Photos: Jay Rodriguez makes England debut
Jay Rodriguez tonight became the first Burnley-born player in 111 years to represent England at senior level.
And he was still pinching himself after the game.
Rodriguez started the Wembley friendly against Chile, to claim his first full cap, following in the footsteps of Billy Bannister and Jimmy Crabtree in 1902.
Both Brian Miller, born in Hapton, and Jerry Dawson, in Cliviger, were born in the borough, while Mike Phelan, who received his only cap against Italy in 1989, was born in Nelson.
Rodriguez lined up on the left of a front three, but endured a frustrating debut before being replaced by Spurs winger Andros Townsend on 57 minutes.
The 24-year-old had a couple of early touches, but found himself up against a formidable foe in Juventus defender Mauricio Isla, as Chile starved England of possession, closing down superbly high up the pitch, led by the mercurial Barcelona forward Alexis Sanchez, who headed Chile into a seventh-minute lead with a precise finish.
England were typically more direct, but couldn’t get Rodriguez into the game despite his aerial threat at the far post.
He was inches away from turning in a deflected cross from Southampton teammate Adam Lallana, while scuffing a tame 20-yarder at keeper Claudio Bravo in the first half.
The former Clarets striker, watched by father Kiko and younger brother Joe at Wembley, showed some nice touches, none more so than when flicking the ball to Jack Wilshere past Sanchez, but the Arsenal midfielder’s return pass was poor.
Lallana, also making his England debut, saw more of the ball and looked a threat, and with Wayne Rooney playing through the centre, when the time came for changes just before the hour, Rodriguez was the one to make way.
Rodriguez suffered a similar baptism of fire when making his Premier League debut for the Saints at Manchester City last summer, but, as he has flourished in the top flight with games and experience, hopefully he will be given more opportunities to shine in the Three Lions again after tonight.
He was thrilled to pull on the famous white shirt under the arch at Wembley, however, and he said: “It’s an unbelievable experience, it’s still surreal. The result was disappointing, but I’ll just have to learn and improve.
“I found out I was starting on Thursday, it was an incredible feeling to know I was starting, loads of things were running through my mind, but it’s been a really good week.”
For more reaction from Rodriguez, see burnleyexpress.net on Monday and Express Sport on Tuesday.