A Sterling start
Monday, 20 June, 2011
Raheem reflects on Rwanda win and a fine strike for himself.
By James Marshall in Pachuca
Click here to watch video highlights of the game on FIFA.com
England U17s winger Raheem Sterling spoke to TheFA.com after his side’s victory against Rwanda, which saw him cap a great individual performance with a fantastic goal to complete a 2-0 win.
The Liverpool ace proved to be a constant menace to the Rwanda defence from his position on the left flank and had already seen one first-half shot hit the post before his through-ball sent Hallam Hope clear for the opening goal in the 68th minute.
But after missing most of the European U17 Championship Finals in May due to an ankle injury, he felt that he owed his squad mates a good performance and was quick to pay tribute to the others.
“I thought it was a great team performance today, the boys played really well," said Sterling, after the game.
"I would like to thank them all for supporting me through a rough patch too, as I haven’t scored for England in a while. It was good to get the goal today though and I am really pleased that we started the tournament with a win.”
There could be no doubt that England deserved the three points on Sunday, after dominating most of the game to eventually run out comfortable winners but Sterling admits it was a big relief to help get the deadlock broken after his side had to be patient to get their first goal.
"It was a bit of a relief to score today, I tried to be patient after hitting the post and having a few chances in the first-half," he added. "But I thought it was coming, waited for my chance to come, and it did and I was grateful for it.”
With one win on the board, England are now preparing for Wednesday's match with Canada when they know that another victory will be enough to take them into the knock-out stages.
However, Sterling insists that his side shouldn’t get to over-confident ahead of the match and the hard work will continue on the training pitch for all of the players.
“I am confident, but not over-confident so we will take it step-by-step with our recovery which the coaches have prepared for us," he said.
"We have to take it bit-by-bit as the tournament goes on, and look to get another win against Canada on Wednesday.”