Freddie Sears looks back on the two goals that have given England a chance of Euro qualification.
West Ham United striker, Freddie Sears, is making it a season to remember after he fired England U19s to a 2-0 victory over Poland at the European Championship Elite Qualifiers in Belarus on Monday.
The Essex youngster made national headlines when he scored against Blackburn Rovers with a diving header on his Premier League debut for the Hammers in March.
And Sears replicated that form with a fine double strike in Minsk’s Borisov Stadium yesterday to give Brian Eastick’s side three valuable points as they look to qualify for the European Championships in the Czech Republic in July.
Playing just behind Newcastle United target man, Andy Carroll, Sears gave England the lead on 29 minutes when he latched onto a Victor Moses through ball to score from close range before slotting home a penalty with just five minutes left after James Tomkins’ effort was handled on the line.
Speaking from England’s base in Belarus, Sears was delighted with the double strike: “It’s a great start to the tournament for us and we all want to get to the Czech Republic this summer and compete in the Euros.
“Poland were a decent side and quite physical but we dominated them in the first half. The conditions were pretty tough as it was the hottest day of the year apparently and everyone was feeling the heat so I was well pleased to tuck away the penalty at the end.”
Sears is no stranger at scoring from 12 yards either: “I was confident over the penalty as I’ve taken them for both West Ham’s academy and reserve sides this season. I was happy to see it go in as it took the pressure off and killed the game.”
England face fellow heavyweights, Serbia, on Wednesday who destroyed Belarus 4-0 in their opening game of the mini-tournament but Sears is confident that the Young Lions can take maximum points again: “They look a decent side and will be up for it after such a big win but we’ve got a good team out here and if we play to our potential again then we’ll definitely do it.”
Brian Eastick’s side must top the group if they’re to claim one of the eight places up for grabs at Czech Republic 2008.
England: David Button (Spurs), Curtis Obeng (Man City), Ciaran Clark (Aston Villa), James Tomkins (West Ham United), Joe Mattock (Leicester City), Scott Sinclair (Chelsea), Jack Cork (Chelsea), Kieran Gibbs (Arsenal), Victor Moses (Crystal Palace), Freddie Sears (West Ham United), Andy Carroll (Newcastle United).