For the England national team, 2018 has been a year of both success and signs of hope for the future to come. This past summer’s World Cup in Russia proved to be just the beginning of the new era of English Soccer. This positive trend continued Monday, October 15, 2018 as a young but talented England side handed perennial powerhouse Spain their first home defeat since 2003, and England’s first win in Spain since 1987. As if the upset was not big enough news, this win featured England’s youngest team since 1959. Manager Gareth Southgate’s starting lineup featured an average age of 23 with the oldest starting player, Kieran Trippier, at 28.
In a 3-2 win over the Spanish, England’s three goals came from Raheem Sterling in the 16th minute, Marcus Rashford in the 29th minute and Sterling again in the 38th minute. Sterling’s two goals in the match were his first two goals scored for England since 2016 as the young winger has had difficulty as of late replicating the success he’s had on the pitch at the club level up to the national level.
Spain proved that they would not go down without a fight in front of their home supporters as they attempted to come back from the three goal first half deficit with two goals of their own in the second half. The first, scored by second half substitute Paco Alcácer in the 58th minute and the second, by Captain Sergio Ramos in the 90th minute. As Ramos scored in stoppage time, the final whistle blew as he was running back to the center spot to place the ball down for England to resume play. If England can replicate their success they have had as of late, they can hang with anybody.