Thorne thriller sees off Swiss
Thursday, 02 June, 2011
Midfielder's late strike sets up showdown with Spain on Sunday.
There was some English cheer in Switzerland this week, as England U19s made it two wins out of two in their Euro Elite Qualifying Round on Thursday afternoon with a thrilling 3-2 victory over their host nation in Nyon to set up a winner-takes-all game with Spain on Sunday.
With the two nations also set to meet at Senior level at Wembley this weekend, the Young Lions had to show their courage to draw first blood as well, as it looked as though Switzerland had sneaked an undeserved draw when Haris Seferovic equalised in the 92nd minute to take the scoreline to 2-2.
Noel Blake's side didn't give up though and George Thorne popped up in the 94th minute to score the winner and seal the three points, which Fabio Capello's Senior side will also be hoping for at the weekend.
The game didn't start quite so well for England though, as Switzerland went ahead in the 14th minute when Janick Kamber scored past Jack Butland.
England were back level six minutes later though, as Middlesbrough midfielder Luke Williams converted Josh McEachran's corner to give Blake's side a platform to build on.
As half time approached, the Lions nudged ahead when Liverpool striker Michael Ngoo got on the end of a free-kick from Thorne to put his side in control at the break.
It looked as though that would be the way the match was going to end too, until the added time drama saw the game swing back and forth in England's favour.
The result puts England joint top of their group with Spain, who had earlier beaten Montenegro by 3-0 to seal their second win of the Elite Round. With Spain's better goal difference, a draw in the final match will see them progress into the last eight but a victory for England will see them leapfrog Spain into top spot and thus qualify for the European U19 Championship Finals in Romania in July.
The match on Sunday kicks-off at 4pm and will also be shown live on Spanish television channel Marca.