place in attacking midfield for the Three Lions but, after using both in the same team, Southgate dismissed that notion.

He added: "There are a lot of other players in the squad as well, so we've got great competition for places. 

"You saw them in two different roles today, they can both play in a few different roles, but I was pleased with the way we moved the ball."

As for Grealish himself, he is hoping that his withdrawal just past the hour mark bodes well for involvement against Belgium next up.

"Who knows? That's what I want to do, I want to play as much as possible and all I've got to do is try and impress the manager as much as I can," the Aston Villa captain said. 

"Since I've come in he's been brilliant with me on and off the pitch, speaking to me all the time, telling me what he wants me to do. 

"That's what I've tried to do and fingers crossed."

Grealish completed 89.7 per cent of 39 attempted passes, with 36 of those coming in Ireland's half, while he combined with Mount on 17 occasions in total.

He continued: "I think coming here and training with these guys day in, day out for two weeks, it just steps up everything about your game, it especially has with mine. 

"Just watching the way Harry [Kane], Jordan Henderson, Raheem Sterling are day to day and how they train. 

"In training you learn off these guys as well, so that's what I've been trying to do. I'm trying to take as much as I can from them and I think it's helped me."

Wales were held to a home stalemate by the United States on Thursday in the absence of head coach Ryan Giggs.

Giggs agreed to step aside for Wales' three November fixtures after his recent arrest following an assault allegation, which he denies, and stand-in boss Robert Page oversaw a 0-0 draw.

A youthful USA were the brighter of the sides in the first half without managing to test Danny Ward, before Wales - without Aaron Ramsey and Gareth Bale in their squad - improved in the second period but could find no way through in a low-key friendly at the Liberty Stadium.

Tom Lawrence was among nine changes to Wales' starting line-up following last month's late win in Bulgaria and he tested Zack Steffen with the first shot 32 minutes in.

However, Barcelona teenager Konrad de la Fuente, one of USA's three debutants, wasted the only notable chance of the first half when pouncing on Dylan Levitt's backpass and blazing over.

Both sides used the second half to introduce more debutants and Brennan Johnson nearly marked his maiden cap in style, only denied a goal by Zack Steffen's low save just 37 seconds after coming on.

While Wales have made a habit of scoring late goals in recent game, the best of the remaining openings in Swansea fell the way of USA substitute Ulysses Llanez, who had a low shot pushed around the post by Ward.

Gianluigi Buffon has urged Cristiano Ronaldo to match Pele for career goals after the Portugal star drew level on the all-time list with Ferenc Puskas.

Ronaldo came off the bench to score in Wednesday's 7-0 friendly thrashing of Andorra in Lisbon, reaching 102 at international level, just seven short of the world record held by Iran's Ali Daei.

That goal took the Juventus star to 746 for club and country in his storied career, a tally that is said to equal that of Real Madrid and Hungary legend Puskas.

While there is conjecture around the precise number of goals scored by some of the game's greatest players in the previous century, it is widely claimed that Ronaldo is now behind only Pele (767 goals), Romario (772) and Slavia Prague great Josef Bican (805) on the all-time list.

Juve veteran Buffon now wants his team-mate to haul in Pele and move into history's top three.

"Grande CR7issimo!!!" he wrote on Twitter on Thursday. "Congrats for this great achievement my friend, 746 goals are an huuuge amount! You reached Puskas, now you have to get Pele!"

Ronaldo, 35, has six goals in four Serie A games this season, having missed four matches in all competitions due to coronavirus. He scored 31 in Italy's top flight in 2019-20.

He will likely have a chance to add to his career tally on Saturday, when Portugal host France in their penultimate Nations League Group A3 encounter.

Portugal head coach Fernando Santos defended his decision to start Cristiano Ronaldo on the bench against Andorra, saying the star would break the international goals record anyway.

Ronaldo came on at half-time and scored as Portugal thrashed Andorra 7-0 in a friendly in Lisbon on Wednesday.

The Juventus star moved onto 102 international goals, closing in on former Iran forward Ali Daei's men's record of 109.

Santos discussed his decision to start Ronaldo on the bench, saying it was partly because the forward was recently sidelined with coronavirus.

"When it comes to the idea that Cristiano Ronaldo must play [against Andorra] to score goals and break the record, well, Ronaldo does not need to score against Andorra to become the top scorer. He will be anyway," he told a news conference.

"Therefore, he came on as a substitute and played for long enough. It's important to understand that Ronaldo didn't play a game for 19 days during his lockdown. He's one of the players who need some minutes to get a competitive rhythm.

"I didn't think it was right to put him on early in the game. Andorra were playing in the last 20 metres of the pitch just defending and tackling. It could be dangerous for us. We must look carefully at every situation.

"Anyway, I am not sure if Ronaldo was anxious to play. Every player always wants to score goals, that's for sure."

While Ronaldo only played a half, he had more shots (seven) than any other player, while also finishing with an assist as he claimed his 100th international victory with Portugal.

Paulinho scored a brace on debut, while Pedro Neto also marked his first appearance with a goal, to go with strikes from Renato Sanches, Ronaldo and Joao Felix and an Emili Garcia own goal.

The meeting with Andorra came three days before Portugal face France in the Nations League, with both teams on 10 points in Group 3 of League A.

Santos said he would have preferred to train than face Andorra, who are ranked 145th by FIFA.

"I said before the game that I would rather train and prepare for the next game instead of playing. I believe it would have been better for us," he said.

"But I also said that given that wasn't the case, we should make the most of the game. And that means being fully focused, playing with a good attitude as we always do and it's normally difficult to do that in these types of friendlies. And the team has responded really well, just as I wanted.

"We had full control of the game, it was a solid performance and Andorra never had a chance. And that was thanks to the players, their organisation, effort and focus."

France head coach Didier Deschamps saw "some interesting things" from Marcus Thuram on his international debut against Finland.

Les Bleus' 12-match unbeaten run was ended with a shock 2-0 loss to Finland at Stade de France on Wednesday.

Thuram, the son of World Cup winner Lilian, hit the crossbar with a header and volleyed over as he made his international debut.

Deschamps liked some of what he saw from Borussia Monchengladbach forward Thuram.

"Because it is his first cap with France, I will look at some mitigating factors," he told a news conference.

"He has done some good things, especially during the first half. He could have scored with a bit more luck when his header hit the crossbar.

"He has tried, he has created some space. It was a bit more difficult for him during the second half. There were less gaps and maybe he was a bit tired too, his last game was on Sunday.

"He has shown us some interesting things for his first cap."

Marcus Forss and Onni Valakari scored debut goals for Finland in a shock win.

France attempted 24 shots against Finland, their highest tally in a game without scoring a single goal since drawing with Luxembourg in September 2017.

Deschamps said France needed to learn from their loss ahead of facing Portugal in a crucial Nations League clash on Saturday.

"I want to congratulate this Finland team. Regarding our aggressiveness, intensity and togetherness it is a hard lesson to remember for us," he said.

"Sometimes, it is nice to take a hard game like this in case we forget some of the basics. Those are the facts, this is the reality of high-level football and hopefully it is like that."

Donny van de Beek said his time is "definitely coming" at Manchester United as the Netherlands goalscorer preached patience amid his lack of minutes.

Van de Beek has yet to start a Premier League game for United since joining from Eredivisie giants Ajax at the start of the season in a deal that could rise to £39.1million (€44m).

The 23-year-old has only seen 75 minutes of Premier League action, scoring once, while he has started twice in the Champions League and twice in the EFL Cup this term.

Asked about his situation in Manchester after scoring in the Netherlands' 1-1 friendly draw with Spain on Wednesday, Van de Beek told NOS: "It sounds cliché for me to say this, because of course I would have liked to play more, but I really enjoy being in a nice team. I am simply received very well and helped by everyone.

"I'm a patient person, but of course you go there to play as much as possible. I also think – in the minutes that I have made, in the times that I have come in – I have shown that I can add something to the team."

Ole Gunnar Solskjaer's midfield options include stars Bruno Fernandes, Paul Pogba, Fred, Nemanja Matic and Scott McTominay.

United manager Solskjaer has preferred a midfield duo of Fred and McTominay just behind Fernandes in games against Chelsea, Paris Saint-Germain and Newcastle United, with Pogba and Van de Beek on the bench in last week's win over Everton.

In his limited Premier League minutes, Van de Beek has a passing accuracy of 83.33 per cent – better than Pogba and Fernandes.

In the Champions League through three matchdays, Van de Beek boasts a passing accuracy of 92 per cent, better than Matic (89.4), Pogba (85.5), Fred (84.1), McTominay (83) and Fernandes (73.3).

Van de Beek added: "What does he [Solskjaer] say to me? That I have to be patient, but also that I just have to continue with what I am doing. 

"And that he's seen that I have a good impact when I come into the field. My time is definitely coming. And when those opportunities come, I have to be there."

Fernando Santos gave little away regarding Portugal's attack for their Nations League clash with France.

Cristiano Ronaldo, Diogo Jota and Joao Felix came off the bench as the European champions thrashed Andorra 7-0 in a friendly on Wednesday.

Ronaldo and Joao Felix got on the scoresheet, while Paulinho marked his international debut with a brace as he started.

The reigning Nations League champions, Portugal host France in Lisbon on Saturday, the teams both on 10 points in Group 3 of League A with two matches left to play.

But, asked about Ronaldo, Jota, Joao Felix and Paulinho facing France, Santos said one would miss out.

"Only three of the four play," the Portugal head coach said.

"But I will not reveal which ones."

Pedro Neto and Renato Sanches were also on the scoresheet against Andorra, to go with an Emili Garcia own goal, as Portugal dominated.

Santos was satisfied with his side's performance as they extended their unbeaten run to eight games.

"It was an interesting game and within what we expected," he said.

"Obviously Andorra is a very defensive team. It was necessary to have a lot of patience to circulate the ball and to find spaces. The team did well in that respect.

"It was a successful game."

Germany head coach Joachim Low praised his fringe players after a changed side delivered a 1-0 friendly win against the Czech Republic, but warned those involved not to expect a regular place for Die Mannschaft.

Gian-Luca Waldschmidt's first-half goal proved enough to earn Germany only their second victory in six matches in 2020, and the assist came from PSV Eindhoven defender Philipp Max, who was making his debut.

Both Max and fellow debutant Ridle Baku gave strong showings, as did Florian Neuhaus in midfield and Robin Koch at centre-back, but Low indicated that his more established stars would return to the fold for Germany's Nations League meetings with Ukraine and Spain.

"We won't change a lot in those games," Low told RTL.

"This line-up will probably no longer play together. Still, you have to say that the guys got involved and played an intense game.

"We had good actions in the first half. In the second half we failed to score but were able to defend the 1-0 lead, so we can be satisfied."

Max, a former Bayern Munich youth player who represented Schalke, Karlsruher and Augsburg before joining PSV, caused the Czech Republic problems all evening in Leipzig, not least when he instinctively pounced on a parried shot to tee up Waldschmidt's goal.

He said: "I'm really proud to have made my international debut today. It is also a really special day for my family and friends."

Germany did show signs of the defensive frailties that saw them concede seven goals in their previous three outings, but Manchester City midfielder Ilkay Gundogan, who captained Low's men at Red Bull Arena, was quick to defend his international colleagues.

"Mistakes are common," said Gundogan. "You have to forgive young players, especially those making their debuts.

"We can be satisfied with the win."

Alberigo Evani says Roberto Mancini was in constant contact with the Italian bench during the Azzurri's routine 4-0 friendly win over Estonia on Wednesday.

Head coach Mancini is self-isolating at home after testing positive for COVID-19, with his assistant Evani stepping up to take charge of the clash at Stadio Artemio Franchi. 

Federico Bernardeschi and Riccardo Orsolini added to Vincenzo Grifo's brace – the Freiburg forward's first international goals – as Italy stretched their unbeaten run to 20 games with ease.

Mancini was directing operations via Gianluca Vialli on the Italy bench, according to Evani, who believes Italy should have beaten their opponents by even more.

"Luca on the bench did what I usually do with Roberto, so there was this connection between them and it went well," he told RAI Sport. 

"To be honest, we could've done even better, as these lads could've pressed better and raised the tempo, but we can't ask for too much.

"It's what we expected from our lads. We knew this was a game where we had everything to lose and couldn't make mistakes.

"We saw some good things and the human quality within this group is extraordinary. It's a good sign for Italian football and I am doubly satisfied considering I worked with many of these lads in the Under-20s."

Grifo was the star of the show for the hosts, opening his account for his country with a sumptuous half-volley from 25 yards before adding a second from the penalty spot 15 minutes from time. 

He also made one key pass and won five of his six duels on what was his fourth appearance for Italy.

The 27-year-old has spent his entire professional career in Germany after being born there to Italian parents, but he says he only ever considered representing the Azzurri. 

"I am really happy just to be here, so I'm even happier with the goals," he said.

"Everyone knows I never even thought about playing for anyone other than Italy. I was born and raised in Germany, but I am 100 per cent Italian.

"I want to dedicate these goals to my parents. You have to believe in yourself, try to give your best at club level and whenever you are called upon and then hope the coach picks you.

"We've got a lot of quality in this squad, with players from Juventus, Paris Saint-Germain and all over the place. I am at Freiburg and have a lot to learn. I'm very happy to be here."

Italy face Nations League clashes against Poland and Bosnia-Herzegovina on Sunday and Wednesday respectively.

Georginio Wijnaldum is honoured to have captained the Netherlands in their 1-1 draw with Spain but said he has mixed feelings due to the absence of close friend Virgil van Dijk.

Wijnaldum took over the captain's armband for Wednesday's friendly from injured Liverpool and Netherlands team-mate Van Dijk, who is likely to be out for the rest of the season after sustaining significant damage to his anterior cruciate ligament (ACL) last month.

Stand-in skipper Wijnaldum played 45 minutes in Amsterdam – the upcoming Nations League fixtures against Poland and Ukraine taking priority, and revealed after the match he had been in close contact with Van Dijk ahead of kick-off.

"Of course it is great to represent your country in this way," said Wijnaldum, who celebrated his 30th birthday on Wednesday. "But I would have preferred for Van Dijk to have been here. Then he would have been the captain instead.

"He makes our team stronger and is still very involved with us. I had him on the phone before the game - we talked about my birthday. But I'll call him again shortly."

Donny van de Beek scored his second international goal in as many games early in the second half to earn the Netherlands a draw against a second-string Spain side.

Sergio Canales had earlier given Spain the lead with his maiden goal for the national side and Netherlands head coach Frank de Boer was unhappy with his team's defending in the first half.

"We forgot to cover properly," he said. "I told them about that at the break and we improved on it. The game turned when De Beek and [Luuk] de Jong put their opponents under more pressure, more quickly."

De Boer is winless in four matches since replacing Ronald Koeman as coach but is hopeful that run will come to an end in Sunday's home match against Bosnia-Herzegovina.

"Of course I would have liked to have won the game," he said. "Let's go and do that against Bosnia."

Owen Wijndal, 20, was the standout player for the Netherlands on what was just his second senior outing.

The left-back managed more tackles (three) than any home player while nobody turned over possession more times (seven) and intercepted the ball (twice) more often.

"He was fantastic," De Boer said. "He made a very good impression today. He has done a fantastic job and was a lot better than on his debut against Mexico."

Page 1 of 10
© 2020 SportsMaxTV All Rights Reserved.