PODGORICA, Montenegro (AP) — Starting a competitive international before he has even started an English Premier League game, 18-year-old winger Callum Hudson-Odoi helped England beat Montenegro 5-1 for a second straight big win in European Championship qualifying on Monday.
The Chelsea youngster started slightly shakily in Podgorica but, before long, was showing flashes of brilliance that have piqued Bayern Munich’s interest this season.
At the end of one of his mazy runs , Hudson-Odoi curled in a shot that was glanced in by Ross Barkley for one of the midfielder’s two goals in a one-sided Group A game.
At 18 years, 138 days, Hudson-Odoi is the second youngest player to start a competitive match for England after Wayne Rooney, who was nearly a year younger when he played against Turkey in 2003.
Hudson-Odoi has played in domestic and European cup competitions for Chelsea this season but has been used sparingly in the league by manager Maurizio Sarri.
Michael Keane, Harry Kane, and Raheem Sterling were the other scorers for England, which started the qualifying campaign for Euro 2020 with a 5-0 win over the Czech Republic on Friday. It is the first time England has scored five or more goals in successive games since 1984.
Montenegro took the lead against the run of play in the 18th minute, Marko Vesovic taking advantage of sloppy defending by England to curl home a finish.
It was another encouraging display by Gareth Southgate’s young England team, which reached the World Cup semifinals last year and will play in the inaugural Nations League final four in Portugal in June.
In one unsavory incident, Sterling cupped his ears after scoring England’s fifth goal and Montenegro fans responded with jeers before an object was thrown onto the field. It was picked up by Hudson-Odoi.
In the group’s other game, Kosovo marked its first Euro qualifier since becoming a member of UEFA in 2016 by drawing with Bulgaria 1-1 at home.
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