Southgate admits England lucky to see off Iceland


England coach Gareth Southgate admitted relief after their 1-0 win over Nations League qualifying opponents Iceland.

Raheem Sterling's late penalty gave England victory as they started their Uefa Nations League campaign in Iceland - despite the hosts squandering the chance to rescue a point by missing an injury-time spot-kick.

In an chaotic end to a largely dull encounter, Sterling looked to have secured three points for manager Gareth Southgate's side when he rolled in an 89th-minute spot-kick after his shot was handled by Sverrir Ingason, who was then sent off after receiving a second yellow card.

England, who had earlier been reduced to 10 men after Kyle Walker was also sent off for second yellow card, had to survive that last-gasp scare when Iceland were awarded a penalty for Joe Gomez's foul but Birkir Bjarnason was wildly off target.

England made hard work of the win against a stubborn and well-organised Iceland but were the better and more positive side.

Southgate, talking to Sky Sports, conceded: "It was a real mixed bag, we started well, we were sharp for 20 minutes. The disallowed offside goal should stand I think and that would have had a big bearing.

"Then for the next period we were good until the final third but lack of match tactics showed in our creative play.

"The sending off was a key moment and it is very difficult to win any game when you are down to 10 men. A lesson we have to learn and it was an unnecessary red card.

"We get the penalty and Raheem's drive and desire was outstanding and then there's another lesson we have to learn. We conceded a penalty, we got away with it and we leave with a win that is really important. A bit flat because it feels we got away with it.

"Kyle Walker realises, as an experienced player, those sort of challenges invite the opportunity for a referee to make that decision.

"We have talked a lot over the years about discipline and the amount of time we have gone out in tournaments when that has been critical - it is not what we want to see again."

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