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Almirón nets for Paraguay as duo make England debuts in big wins

Written by Dan King

Miguel Almirón scored his second international goal on Thursday - hours after Newcastle United youngsters Matty Longstaff and Joe White made their England debuts.

Almirón grabbed the only goal of the game as Paraguay beat Bulgaria in a friendly in Sofia. The Magpies man fired home with a low left-footed shot from 25 yards on the hour mark. He was booked in the 85th minute and replaced by Matías Rojas four minutes later.

His previous goal for La Albirroja came in a 4-2 win against Jordan in September.

Earlier in the day, Matty Longstaff made his first appearance for England under-20s in a 4-0 win over Portugal at Estadio Municipal de Agueda.

The North Shields-born teenager started on the bench and came on for Manchester United's Angel Gomes in the 72nd minute. Stoke City striker Tyrese Campbell scored twice, with Manchester City's Ian Poveda-Ocampo and Arsenal's Emile Smith-Rowe also on target.

Meanwhile Joe White, who signed his first professional contract with Newcastle earlier this month, made his bow for England at under-18 level as they beat Russia 5-2 at the Pinatar Arena in Spain. Carlisle-born White played for the opening 72 minutes before making way for Valencia youngster Yunus Musah.

Oisín McEntee captained the Republic of Ireland as they faced Switzerland in a UEFA Under-19 European Championship qualifier in Salzburg, and gave his side an early lead, but the Swiss came back to win 2-1 in a game which had been due to take place on Wednesday but was moved back a day due to heavy snow in Austria. McEntee played the full game.

The Republic of Ireland's senior team, meanwhile, took on New Zealand in a friendly at the Aviva Stadium on Thursday evening and there was a return to the fold for Ciaran Clark as a result of his excellent recent form for Steve Bruce's Magpies.

The visitors took a surprise lead but Mick McCarthy's side eventually won 3-1, with Clark completing 90 minutes.

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