Three second-half goals see dominant England down Bosnia & Herzegovina

England’s preparations for the UEFA European Championship got off to a winning start as a trio of second-half strikes saw off Bosnia & Herzegovina 3-0 at St James’ Park for their first win of 2024.

In the first meeting between the two sides, England took nine minutes to create a clear opportunity, as full debutant Cole Palmer found a pocket of space and slipped a through ball to Ollie Watkins, but Nikola Vasilj in the Bosnian goal was quick to close the angle and make a save.

Also making his first start for England was Eberechi Eze, and he was causing problems for the visitors’ deep-lying defence, which again had their goalkeeper to thank shortly before the half-hour mark when he kept out Ezri Konsa’s effort following a corner.

Having barely been threatened for much of the first half, the hosts put themselves under pressure four minutes before half-time when a sloppy Marc Guehi pass went straight to Haris Hajradinovic, but English blushes were spared by a Trent Alexander-Arnold deflection that took the shot narrowly wide.

Match stats
Match statsFlashscore

Gareth Southgate’s men continued to dominate territory after the break but initially failed to create more than half-chances for Watkins and Palmer.

That was until Bosnia’s rigidity slipped just before the hour mark when debutant Nikola Katic pulled Konsa down inside the box.

After a VAR review, Norwegian referee Rohit Saggi awarded a penalty, allowing Palmer to step up and bury the spot-kick for his first international goal.

The fresh legs of Harry Kane, James Maddison, and Jack Grealish gave the Dragons further cause for concern on Sergej Barbarez’s debut as manager.

However, despite Kane peppering their goal with multiple strikes, they kept England to one until five minutes from time when a pinpoint Grealish cross was volleyed beautifully into the bottom corner by Alexander-Arnold.

The hosts then added a third soon after when Kane was on hand to gobble up a chance that fell his way during a goal-mouth scramble.

A first victory in four sets England up well for their final warm-up match at home to Iceland, as they remain unbeaten in Newcastle since 1933.

Meanwhile, Bosnia & Herzegovina fall to defeat against a British side for the first time this century.

Flashscore Man of the Match: Cole Palmer (England)


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