Match Report: England U21s 3-1 Scotland U21s

England won 3-1 against fierce rivals Scotland in their European Under 21 qualifier as they continue on the road to the 2019 Euro Finals in Italy and San Marino.

Josh Onomah, Tammy Abraham and Dominic Solanke scored for England and Chris Cadden scored for Scotland in an entertaining battle between the Under 21 sides.

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England were the better side in the early stages with Scotland inviting pressure at every opportunity. The Young Lions got their first goal of the night in the 14th minute. Aston Villa midfielder Josh Onomah, on loan from Tottenham Hotspur, caught the Scotland defence off guard with a brilliant dipping half-volley to give England the lead.

Tammy Abraham was very close to adding a second just minutes later when Everton’s Dominic Calvert-Lewin whipped in a great ball but Abraham’s flick crashed against the post. The Swansea City striker, on loan from Chelsea, had another opportunity to get on the scoresheet from a corner. He latched onto Middlesbrough defender Dael Fry’s header and struck low toward the bottom corner. However, Hearts defender Liam Smith got infront of goalkeeper Ryan Fulton, who plays for Hamilton, to make the all-important block and deny Abraham who was visibly frustrated.

Scotland didn’t create any chances and spent the majority of the first half thwarting England’s many chances. They were fortunate the score was only 1-0 to England at half-time.

England finally doubled their lead just four minutes into the second half when Hearts defender John Souttar was adjudged to have fouled Abraham and England were awarded a penalty. Abraham took the penalty and scored. The young striker finally had the goal that his performance deserved.

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Scotland improved during the second half which resulted in a good spell. Lewis Morgan made a great run into the box but couldn’t get his shot away, despite his best efforts and the England defence cleared quickly.

Poor defending from England following a Scotland free-kick allowed the away side to halve the deficit. Swansea forward Oliver McBurnie kept his cool and found Chris Cadden who rolled the ball past Manchester City keeper Angus Gunn, currently on loan at Norwich City. Suddenly Scotland were back in it. However, that lasted just 63 seconds as England instantly restored their two-goal cushion. Abraham beat the offside trap and unselfishly squared the ball to Dominic Solanke who tapped home from close range.

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England were 3-1 winners and deservedly so. It’s great to see the confidence and freedom England Under 21s play with compared to their senior counterparts. They give their all and show a real desire to win, something that is not always apparent with Gareth Southgate’s side. At least England can still be entertaining at some level.

England Starting XI: Gunn, Walker-Peters, Cook, Gomez, Fry, Gray (Kenny 70), Onomah, Calvert-Lewin, Solanke (Lookman 83), Abraham (Harrison 88), Alexander-Arnold

Unused substitutes: Woodman, Dowell, Davies, Tomori.

Scotland Starting XI: Fulton, Smith, Souttar, McKenna, Taylor, Cadden, Mallan (Docherty 82), Campbell, Thomas (Williamson 67), Burke (McBurnie 46), Morgan.

Unused substitutes: Ruddy, Kerr, Miller, McCrorie.

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