Goals from Nile Ranger and Victor Moses see England heading to the Euros.
Ranger 66, Moses 73
McDonald 82 (pen)
UEFA European U19 Championship
Elite Qualifying Round
7pm, Monday 1 June 2009
Bramall Lane, Sheffield United FC
Click here for tournament details
England secured their place in the Finals of the European U19 Championship for the second year in succession after a 2-1 victory over Scotland ensured they finished on top of their Elite Qualifying Round group.
Head Coach Brian Eastick said before the start of the tournament that he thought it would need three wins from three games if England were to progress and that was exactly how it proved, with Scotland coming into the game still chasing a spot in the last eight of the competition themselves.
It was a tight encounter too, but with the Scots having to push further forward in search of a winner during the second half, it left the necessary gaps for England to exploit and they eventually took advantage with two clinical strikes.
Goals from Nile Ranger, his fourth in the three Elite Round games, and Victor Moses proved enough and the Young Lions will now begin their preparations for July’s Finals in Ukraine.
Knowing that they had to win the match to stand any chance of progressing, Scotland started quickly and with purpose and within five minutes Alex MacDonald held off Martin Kelly in the area before firing a low shot at goal only for Jason Steele to make a good save low to his right.
Steele was forced into action again in the 19th minute when Stephen Stirling curled a free kick at goal following a foul on the edge of the box, but the Young Lions goalkeeper saw it coming all the way and made a good save.
At the other end, Moses’ corner in the 25th minute picked out Joe Mattock at the far post and his header across goal was diverted just wide by Nathan Delfouneso.
Scottish midfielder David Wotherspoon then tried his luck with an ambitious shot from 30 yards which almost caught Steele out, before dipping high and wide of the target. A similar effort from Danny Rose at the other end had the same outcome, following a neat run forward from the midfielder.
Moses then had a dribble of his own across the pitch before firing a low left footer at goal, which Scotland ‘keeper Michael Andrews saved.
Andrews had to produce the best save of the game to date in the 34th minute, when Kelly’s burst forward from the back led to a shooting chance for Delfouneso. The Villa man hit a low shot at goal, which Andrews somehow got a hand to and turned over the bar.
After seeing Scotland perhaps just shade the first half, Eastick made one change at the break by replacing Danny Drinkwater with Dean Parrett in the midfield and the Spurs man almost made an instant impact as Andrews made a good stop to keep his angled free kick out.
Parrett then fashioned a chance for himself after trading passes with Ranger on the edge of the area, but his shot flew over the bar without troubling Andrews.
The Young Lions had an even better chance after 65 minutes, when Delfouneso broke in from the left and into the area. He pulled the ball back for Rose, but the Spurs midfielder smashed the ball well over the bar.
Just a minute later, England made their breakthrough and it was Delfouneso who created it as he again beat Jonathan Brown on the left before picking out Ranger at the near post and the Newcastle striker made no mistake by shooting home from close range.
Less than ten minutes later and the victory was secured when a loose ball in the area fell to the feet of Moses and he made no mistake by smashing a shot into the far corner and beyond Andrews.
Moses almost had a second soon after when he effortlessly glided around two Scottish defenders on the right before shooting low and hard across goal and eventually wide of the far post.
That goal galvanised Scotland though and they went on to enjoy their best spell of the game in a bid to salvage some pride out of the match.
Steele was called into action on more than a few occasions and pulled off some impressive saves to deny substitute Leigh Griffiths and John Fleck as England looked to keep a clean sheet.
He was helpless with eight minutes remaining though, when the referee awarded a penalty to Scotland following Gavin Hoyte’s tug on Griffiths in the box. MacDonald stepped up to plant a low shot into the bottom corner to give his team some hope going into the dying stages.
However it was too little, too late for the Scots as England successfully held on to give themselves another crack at taking on Europe's best later this year.
England: 1 Jason Steele (c), 2 Kieran Trippier (5 Jordan Spence, 76) 3 Joe Mattock (18 Matthew Briggs, 80), 4 Matthew James, 6 Martin Kelly, 8 Danny Drinkwater (15 Dean Parrett, 46), 9 Nathan Delfouneso, 10 Nile Ranger, 11 Daniel Rose, 12 Victor Moses, 14 Gavin Hoyte.
Substitutes not used: 7 Andrew Tutte, 13 Declan Rudd, 16 Martyn Waghorn, 17 Andros Townsend.
Scotland: 1 Michael Andrews, 2 Jonathan Brown, 5 Ross Perry, 4 Daniel Wilson, 3 Paul Hanlon (c), 7 David Wotherspoon, 14 Stephen Stirling (9 Leigh Griffiths, 58) 15 Jamie Ness (13 Bradden Inman, 82) 18 James Forrest (16 Lee Currie, 70) John Fleck, 8 Alex MacDonald.
Substitutes not used:11 Johnathon Russell, 17 Craig King, 12 Mark Ridgers, 6 Callum Booth.
Referee: Carlos Clos Gomez
Assistant Referees: Juan Jose Gallego Galindo & Marco Tropeano
Fourth Official: Albert Toussaint