20 years ago: England at the SoL

Twenty yers ago todsy the Stadium of Light held its first international tie as England took on Belgium.

It was a coup for both Sunderland AFC and the city and the occasion also saw Kevin Phillips become the first Black Cats player to represent SAFC at the SoL, with Michael Gray also name in the original squad/

Newcastle United striker Alan Shearer opened the scoring after just six minutes on Wearside.

Debutants Steve Guppy and Frank Lampard were both involved in the opening goal, as the former’s inswiging corner was diverted at goal by Lampard following Tony Adams’ flick on.

Belgium fought back, however, and went on to level with 14 minutes played as Branko Strupar turned the ball home.

Just after the hour mark, Michael Owen and Phil Neville were introduced and the fresh legs added a new vigour to England’s attacking. They took full advantage with 66 minutes on the clock as Jamie Redknapp’s fierce drive cannoned off the underside of the crossbar and across the line.

Both sides created chances with Dennis Wise and Emile Heskey both coming off the bench, but it would remain 2-1 as England prepared for their Euro 2000 showdown with Scotland with a win on Wearside.

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