Bukayo Saka receives ‘Player of the Match’ award against Austria

Bukayo Saka was awarded Player of the Match against Austria in a friendly game for England.

Saka was awarded for his exceptional performance in a fan vote for sealing the result in favour of England. England faced Austria in a friendly warm-up game in preparation for the Euros, which also saw fans back in the stadium. England dominated possession in the first half but couldn’t get through a resolute Austrian defense and both sides managed to create only a few half-decent chances in front of goal.

The second half saw England make the breakthrough a few minutes before the hour mark as they scored in the 57th minute. 17-year-old Jude Bellingham won the ball back and Harry Kane engineered a quick counter-attack making a decisive pass to Jesse Lingard who sent it Jack Grealish’s way. Grealish missed the shot due to a good tackle but the ball eventually fell to Saka who slotted it into the back of the net from an acute angle. Austria came agonizingly close to equalizing on three occasions but couldn’t make them count.

Gareth Southgate has already declared his 26 man squad for the Euros but injuries to a few key players coupled with less than stellar performances in friendlies give the England manager urgent decisions to ponder about. But Saka could prove to be a shining light for Southgate and England. This was his first senior international goal for England. The 19-year-old Arsenal teenager has already been awarded two Player of the Match awards in just three senior appearances for England.

Saka has been shining on the domestic stage for Arsenal. In 46 appearances for the club, the teenager has scored 7 goals and racked up 20 assists. He was also nominated as Arsenal Player of the Season, PFA Young Player of the Season, and the Premier League Young Player of the Season.

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