Nigeria's 23-Man Squad For The World Cup Announced

Seven minutes into the game, Gary Cahill opened the scoring for the Three Lions with a towering header from the penalty spot that sailed into the top corner following a corner, 1-0.

Speaking just before kick-off, Southgate admitted he had doubts about selecting Sterling after he arrived a day late for the start of England's training camp due to a flight mix-up as he returned from holiday.

England's win ensured its unbeaten run is now at eight games, reaching back to its loss in France back in June past year.

"I had a decision to make whether to play him after turning up late", England coach Gareth Southgate said. "I have to go out there and show him what I'm capable of", Sterling said.

"I think the pace in the team, you can feel it, and that is why we had some problems in the first half".

Southgate had considered dropping Sterling for the Nigeria clash, but after what the England manager perceived as unfair criticism of the tattoo, he decided it was right to stand by his man.

Southgate was on hand with a strong reminder of the player's responsibilities and Sterling was prepared to sit out if asked.

"The most important job for me is to protect the players".

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"In the second half we corrected some mistakes and played a lot better".

England, who failed to qualify for the Round of 16 at Brazil in World Cup 2014, are placed in Group G for this year's tournament, along with Tunisia, Belgium and Panama.

"I wouldn't necessarily say that team [that started against Nigeria] is the one which starts against Tunisia. So that was as good a half as we've had". Dele [Alli] and Jesse [Lingard] made unselfish runs.

"I should have scored, there was one stuck under my feet and one where the ball was a bit more in front of me and I had to check back, but that's how it goes".

No goals though would come despite the promising spells, leaving England to walk away with the victory in their penultimate pre-World Cup warm-up showdown.

But the 24-year-old was picking the ball out of the net three minutes into the second half as England's three-man central defence of Cahill, Kyle Walker and John Stones were exposed.

(Copyright © 2015. All Rights Reserved.)
 
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