Ashley Young
Manchester United winger Ashley Young's goal won the game for England Reuters

Roy Hodgson began his reign as the England boss with a narrow win over Norway in a friendly encounter in Olso on Saturday. Hodgson fielded Liverpool trio Steven Gerrard, Stewart Downing and Andy Carroll, while stand-by defender Phil Jagielka started alongside his former Everton team mate Joleon Lescott in the centre of defence. West Ham's Robert Green was preferred in goal to Manchester City's Joe Hart.

England started well and after Carroll wasted a sitter from six yards, Manchester United winger Ashley Young gave them the lead inside nine minutes. Young, who shone in a central role behind Carroll, made a smart run through the centre and calmly placed the ball beyond Norway goalkeeper Rune Almenning Jarstein, after outpacing Fulham's Brede Hangeland. James Milner then had a decent chance to double the lead midway through the first half but the City midfielder fired straight at Jarstein from inside the box.

Norway improved after the break and created chances, while England replaced captain Gerrard with Gareth Barry and failed to threaten the Norway goal. Blackburn's Morten Gamst Pedersen had a chance to equalise but the winger struck the woodwork. Late on, Fulham's John Arne Riise tested Green with a venomous long-ranger but in the end England held on for a win.

Arsenal teenager Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain made his international debut, replacing Young with 17 minutes to go. England will look to continue building on the momentum from this win, when they host Belgium at Wembley on 2 June.

Elsewhere on Saturday, a hat-trick from Bayer Leverkusen hitman Eren Derdiyok gave Switzerland a shock 5-3 victory against Euro 2012 favourites Germany, while 2010 World Cup finalists Holland were beaten 1-2 by Bulgaria, despite playing a strong squad featuring Arsenal's Robin van Persie, Tottenham's Rafael van der Vaart and Inter Milan's Wesley Sneijder.

Spain, meanwhile, began their Euro preparations in style, dominating and beating Serbia 2-0, thanks to second-half goals from debutant Adrian Lopez and Santi Carzola. Portugal, on the other hand, were held to a dull 0-0 draw by Macedonia.

Denmark, who are set to face Germany, Holland and Portugal in Group B, were beaten 1-3 by a young Brazil team containing the bulk of their expected squad for the London Olympics. Porto forward Hulk scored a brace for the South Americans while Arsenal striker Nicklas Bendtner pulled a goal back for the Danes.

In Dublin, a second-half goal from West Brom forward Shane Long gave the Republic of Ireland a 1-0 win over Bosnia and Herzegovina and Poland, who will co-host the European Championships along with Ukraine, defeated Slovakia 1-0, while Czech Republic left it late to defeat Israel 2-1.

In other results, USA captain Landon Donovan scored a hat-trick to help his side beat Scotland 5-1, while Finland beat Turkey 3-2 and Slovenia held Greece to a 1-1 draw.

The Wales-Mexico match has been postponed to Sunday.