Andros Townsend, the surprise selection by Roy Hodgson for England’s vital World Cup qualifying game repaid the manager’s faith in him with a goal and an outstanding performance to be ‘Man of the Match’ on his debut in the team’s 4 – 1 victory over Montenegro at Wembley.
Townsend was a constant threat to the Montenegro defence with his pace and running, creating chances for others and having the confidence to strike at goal himself. With Kyle Walker behind him at right-back, Townsned and his Tottenham team-mate provided pace and power on the right. In an early run, cutting in from the right Townsend provided the opportunity for Wayne Rooney to set up a goalscoring chance.
Such was the threat from Townsend that Montenegro had two defenders on him which left space for England to exploit. Walker also contributed to the team’s attacking intentions and started a move which ended with a shot from Steven Gerrard being saved by the goalkeeper.
Towards the end of the first half Rooney laid off the ball for Townsend to go on a run on the right wing. His shot was parried by the goalkeeper but Rooney put the loose ball into the side netting.
Still scoreless at the interval, Townsend had been England’s liveliest player and it didn’t take long in the second half for England to take advantage of Townsend’s running as he started the move on the right which led to the opening goal from Rooney after 49 minutes.
Walker blotted his copybook with a booking for a foul shortly after which means he will miss the final match against Poland on Tuesday.
Townsend had a low shot saved from a short Baines’ corner before England added their second through an own goal. Montenegro pulled a goal back after 70 minutes but 8 minutes later, Townsend crowned his evening with a lovely goal. He picked up the ball in midfield and ran past the defenders and from 20m yards he hit a serving, curling shot past the goalkeeper.
Two minutes later, Townsend goes off and in the final minute England added a fourth with a penalty from Sturridge.
It was an exciting debut from Andros Townsend who showed how far he has progressed in the past year. Roy Hodgson admitted that it was a gamble to start with Townsend but was delighted with his performance. The England manager’s comments on the Tottenham winger were reported in the Daily Mail,
He made a big impact and he got man of the match. It can’t be easy for a young player making his debut in a game of this nature, but he deserves credit. He played with a calmness and composure I’ve seen when he’s played for QPR and Tottenham