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Smalling header sees England past 10-man Portugal

England have edged Portugal 1-0 in their final warm-up friendly at Wembley ahead of Euro2016.

Roy Hodgson's Three Lions were dour in their victory at Wembley, having to wait until the 86th minute to take the lead through Chris Smalling after Portugal had Bruno Alves sent off just after the half-hour mark.

There were very few chances throughout the contest which was devoid of Portugal's superstar Cristiano Ronaldo who was absent after guiding Real Madrid to victory in the Champions League final on Saturday.

In the 35th minute, the game was turned on it's head when Portugal defender Alves raced out to cover a ball but only managed to catch Harry Kane in the head with a flying boot which prompted referee Marco Guida to produce a straight red card.

Fernando Santos' side made it difficult for the Three Lions to play with any flow but the home team were finally able to break the deadlock with four minutes of regular time remaining.

Kyle Walker's initial free-kick from the right flank was cleared by the Portuguese defence before finding it's way out to Raheem Sterling on the left and the Manchester City winger popped up an inviting ball for Manchester United defender Smalling to head beyond Rui Patricio.

England will now travel to France to further prepare for their Group B opener against Russia in Marseille on June 11 as Portugal head to Lisbon to take on Estonia in their final friendly next Wednesday prior to their opening Group F fixture with Iceland in Saint-Etienne on June 14.

Andrew Slevison
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Andrew Slevison

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