Euro 2024 Qualifiers: Eze makes England debut against Malta

Euro 2024 Qualifiers: Eze makes England debut against Malta

Eberechi Eze made his first senior appearance for the England national team in their 4-0 win over Malta in Group C of the Euro 2024 qualifiers on Friday night.

The 24-year-old of Nigerian descent was called up for the very first time after impressing for Crystal Palace during the 2022-23 Premier League season where he scored 10 goals and provided four assists to finish as the Eagles top scorer.

Eze started Friday’s game against Malta on the bench and came on in the 70th minute to replace Leicester City attacking midfielder James Maddison.

Ferdinando Apap (own goal), Trent Alexander-Arnold, Harry Kane (penalty) and Callum Wilson (penalty) where the goalscorers, handing England their third win from three games and a six-point lead over UEFA Nations League semifinalists Italy.

Being a competitive game, Eze is tied to England and can no longer represent any other national team. He joins Bukayo Saka, Tammy Abraham and Fikayo Tomori, all of Nigerian descent, in officially switching international allegiance to the Three Lions.

Across the Atlantic, another player of Nigerian descent, Folarin Balogun, made his international bow for the United States Men’s National Team in their 3-0 CONCACAF Nations League semi-final victory over rivals Mexico on Thursday night.

The Arsenal forward, previously on loan at Ligue 1 side Reims, declared his intention to represent the country of his birth and started the feisty encounter at the Allegiant Stadium in Las Vegas, playing for 74 minutes and was replaced by Ricardo Pepi.

Balogun scored 21 league goals while on loan at Reims, the highest tally of any player aged 21 or younger in Europe’s top five leagues.

The game saw the US and Mexico finishing with nine men, Weston McKennie and Sergino Dest receiving red cards for the Americans while Cesar Montes and Gerardo Arteaga got their marching orders for the Mexicans.

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