Jack Rodwell opens his England Under-21s account at stadium:mk.
Mancienne 1, Sadigov 26 (o.g.), Gardner 31, Cattermole 55, Gibbs 64, 70, Rodwell 90
Under-21 International Match
7.30pm, Monday 8 June 2009
stadium:mk, Milton Keynes Dons FC
Live on Setanta Sports
Become a Fan of England Under-21s on Facebook
Everton midfielder Jack Rodwell completed a 7-0 demolition of Azerbaijan when he fired in from long range in the closing seconds of England's final warm-up game before the UEFA Under-21 Championship.
In only his second outing for the Under-21s, the 18-year-old showed little nerves when coming on for Fabrice Muamba at half-time. He then made his performance all the more memorable, scoring his first goal for Stuart Pearce’s side despite the possibility of a deflection.
"As far as I’ve seen, it just went straight in the goal. People can tell me it got deflected on the way but I’m not quite sure about that. Obviously I’d like to claim it and cap the game with a goal," Rodwell told TheFA.com.
The youngster was quick, however, to praise his team-mates after the convincing victory in Milton Keynes and acknowledge his pride at pulling on The Three Lions.
“The attitude was good from the first whistle to the final whistle. We kept on going and played some good stuff,” he said.
“Just to get on the pitch for the Under-21s is an honour and to get on the scoresheet is brilliant.”
Rodwell was handed his Under-21 debut against France in March and the Toffeeman now finds himself part of Pearce’s squad that has its sights set on next week’s European Championship in Sweden.
Rodwell is one of several younger players in the squad blooded by Pearce but the former Nottingham Forest man is confident this won’t be an issue as his charges search for Euro glory.
“ We are very pleased with the overall balance of the squad," said Pearce. "We have three or four players who are extremely versatile and can play in a number of positions.
“We also have a young squad with the players such as Muamba, Cattermole, Gibbs, Welbeck and Rodwell all being available for the next campaign, so this experience will be vital for them.
"They may be young, but they have all had good experience with their clubs this season and we believe they are the finished articles at this level.”
Rodwell broke into the Everton first-team this season and was on the bench for The FA Cup Final against Chelsea. However, all his attentions are now focused on performing on the international stage in an exciting England team.
“We’ve got a young squad and some good young players coming through which is always good for English football," said Rodwell.
“I’ll go home now for a couple of days and relax and then come back sharp again on Thursday and take it into the next game against Finland.
To watch Jack Rodwell's post-match interview, click the play button in the top right-hand corner.
England 1 Joe Hart (22 Scott Loach 82), 2 Martin Cranie, 3 Kieran Gibbs, 4 Fabrice Muamba (15 Jack Rodwell, 46), 5 James Tomkins, 6 Michael Mancienne, 7 Craig Gardner (12 Andrew Taylor, 46), 8 Lee Cattermole (13 Joe Lewis, 76), 9 Fraizer Campbell (14 Richard Stearman, 62), 10 Mark Noble (c), (16 Danny Rose, 55),11 Adam Johnson
Head Coach Stuart Pearce
Azerbaijan 1 Elchin Sadigov, 2 Maksim Medvedev, 5 Tural Narimov, 7 Parvin Pashayev (6 Tagim Novruzov, 68), 8 Emin Jafarguliyev, 9 Elvin Mammadov, 11 Rauf Aliyev, 13 Shahriyar Rahimov, 14 Bahtiyar Soltanov (10 Javid Imamverdiyev, 57), 15 Nodar Mammadov (c), 17 Araz Abdullayev (18 Afran Ismailov, 57)
Substitutes 16 Osman Umarov, 3 Huseynov, 19 Javid Rahimov, 20 Anar Gasimov, 16 Farrukh Rahimov, 27 Mikhail Zaytzev
Manager Berhard Lippert
Referee Robert SCHOERGENHOFER (AUT)
Assistant Referees Matthias WINSAUER (AUT) & Mario STRUDL (AUT)
Fourth Official – Kevin FRIEND (ENG)