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          Clash of the Day
          Boothroyd faces the axe as his side fall once more

          Stoppage time stunner sends England U21s out

          2021/03/31 19:59
          Connor Andrews
          E0

          With everything still to play for despite losing their opening two games, England U21s took on Croatia in their final qualifying match tonight, needing a win, and things to go their way in the other group game.


          The Action: Without a shot on target in England’s opening two games, Aidy Boothroyd finally added some much-needed flair to his side in the shape of Crystal Palace’s Ebere Eze and the impact was instant.

          Spending much more time in the opposition’s box, the Young Lions were finally rewarded with an unbelievably generous penalty inside the first 10 minutes. Eddie Nketiah went down in the box after a slight touch of legs, and Eze soon fired the ball home for England’s first goal of the tournament.

          The England line-up appeared far more balanced with Sam Gallagher and Curtis Jones in central midfield, and controlled the game well before the latter put qualification in sight late on with an excellently placed finish with just over 15 minutes to play.

          Portugal’s 3-0 lead in the other Group D match against Switzerland meant Boothroyd’s men were through, but in stoppage time disaster struck in breathtaking fashion, as Croatia’s Domagoj Bradarić unleashed a long-range effort perfectly into the top corner of Aaron Ramsdale’s net.

          The Big Picture: It’s hard to see Aidy Boothroyd ever coming back from his second U21 group stage exit in as many tournaments, and with English youth production continuing to improve to a world-class standard, it’s time for some fresh new coaches to also appear.

          Man of the Match: Once Jones moved into central midfield, him and Gallagher began to dominate the game, with Jones having the edge after his perfectly hit goal.

          Poll
          POLL RESULTS
          CROATIA
          DRAW
          ENGLAND
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          featured game(s)
          U Wednesday, 31 March 2021 - 17:00
          SRC Bonifika
          Harm Osmers
          1-2
          Domagoj Bradarić 90'
          Eberechi Eze 12' (pen.)
          Curtis Jones 74'
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