Anthony Gordon and Folarin Balogun each scored on their first England U21 begins because the Younger Lions noticed off the Czech Republic U21s 3-1 in Euro 2023 qualifying at Turf Moor.
Everton striker Gordon had solely obtained his first U21 call-up final week, however instantly repaid Lee Carsley’s religion for together with him within the beginning XI, shortly making his mark on his debut. Inside 5 minutes, his strike was helped into the web by Filip Kaloc’s leg (4).
Whereas some might have debated whether or not it was an personal objective or not, there was no denying the second was Gordon’s for the taking as he turned residence from Conor Gallagher’s saved shot (11).
Folarin Balogun was additionally making his first U21s begin – changing the suspended Rhian Brewster – and nabbed his maiden objective as he turned residence from Jacob Ramsey’s fantastic by way of ball (30).
The Czech Republic had only one shot on course and it got here from the penalty spot. Luke Thomas clipped Adam Karabec inside the realm, with the midfielder dispatching the spot-kick himself. Nonetheless, it did little to encourage a Czech comeback as England noticed out a quiet second half for a significant three factors.
The Younger Lions transfer as much as second in Group G of the U21 European Championship Qualifiers, chopping the Czech Republic’s result in two factors. Nonetheless, England do have a recreation in hand because the marketing campaign continues.
England see off Czechs to shut qualifying hole
It was an unimaginable begin from each England and Gordon. The Younger Lions capitalised on their early strain and Gordon was slotted in down the left flank. He discovered himself some area to strike, with the ball helped into the again of the web by Czech captain Kaloc’s outstretched leg.
Seven minutes later and the younger Everton striker doubled his tally. Adam Gabriel’s poor move was simply collected by Balogun, sending Gallagher by way of down the precise. His personal shot was effectively saved by Czech goalkeeper Matej Kovar, however Gordon was lurking on the again submit to faucet residence into an empty web.
England participant rankings
England U21s: Bursik (5), Aarons (6), Guehi (7), Harwood-Bellis (7), Thomas (6), Skipp (7), Ramsey (8), Gallagher (8), Gordon (8), Balogun (8), Palmer (8).
Subs used: Gomes (6), Gibbs-White (6), Cresswell (n/a).
Man of the match: Anthony Gordon.
As with all recreation, the tempo quickly started to stage out, however England continued to see the higher of the probabilities and general play. Jacob Ramsey’s effort from vary simply lifted over the crossbar, earlier than Cole Palmer’s thunderous drive pressured an excellent save from Kovar.
The Czech Republic have been punished as soon as once more for his or her poor play as England scored their third. Ramsey simply dispossessed Tomas Cvancara in midfield earlier than slotting each Balogun and Gallagher by way of down the precise, with the Arsenal striker the primary to have the ball underneath his management earlier than hanging into the far nook.
- Everton’s Anthony Gordon, solely just lately referred to as up from the England U20 facet, made his U21 debut at Turf Moor along with his first begin.
- Wolves’ Morgan Gibbs-White returned to worldwide motion on the bench, whereas Emile Smith Rowe was referred to as as much as the senior facet for the November internationals.
- As confirmed by Lee Carsley earlier this week, Arsenal striker Folarin Balogun made his first U21 begin with Rhian Brewster suspended.
However the guests started to point out their tooth because the half drew to an in depth, pulling a objective again from the penalty spot. Luke Thomas was penalised for a visit on Karabec and the Czech midfielder took the spot-kick himself, chipping the ball over Josef Bursik. With the final kick of the half, Martin Vitik nearly nodded residence from a Karabec free-kick, however the effort lifted over the crossbar.
It was a a lot quieter second half, with England seeing just a few possibilities fall their method. Early on, an exquisite lengthy ball from Taylor Harwood-Bellis picked out Gordon down the left. He lower into the realm, however his strike pressured a powerful save from Kovar. Quickly after, each Palmer and Ramsey fired simply broad with good efforts.
Nonetheless, it was a tragic finish to an exquisite efficiency from Palmer as he limped off clutching his hamstring within the 73rd minute. Carlsey mentioned after the sport: “Cole is okay, there is a little bit of stiffness in his hamstring so we’ll monitor him and ensure he is effectively sorted.”
There was a minor late rally from the Czech Republic, however England noticed out the sport slightly comfortably as they boosted their probabilities of reaching the U21 Euros in 2023.
Man of the match – Anthony Gordon
Former England goalkeeper Rob Inexperienced on Sky Sports activities co-commentary:
“On his debut, it was one thing a little bit bit particular that Gordon may solely dream of. It’s one thing he’ll keep in mind for the remainder of his profession, scoring on his debut and he seemed an actual menace.
“We talked about Cole Palmer within the build-up, however he is stolen the present tonight.”
England response – Carsley, Gordon and Balogun
England U21 head coach Lee Carsley instructed Sky Sports activities: “I believed we began off very well… Anthony was very tough to play towards tonight and lots of them took their membership type into the beginning of the sport.
“Conceding that objective simply earlier than half-time was a little bit of a blow, however we are able to all the time enhance.
“We had an enormous emphasis on ensuring we took benefit of enjoying at residence, particularly with the gang as effectively… I am glad they placed on a efficiency and despatched the gang residence figuring out that we have got some good gamers for the longer term.
“It wasn’t fairly at instances, particularly within the second half. It bought a bit scrappy and we performed a little bit bit longer than I might have preferred. However we discovered a technique to keep within the recreation and in the end the three factors are key.
“It is good for the lads, they deserve it as effectively. They seem to be a actually good group to work with and we’re very fortunate.
“We spoke earlier than the sport about what number of gamers we have lacking. I would like the squad to be tough to get into as a result of in the end, like Emile, we would like them to push the seniors and get into that squad as effectively.”
Man of the match Anthony Gordon instructed Sky Sports activities: “It was a very good recreation. I used to be comfortable to attain, we began very well after which eased off. I cherished it.
“I am claiming that [the opening goal] all the way in which! The second was clear lower. Conor did very well, I simply needed to faucet it in – simple.
“We deliberate to press them like we did. We knew they would not be capable of play if we pressed them like that. It is a credit score to us that we performed the way in which we educated and it paid off.
“We knew this was an enormous recreation as a result of they hadn’t misplaced and even conceded a objective, so to place in a efficiency like that and to go 3-0 up so early, it reveals how good we’re after we’re on it.”
England U21 goalscorer Folarin Balogun instructed Sky Sports activities: “It is a good feeling. It is a second I’ve waited on for a short while, so it is good to attain on my first begin and I sit up for extra alternatives.
“It was good to go 3-0 up, however we all know the sport isn’t wrapped up. If we do not take it the precise method, we all the time go away a chance for the opponent so we tried to complete the job in addition to we may and we’re glad we have the three factors.
“Although we glance to maintain clear sheets, if we concede, we do not let our heads drop. We go once more and attempt to present the same response that we did.”
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