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European Under-21 Championship Qualifying

Carrow Road (ATT 25,749) 8th October 2010 - Kick off 19:30 Ref: P Tagliavento

England U21 England U21 vs Romania U21 Romania U21

England U21 2

J Henderson (63)
C Smalling (83)

ft

Romania U21 1

R Bertrand (og 70)

Smalling gives England advantage

Smalling's goal gives England slight edge in play-off

Last Updated: 08/10/10 10:42pm

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Pearce: Slight advantage

Pearce: Slight advantage

Stuart Pearce breathed a sigh of relief after Chris Smalling opened his account for England Under-21's to give them the advantage in the first-leg of their European Championship qualifying play-off.

A sweet volley from Jordan Henderson gave England the lead just after the hour mark, but a deflection off Ryan Bertrand saw Romania back in the game.

But Smalling was on hand to ease England nerves as he converted from close range following substitute Daniel Sturrdige's flick on.

The win means England will take a slender advantage to Romania as they battle it out for a place in the European Championship.

It remains to be seen, though, whether Arsenal youngster Jack Wilshere, who will again have caught the eye of watching England manager Fabio Capello, is to be involved in the second leg after also being included in the seniors' squad for their forthcoming Euro 2012 qualifier against Montenegro at Wembley on Tuesday night.

Pearce had warned Romania would be no pushovers, having won their group in impressive fashion, and so it proved.

Warning

The visitors were not just content to sit back as Dinamo Bucharest youngster Marius Alexe, a reported target for Chelsea, looked lively in attack while Gabriel Torje struck the post a minute before the interval.

There was an early yellow card issued by Italian referee Paolo Tagliavento for Romania defender Stefan Barboianu as he went through the back of Tom Cleverley, on loan at Wigan from Manchester United.

England created the first decent opening inside four minutes.

Full-back Bertrand - on loan at Nottingham Forest from Chelsea and who had a spell with Norwich during 2008-09 - got away down the left, before whipping a dangerous ball into the penalty area.

Goalkeeper Silviu Lung punched clear, only for the ball to drop right to Henderson some 25 yards out, and the Sunderland midfielder's first-time volley was acrobatically turned away by the Romania No.1.

England keeper Frank Fielding got down quickly to make a smart save as Eric Bicfalvi cut into the left side of the area and drilled a low shot back across the face of goal.

There were shouts for a penalty when Tottenham's Danny Rose burst into the Romania box and tumbled as he ran across Cornel Rapa, but the referee was right on top of the action and waved play on.

The referee turned down what this time looked a strong penalty shout as Rose was barged over by Valerica Gaman, much to the frustration of the sell-out Carrow Road crowd of 25,750.

Romania almost snatched the lead on the stroke of half-time when Torje hit the base of the near post after another swift counter-attack.

Captain Michael Mancienne, spending another season on loan at Wolves from Chelsea, drilled a low shot in from 25 yards, which was deflected around the post.

Henderson

From the resulting corner, England took the lead after 61 minutes.

Lung again punched clear, rather than attempting to catch. The ball fell to Henderson once more and this time, the midfielder's volley flew back into the bottom corner, under the arms of the Romania keeper.

Carrow Road erupted, but in the dugout, Pearce remained unmoved.

England pressed for a second, with Wilshere powering his way into the left side of the penalty area and drilling a shot at Lung, which this time the Romania keeper held on to.

It was the visitors, though, who snatched a crucial away goal on 70 minutes.

A quick break and a neat exchange around the England area saw the ball worked out to Ioan Hora on the right, with his low centre spinning off Bertrand and inside the near post past a wrong-footed Fielding.

Pearce immediately made a change as he replaced Cleverley with Aston Villa's Marc Albrighton and then introduced Sturridge for Welbeck with 10 minutes left.

It proved an inspired tactical switch as Sturridge headed back a corner at the far post into a crowded six-yard box, which Wilshere flicked on and Smalling crashed in to give England a lead to defend in Botosani on Tuesday.

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Matches

  • European Under-21 Championship Qualifying

    Fri 8th Oct - Play-Offs
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    • Italy U21
      2 - 0
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    • England U21
      2 - 1
      Romania U21
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Tables

European Under-21 Championship Qualifying Group One

European Under-21 Championship Qualifying
Pos Team P Pts
1 England U21 8 22
2 Moldova U21 8 13
3 Finland U21 8 12
4 Wales U21 8 10
5 Lithuania U21 7 7
6 San Marino U21 9 4

European Under-21 Championship Qualifying Group Two

European Under-21 Championship Qualifying
Pos Team P Pts
1 Denmark U21 8 20
2 Russia U21 7 16
3 Slovenia U21 8 11
4 Bulgaria U21 8 8
5 Estonia U21 7 8
6 Andorra U21 8 1

European Under-21 Championship Qualifying Group Three

European Under-21 Championship Qualifying
Pos Team P Pts
1 Holland U21 5 13
2 Slovakia U21 6 13
3 Georgia U21 7 8
4 Scotland U21 6 7
5 Luxembourg U21 6 1

European Under-21 Championship Qualifying Group Four

European Under-21 Championship Qualifying
Pos Team P Pts
1 Spain U21 6 18
2 Austria U21 6 12
3 Hungary U21 6 6
4 Bosnia U21 6 6
5 Albania U21 8 6

European Under-21 Championship Qualifying Group Five

European Under-21 Championship Qualifying
Pos Team P Pts
1 Croatia U21 7 16
2 Switzerland U21 6 12
3 Ukraine U21 4 7
4 Latvia U21 5 6
5 Liechtenstein U21 6 0

European Under-21 Championship Qualifying Group Six

European Under-21 Championship Qualifying
Pos Team P Pts
1 Germany U21 6 14
2 Montenegro U21 6 11
3 Romania U21 6 9
4 Rep of Ireland U21 7 8
5 Faroe Islands U21 7 1

European Under-21 Championship Qualifying Group Seven

European Under-21 Championship Qualifying
Pos Team P Pts
1 Poland U21 7 15
2 Greece U21 6 12
3 Turkey U21 6 10
4 Sweden U21 6 10
5 Malta U21 7 0

European Under-21 Championship Qualifying Group Eight

European Under-21 Championship Qualifying
Pos Team P Pts
1 Portugal U21 6 18
2 Israel U21 5 9
3 Norway U21 7 9
4 Macedonia U21 6 4
5 Azerbaijan U21 6 4

European Under-21 Championship Qualifying Group Nine

European Under-21 Championship Qualifying
Pos Team P Pts
1 Serbia U21 6 13
2 Belgium U21 7 13
3 Italy U21 6 12
4 Cyprus U21 6 6
5 N Ireland U21 7 3

European Under-21 Championship Qualifying Group Ten

European Under-21 Championship Qualifying
Pos Team P Pts
1 France U21 6 18
2 Iceland U21 6 12
3 Kazakhstan U21 7 9
4 Armenia U21 6 6
5 Belarus U21 7 3

European Under-21 Championship Qualifying Group Eleven

European Under-21 Championship Qualifying
Pos Team P Pts
1 Sweden U21 2 6
2 Denmark U21 2 3
3 Macedonia U21 2 0

European Under-21 Championship Qualifying Group Twelve

European Under-21 Championship Qualifying
Pos Team P Pts
1 Bulgaria U21 2 6
2 Ukraine U21 2 3
3 Croatia U21 2 0

European Under-21 Championship Qualifying Group Thirteen

European Under-21 Championship Qualifying
Pos Team P Pts
1 Israel U21 2 4
2 Turkey U21 2 2
3 Wales U21 2 1

European Under-21 Championship Qualifying Group Fourteen

European Under-21 Championship Qualifying
Pos Team P Pts
1 France U21 2 6
2 Slovenia U21 2 3
3 Scotland U21 2 0

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