Godfrey Makes England Debut As Everton Trio Feature In Friendly Win

Everton centre-back Ben Godfrey made his senior England debut as the Three Lions beat Austria 1-0 in a European Championship warm-up match on Wednesday night.

Godfrey was introduced as a 62nd-minute substitute alongside Everton teammate Dominic Calvert-Lewin at Middlesbrough’s Riverside Stadium.

Toffees goalkeeper Jordan Pickford played the 90 minutes in a contest settled by Bukayo Saka’s close-range strike early in the second half.

Godfrey’s maiden senior England appearance caps an exceptional season for the 23-year-old.

Having joined Everton from Norwich City on transfer deadline day last October, Godfrey’s exemplary defensive performances saw him quickly establish himself as a First-Team regular. He played 39 matches for the Toffees across all competitions and his consistently polished displays saw him win the Club’s Young Player of the Season award.

In playing the final 28 minutes on his England bow, he helped Gareth Southgate’s team record a clean sheet and see out a narrow victory.

Goalkeeper Pickford – winning his 31st cap – performed with the confidence and authority which has underpinned his fine Everton form in recent months.

His standout moment came when he made a stunning save to tip Marcel Sabitzer’s drive on to the crossbar shortly after Saka’s 56th-minute opener, while his distribution and command of his penalty area impressed throughout.

Calvert-Lewin, Everton’s Player and Players’ Player of the Season, was unable to add to the four goals he has already struck for his country as Austria enjoyed the majority of possession in the game’s latter stages.

The powerful frontman still offered an important presence in leading the England line and was unfortunate to see a fizzing 78th-minute cross flash across the area and fractions beyond strike partner Ollie Watkins.

England’s final warm-up match before their tournament opener against Croatia on 13 June comes on Sunday when Romania visit Riverside Stadium.

Everton left-back Lucas Digne, meanwhile, played the second half as France beat Wales 3-0 in Nice.

Kylian Mbappe, Antoine Griezmann and Ousmane Dembele got the goals for the World Cup holders.

Digne came close to bagging a fourth goal for France five minutes from time but saw his powerful effort hit the side-netting. 

Wales’ task was made all the more difficult when defender Neco Williams was sent off midway through the first half.

France take on Bulgaria in their final warm-up game on Tuesday before kicking off their European Championship campaign against Germany on 15 June.