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ESPN FC Posted by ESPN staff
Aug 14, 2013

Rickie Lambert hails 'dream' debut

Rickie Lambert described his England debut as a "dream come true" after coming off the bench to score the winner against Scotland.

Rickie Lambert heads home England's winner against Scotland
Rickie Lambert headed in England's winning goal against Scotland on his international debut.

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England had fought back from behind on two occasions thanks to goals from Theo Walcott and Danny Welbeck before the Southampton striker’s introduction in the 67th minute gave him the platform to head the goal which secured England's 3-2 win.

Lambert said: "It was my first touch. It's probably the best header I've headed in my life. I saved it for the right time. It was a terrific ball by Bainsey, I managed to lose my marker and he put it exactly where I wanted it.

"If that's the only moment I'm going to have in an England shirt -- hopefully not -- I couldn't have wished for it to have been any better.

"I've dreamt for it to go like that for a long time and for it to have gone like that was a dream come true. I've tried to enjoy it, but my focus was to try and do well. I'm thankful for it to have gone like that."

England manager Roy Hodgson was delighted with the impact Lambert made after his surprise selection for the game.

He said: "He's been so enthusiastic. He's been like a young boy with a new toy ever since he joined us.

“We believe in him and, funnily enough, when he came on the first thing [England coach] Gary Neville said to me was 'he's going to get us a goal'. He almost got us three -- he certainly got us a very good one and was very close to two others.

“"'m delighted for him. He's a man who's worked very, very hard for this chance and done it the hard way, and now he's crowned his debut with a goal.

"He's technically a very good player and has great composure in front of goal, as we saw today."

Meanwhile, Scotland manager Gordon Strachan felt the final outcome of the match was affected by a total of 11 substitutions across both teams in the second half, but felt his side had given a good account of themselves.

"If you look at it, when we had 11 men and in free [open] play, England couldn't score," he said.

"They scored when we were down to 10 men [Grant Hanley was off for treatment when Walcott hit England's first goal] and they scored from set plays, which was hugely disappointing.

"There was a lot of things that we weren't happy about, but there are some top, top, top players in that England side.

"Our players have given it their best shot. We have good players - to get great victories, which we could have done tonight, we have to make no mistakes whatsoever."

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