Henri Lansbury was the goal hero as The Three Lions held on to beat Germany 1-0 in Colchester.
England 1-0 Germany
U19 International Friendly
7.00pm, Tuesday 18 November 2008
Weston Homes Community Stadium, Colchester United FC
Henri Lansbury was the goal hero for England as The Three Lions held on to beat Germany 1-0 in a very cold Colchester.
It was the first game for Brian Eastick's young side since they earned a place in the Elite Round of the UEFA Championship Qualifiers against a Germany side who are also in the draw next month after topping their group in October.
And Brian Eastick would have been pleased with what he saw in stages, particularly from Lansbury whose goal was just one of a number of shots the Arsenal man had during a period where England heavily threatened their opponents.
But it was Germany who started the stronger, in front of a record crowd at Colchester's new Weston Homes Community Stadium, and on 17 minutes a mistake by Lee Hills, at the ground where he currently plies his trade, let in the huge figure of Richard Sakuta-Pasu.
As the Bayer Leverkusen striker carried the ball into the area, he smashed a powerful drive at goal. Ben Amos was equal to it, but only just, scooping his parried save off the line at the second attempt.
Seconds later, Lewis Holtby, whose earlier effort failed to test Amos, found room in the same right-hand channel, but Nathan Baker was close by to take the sting out of the Aachen midfielder’s strike.
And the German pressure continued as they found more joy down the right- hand side. This time Taner Yalcin chipped out to Sebastian Rudy and his low shot looked good, but was tipped around the post by the outstretched Amos.
While England were having good spells of possession, their pacy frontline spearheaded by Danny Welbeck, fresh from his wonder strike for Manchester United at the weekend, were finding it hard to get in behind the German rearguard.
When their attacks were not broken up by tenacious tackling from the visitors, England were forced into shots from range, mainly from captain Lansbury.
His first two attempts didn’t ask enough of Olivier Baumann, but when a quick England break just before the half-hour mark had Welbeck rolling crisply for Lansbury, the Arsenal midfielder made the most of the space afforded to him 20 yards out.
A touch to control and another to powerfully sweep home into the bottom corner gave the first full-house here something to cheer about.
Jacob Mellis came close to adding a second minutes later. After a foul on Welbeck by German defender Jan Tilman Kirchhoff earned him yellow card on the right-hand corner of his own box, the free-kick dropped for Mellis. His effort to lift over Baumann on the six-yard line was good, but the ball dropped on top of the net.
The final action of the first half and first attempt in the second both involved Lansbury again. A free-kick on the left, following a foul on Victor Moses, looked in shooting territory but instead he squared for Danny Drinkwater, but the Manchester United midfielder’s effort flew into the crowd behind the German goal.
After the turnaround, Jack Rodwell’s run was ended by a trip and another free-kick was given. This one was a little further out than the last, but central, and Lansbury sent a curling shot towards the top corner of Baumann’s goal. He saved spectacularly, though, plucking the shot out of the air.
Germany went in search of an equaliser, but shots from range from Yalcin tested Amos, while another from Holtby cleared the bar as England held firm.
A couple of penalty area scrambles after mix-ups by The Three Lions defence gave the visitors a brief sight of goal but they recovered well to clear the danger.
Perhaps Germany’s best chance fell to Sakuta-Pasu with 12 minutes left. After a well-worked move, the ball ended at the feet of the forward, right on the edge of the box. However, his solid side-foot shot was always rising up, and was helped over the bar by Amos.
Germany were reduced to ten men with nine minutes remaining when captain Kevin Wolze received a second yellow card for a foul on Michael Woods, but that didn't stop their search for parity.
Sakuta-Pasu had another shot on sight just as the board for four minutes of stoppage time was being held up, but this time it was deflected wide, and substitute Ilkay Gundogan’s fierce effort was also off target as England held on for victory.England
1 Ben Amos, 2 Kieran Trippier (12 Jordan Spence, 87), 3 Lee Hills, 4 Jack Rodwell, 5 Gavin Hoyte, 6 Nathan Baker, 7 Henri Lansbury (c) (17 Michael Woods, 76), 8 Danny Drinkwater, 9 Danny Welbeck (16 Nathan Delfouneso, 46), 10 Jacob Mellis (15 Rhys Murphy), 11 Victor Moses (14 Jonathan Franks, 68)Subs
13 Alex SmithiesCoach
Brian EastickKit colours
Red shirts, White shorts, Red socksGoalkeeper
1 Olivier Baumann, 12 Patrick Funk, 3 Jan Tilman Kirchhoff ( 8 Ikay Gundogan 87), 5 Shervin Radjabali-Fardi, 4 Niels Teixeira, 16 Sebastian Rudy, 6 Kevin Wolze (c), 10 Taner Yalcin (18 Hama Juvhel Tsoumou 71), 11 Fabian Backer (13 Boris Vukcevic, 46), 7 Lewis Holtby, 9 Richard Sakuta-PasuSubs
12 Rene Vollath, 2 Fabian Broghammer, 15 Tony Jantschke, 17 Sebastian RodeYellow Cards
Kirchhoff 33, Wolze 56 and 81, Funk 76Red Card
Wolze 81 (second booking)Coach
Heiko HerrlichKit colours
White shirts, Black shorts, White socksGoalkeeper
Barry Holderness and Matthew FoleyFourth Official