FOOTBALL NEWS

11/10/2013 08:55, Report by Adam Bostock

Keane kickstarts England win

Manchester United defender Michael Keane put England Under-21s on track for an important win on Thursday night when he scored an early opening goal away to San Marino.

Joining the attack at a Tom Ince corner, the Reds centre-back was perfectly placed to bury the loose ball when a shot from Liverpool's Raheem Sterling was blocked. This moment of personal pride came just days after Keane scored a cracker in training for the match, a goal shown for free on TheFA.com.

Given the score was 1-0 after just five minutes and England were strong favourites, the floodgates might have been expected to burst open; instead Gareth Southgate's side had to wait for first-half injury-time to double their advantage through a penalty by Keane's near-namesake Harry Kane.

Spurs striker Kane went on to complete a hat-trick in the second half, while Keane helped to keep things water-tight at the back, resulting in a comfortable 4-0 triumph. He was joined on the field by club colleague Jesse Lingard, when the midfielder currently on loan to Birmingham came on in the 55th minute for former United team-mate Ravel Morrison - scorer of an impressive goal for West Ham last weekend.

Meanwhile Wilfried Zaha remained as an unused substitute, as did West Brom's Saido Berahino who scored in both of England Under-21s' matches in September. Both could feature in the next fixture - against Lithuania at Ipswich's Portman Road on Tuesday - should Southgate wish to freshen up his attacking options. The Three Lions go into that game in second place in UEFA European Under-21 Championship Qualifying Group One.

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