England U21 hopes kept alive against Slovakia

Monday, 19 June, 2017 9comments  |  Jump to most recent

England U21s came from behind after a poor first half to claim a vital 2-1 win that puts them top of the group heading into the final match against U21 Euros hosts Poland on Friday.

Jordan Pickford kept goal but could nothing to prevent an early loping header from Chrien giving Slovakia a lead that they were determined to protect.

After managing just one shot on target against Sweden, England again looked lightweight in attack. They were ponderous in possession and lacked invention. And it was Mason Holgate who was sacrificed at half-time, Norwich forward Jacob Murphy replaced him and within five minutes he produced the cross that led to Mawson's equaliser. Nathan Redmond scored the winner on a breakaway.

England will still need a win against Poland to be sure of going into the semi-finals as one of the three group leaders.


Reader Comments (9)

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James Hughes
1 Posted 19/06/2017 at 19:20:55
Holgate played at right back for the England U21s just now. He was subbed at half time
Alan Bodell
2 Posted 19/06/2017 at 19:25:34
James, I watched the game and Pickford was excellent with his handling, never had a lot to do but was confident to help the defence.
Charlie Lloyd
6 Posted 19/06/2017 at 21:21:28
Another example today that Holgate is just not a right back who can deliver crosses. I'm not knocking the lad's defending though and we need to play him where he's best suited. Kenny is a better right back for me.
Jim Knightley
9 Posted 19/06/2017 at 23:15:00
Re Pickford, personally I think he could have saved the first goal and he made a big error off a cross in the first game. He is young and I think we will have to accept some errors for a couple of seasons.
Charlie Lloyd
10 Posted 19/06/2017 at 23:31:25
Jim @ 9,

You may be right. There could be some. Who remembers De Gea at first? He dropped a few clangers but turned out pretty special.

Jim Knightley
11 Posted 19/06/2017 at 23:34:42
Yeah exactly – it's inevitable at such a young age. I expect that we will have to view his price tag as a reflection of his potential and not merely his current ability.

And even the world's best goalkeepers make mistakes occasionally – Neuer, Lloris and De Gea have all made bad errors in big games this season.

John Pierce
12 Posted 19/06/2017 at 00:00:27
Well a very scrappy win for the U21 and a notable win under pressure both from the tournament format and the U20 World Cup victory.

Pickford was solid, little to do and came for most things looked as is his style to get things started with quick distribution.

As for the goal, the culpability was Holgate's, he let his man drift off him, a decent header which should never have come to pass.

Mason's limitations laid bare as a fill-in right-back. Loads of the ball 1st half but his passing and crossing were really poor. Subbed at half time tactically and it paid off the equaliser coning from a cross from the right.

Dour stuff though, it must be said.

Brian Cleveland
13 Posted 20/06/2017 at 00:20:32
It shows that this group was coached by Southgate before he moved onto the big boys... all creativity coached out of them. The U20s games were far more dynamic and interesting. The game seemed to last an eternity, very little inventiveness and no strike force worth mentioning.

In terms of Holgate, again we see he really is a defender and cannot cross for toffee... or for England.

Rahman Talib
14 Posted 22/06/2017 at 06:41:11
For my money:

1) Jonjoe Kenny in at right-back;

2) Holgate and Browning as centre-backs

3) Garbutt plays left-back as understudy for Baines.

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