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Walker, Stones and Foden start as England suffer surprise defeat

Walker, Stones and Foden start as England suffer surprise defeat
Walker, Stones and Foden start as England suffer surprise defeat

Kyle Walker, John Stones and Phil Foden all started for England as they were beaten 1-0 by Iceland in a friendly at Wembley.

England coach Gareth Southgate trimmed his squad to 26 players in the week ahead of the European Championship which starts on Friday 14 June in Germany.

The Manchester City trio were recalled to the starting line-up for the final warm-up game ahead of Euro 2024 after missing the 3-0 victory over Bosnia-Herzegovina due to their FA Cup final involvement.

But it didn’t go according to plan against an Iceland side under coach Age Hareide, who played for City in the 1980s.

Jon Dagur Thorsteinsson silenced Wembley with a superb low strike into the bottom corner in the 12th minute and it was the only goal of a game short of chances.

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England’s best opportunity of the first half was created by former Academy player Cole Palmer who picked out Harry Kane with a cross but the Bayern Munich striker was off-target.

Stones, who needed treatment in the first half after a clumsy challenge in the first minute, was replaced at half-time by Aston Villa defender Ezri Konsa.

Foden went close to a leveller after the break with a first time strike from Anthony Gordon’s cutback but his effort drifted just off target.

Substitutes Trent Alexander-Arnold and Ivan Toney almost combined for an equaliser but the Brentford forward mishit his strike.

But it was Iceland who came closest to scoring with Thorsteinsson slipping as he was about to score his second.

It was a disappointing way for Southgate’s side to prepare for the challenge of trying to end England’s 58-year wait for silverware.

The Three Lions begin their Euro 2024 campaign against Serbia on 16 June before playing Denmark on 20 June and Slovenia on 25 June.