epa06780779 England's Harry Kane (R) celebrates with his teammates after scoring the 2-0 lead during the International Friendly soccer match between England and Nigeria at Wembley in London, Britain, 02 June 2018.  EPA/FACUNDO ARRIZABALAGA
Harry Kane, right, celebrates after scoring England's second goal in the 2-1 win over Nigeria at Wembley on Saturday. Facundo Arrizabalaga / EPA

England get World Cup preparations under way with victory over Nigeria


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One down, one to go. England have a solitary friendly left to prepare for the 2018 World Cup and if the headlines from Wembley involved a victory and a goal from Harry Kane on his first game after being installed as the long-term captain, the significance may lie in the names being stencilled onto the teamsheet.

The Tottenham Hotspur duo of Kieran Trippier and Dele Alli were arguably the outstanding individuals against Nigeria. The right wing-back and the midfielder ought to have booked their places in the starting XI against Tunisia in Russia.

Left wing-back Ashley Young pressed his case with his creative prowess while there were clear indications Gareth Southgate sees Kyle Walker as a centre-back and Jordan Pickford as his first-choice goalkeeper.

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England began terrifically. Francis Uzoho repelled Trippier’s sixth-minute free kick, but it only preserved parity for a few seconds. Trippier took the resulting corner and Gary Cahill met it with an emphatic header. A fine display capped a return to form and favour for a man who lost his place in the Chelsea team and the England squad. Two weeks after captaining his club to FA Cup final victory at Wembley, he scored for his country.

It highlighted a weakness. Nigeria’s problems against the crossed ball may not bode well for them. Uzoho made a stop from John Stones and Eric Dier headed wide, both from Young’s set-pieces.

Impressive early on, Uzoho erred when he let Kane’s shot squirm under him as England doubled their lead. The striker was teed up by Raheem Sterling.

Southgate had considered omitting Sterling for his tardy timekeeping after he reported late for the squad. Yet that would have come at a cost to his preparations. The Manchester City man is earmarked for a key role and the shame for England’s roving No 10 was that he marred an otherwise encouraging performance with his diving, which earned him a yellow card, and shooting, spurning the chances to score just a third international goal. Alli was the provider on each occasion, once following a terrific ball from Kane, but Sterling missed the target twice.

At that stage, it was another advertisement for the merits of England’s 3-5-2 system. They always had passing options. Nigeria found too many of their players too elusive. Their answer came in the form of a half-time switch to match up. England’s future opponents may take note and act accordingly.

Mediocre in the first half, Nigeria scored soon into the second. Alex Iwobi dispatched the rebound after Odion Ighalo struck the post. Pickford he was left powerless. It was the first goal England have conceded in open play since September.

There could have been a second as Nigeria applied pressure. Excellent before the break, England were undistinguished after it.

UAE currency: the story behind the money in your pockets
Our legal columnist

Name: Yousef Al Bahar

Advocate at Al Bahar & Associate Advocates and Legal Consultants, established in 1994

Education: Mr Al Bahar was born in 1979 and graduated in 2008 from the Judicial Institute. He took after his father, who was one of the first Emirati lawyers

Scores in brief:

Boost Defenders 205-5 in 20 overs
(Colin Ingram 84 not out, Cameron Delport 36, William Somerville 2-28)
bt Auckland Aces 170 for 5 in 20 overs
(Rob O’Donnell 67 not out, Kyle Abbott 3-21).

CREW

Director: Rajesh A Krishnan

Starring: Tabu, Kareena Kapoor Khan, Kriti Sanon

Rating: 3.5/5

The biog:

Favourite book: The Leader Who Had No Title by Robin Sharma

Pet Peeve: Racism 

Proudest moment: Graduating from Sorbonne 

What puts her off: Dishonesty in all its forms

Happiest period in her life: The beginning of her 30s

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MATCH INFO

Asian Champions League, last 16, first leg:

Al Ain 2 Al Duhail 4

Second leg:

Tuesday, Abdullah bin Khalifa Stadium, Doha. Kick off 7.30pm

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Williams at Wimbledon

Venus Williams - 5 titles (2000, 2001, 2005, 2007 and 2008)

Serena Williams - 7 titles (2002, 2003, 2009, 2010, 2012, 2015 and 2016)

SHALASH THE IRAQI

Author: Shalash
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Pages: 352
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Winner: Rebel’s Romance, William Buick, Charlie Appleby
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Winner: Lord North, Frankie Dettori, John Gosden
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Company: Eco Way
Started: December 2023
Founder: Ivan Kroshnyi
Based: Dubai, UAE
Industry: Electric vehicles
Investors: Bootstrapped with undisclosed funding. Looking to raise funds from outside

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Dir: Abby Kohn/Mark Silverstein
Starring: Amy Schumer, Michelle Williams, Emily Ratajkowski, Rory Scovel
 

Second ODI

England 322-7 (50 ovs)
India 236 (50 ovs)

England win by 86 runs

Next match: Tuesday, July 17, Headingley 

ESSENTIALS

The flights 

Etihad (etihad.com) flies from Abu Dhabi to Mykonos, with a flight change to its partner airline Olympic Air in Athens. Return flights cost from Dh4,105 per person, including taxes. 

Where to stay 

The modern-art-filled Ambassador hotel (myconianambassador.gr) is 15 minutes outside Mykonos Town on a hillside 500 metres from the Platis Gialos Beach, with a bus into town every 30 minutes (a taxi costs €15 [Dh66]). The Nammos and Scorpios beach clubs are a 10- to 20-minute walk (or water-taxi ride) away. All 70 rooms have a large balcony, many with a Jacuzzi, and of the 15 suites, five have a plunge pool. There’s also a private eight-bedroom villa. Double rooms cost from €240 (Dh1,063) including breakfast, out of season, and from €595 (Dh2,636) in July/August.

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Date started: 2012

Founder: Amir Barsoum

Based: Dubai, UAE

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COMPANY PROFILE

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Company Profile

Company name: Cargoz
Date started: January 2022
Founders: Premlal Pullisserry and Lijo Antony
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Company Profile

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Started: 2021
Founders: Syed Ali, Christian Buchholz, Shanawaz Rouf, Arsalan Siddiqui, Nabid Hassan
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The specs

Engine: Dual permanently excited synchronous motors
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MATCH INFO

Uefa Champions League, last-16. first leg

Atletico Madrid v Juventus, midnight (Thursday), BeIN Sports


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