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European Under-21 Championship Qualifying

(ATT 5,268) 5th September 2013 - Kick off 19:45 Ref: Nikola Dabanovic

England U21 England U21 vs Moldova U21 Moldova U21

England U21 1

S Berahino (13)

ft

Moldova U21 0

European Under-21 Championship: England beat Moldova 1-0

Last Updated: 05/09/13 10:20pm

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Saido Berahino: Celebrates his goal for England

Saido Berahino: Celebrates his goal for England

Saido Berahino scored as England U21s beat Moldova 1-0 in their European Under-21 Championship qualifier at the Madejski Stadium.

A day after Football Association chairman Greg Dyke bemoaned the state of the national game, the Young Lions looked technically proficient but lacked a cutting edge as they kicked off their European Championship qualifying campaign in Gareth Southgate's first game in charge.

Moldova were never going to be yardstick with which to measure serious success, but Southgate will be pleased by the way his side retained possession at a sparsely-filled Madejski Stadium.

In truth, it could and should have been more than 1-0.

Berahino fired home the decisive goal after just 13 minutes but, despite peppering the Moldova goal throughout, England failed to add to that tally.

Wilfried Zaha, Berahino and Will Hughes all missed gilt-edged chances in a second half in which the absence of players like Raheem Sterling and Ross Barkley - both with the senior team - was striking.

It was a frustrating performance from the home side but one that showed promise in their first competitive match since a 1-0 loss to Israel.

That result saw England return from Euro 2013 pointless and cost Stuart Pearce his job, despite having led the Under-21s to four successive championships.

While tonight's performance will hardly have the rest of Europe quaking in their boots, it was certainly an improvement on the summer's display and something on which to build.

Southgate named three debutants for tonight's match, with Southampton duo Luke Shaw and James Ward-Prowse making their first appearances for the Under-21s.

West Brom striker Berahino was the other new boy and quickly made an impression, stinging the palms of Alexei Koshelev from an acute angle.

The Moldova goalkeeper then did well to deny a powerful goalbound header from captain Andre Wisdom, with England scoring their first goal under Southgate moments later.

Tom Carroll, who joined QPR on a season-long loan from Tottenham earlier in the week, played an exquisite through ball to Berahino, who turned his man and drilled a venomous right-footed strike into the roof of the net.

It looked set to open the floodgates, with Shaw forcing Koshelev into a save shortly afterwards with a tremendous 25-yard half-volley.

Zaha had a penalty appeal waved away as England continued in the ascendancy, with Nathan Redmond having several strikes on goal.

Carroll had a strike tipped over after receiving a cute ball by Nathaniel Chalobah, with Zaha seeing another penalty appeal waved away as half-time approached.

England returned for the second half brightly, with Redmond latching onto a superb threaded ball by Chalobah and forcing Koshelev into an early save.

Berahino and Carroll had attempts as the domination continued, with Zaha heading over from close range when it looked easier to score.

Substitute Will Hughes fired over from a John Stones pull-back before Berahino somehow failed to net a second with little more than 10 minutes remaining.

Sammy Ameobi scooped the ball to the Burundi-born forward, who beat the goalkeeper only for Constantine Bogdan to clear after the West Brom striker missed the ball.

Zaha flashed a strike across the face of goal as England desperately searched for a second, which looked set to finally arrive when Harry Kane backheeled into Hughes' path.

However, another last-ditch clearance from Bogdan denied the Derby midfielder, epitomising a promising but frustrating evening for Southgate.

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Matches

  • European Under-21 Championship Qualifying

    Thu 5th Sep - Group Five
    • Latvia U21
      0 - 2
      Switzerland U21
      bet
      TV
    Thu 5th Sep - Group One
    • Lithuania U21
      0 - 1
      Finland U21
      bet
      TV
    • England U21
      1 - 0
      Moldova U21
      bet
      TV
    Thu 5th Sep - Group Three
    • Lux'bourg U21
      0 - 3
      Georgia U21
      bet
      TV
    • Holland U21
      4 - 0
      Scotland U21
      bet
      TV
    Thu 5th Sep - Group Four
    • Hungary U21
      4 - 1
      Bosnia U21
      bet
      TV
    • Austria U21
      2 - 6
      Spain U21
      bet
      TV
    Thu 5th Sep - Group Seven
    • Turkey U21
      4 - 0
      Malta U21
      bet
      TV
    Thu 5th Sep - Group Nine
    • Serbia U21
      2 - 1
      Cyprus U21
      bet
      TV
    • Italy U21
      1 - 3
      Belgium U21
      bet
      TV
    Thu 5th Sep - Group Ten
    • France U21
      5 - 0
      Kaz'stan U21
      bet
      TV
    Thu 5th Sep - Group Eight
    • Portugal U21
      5 - 1
      Norway U21
      bet
      TV

Tables

European Under-21 Championship Qualifying Group One

European Under-21 Championship Qualifying
Pos Team P Pts
1 England U21 10 28
2 Finland U21 10 16
3 Moldova U21 10 16
4 Wales U21 10 12
5 Lithuania U21 10 8
6 San Marino U21 10 4

European Under-21 Championship Qualifying Group Two

European Under-21 Championship Qualifying
Pos Team P Pts
1 Denmark U21 10 26
2 Russia U21 10 22
3 Slovenia U21 10 17
4 Bulgaria U21 10 9
5 Estonia U21 10 9
6 Andorra U21 10 1

European Under-21 Championship Qualifying Group Three

European Under-21 Championship Qualifying
Pos Team P Pts
1 Slovakia U21 8 17
2 Holland U21 8 16
3 Georgia U21 8 11
4 Scotland U21 8 11
5 Luxembourg U21 8 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 8 19
2 Ukraine U21 8 19
3 Switzerland U21 8 15
4 Latvia U21 8 6
5 Liechtenstein U21 8 0

European Under-21 Championship Qualifying Group Six

European Under-21 Championship Qualifying
Pos Team P Pts
1 Germany U21 8 20
2 Romania U21 8 12
3 Montenegro U21 8 11
4 Rep of Ireland U21 8 8
5 Faroe Islands U21 8 4

European Under-21 Championship Qualifying Group Seven

European Under-21 Championship Qualifying
Pos Team P Pts
1 Sweden U21 8 16
2 Greece U21 8 15
3 Poland U21 8 15
4 Turkey U21 8 13
5 Malta U21 8 0

European Under-21 Championship Qualifying Group Eight

European Under-21 Championship Qualifying
Pos Team P Pts
1 Portugal U21 8 24
2 Israel U21 8 15
3 Norway U21 8 9
4 Azerbaijan U21 8 7
5 Macedonia U21 8 4

European Under-21 Championship Qualifying Group Nine

European Under-21 Championship Qualifying
Pos Team P Pts
1 Italy U21 8 18
2 Serbia U21 8 16
3 Belgium U21 8 16
4 Cyprus U21 8 6
5 N Ireland U21 8 3

European Under-21 Championship Qualifying Group Ten

European Under-21 Championship Qualifying
Pos Team P Pts
1 France U21 8 22
2 Iceland U21 8 16
3 Kazakhstan U21 8 9
4 Armenia U21 8 9
5 Belarus U21 8 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