England’s Under-21s have won an unprecedented seven matches on the spin
England 4-0 Sweden
An Under-21 International
Banks’s Stadium, Walsall FC
7.30pm, Tuesday 5 February 2013
by David Barber
Stuart Pearce’s England Under-21s set a new record at Walsall’s Banks’s Stadium last night, winning their seventh match in a row.
The previous record of six wins dates back more than 20 years.
The Under-21s started their unique run of success with a 4-0 win against Belgium at Middlesbrough in February last year.
Since then they’ve beaten Azerbaijan 2-0 away, Norway 1-0 at Chesterfield, Serbia 1-0 at Norwich, Serbia 1-0 away, Northern Ireland 2-0 at Blackpool and Sweden 4-0 at Walsall.
That’s seven matches, seven wins and no goals against.
It beats a six-match winning sequence enjoyed by England Under-21 sides managed by Lawrie McMenemy and Ray Harford in 1991. The results then were 2-1 v Senegal, 6-0 v Mexico, 2-1 v USSR, 1-0 v France, 2-1 v Germany and 2-0 v Turkey. Alan Shearer, then with Southampton, scored nine of the goals and England won the annual Toulon International Tournament.
Pearce’s talented Under-21 side will be looking to take this brilliant run of form into the summer’s Euro 2013 Finals in Israel.
England Under-21s Team
1 Jason Steele (13 Declan Rudd, 46), 2 Adam Smith (12 Tom Lees 75), 3 Jack Robinson, 4 Josh McEachran (14 Nat Chalobah, 67), 5 Andre Wisdom, 6 Craig Dawson, 7 Tom Ince, 8 Jordon Henderson (c) (15 Will Hughes, 46), 9 Wilfried Zaha (17 Jason Lowe, 58), 10 Jonjo Shelvey (16 Henri Lansbury, 46), 11 Benik Afobe (18 Connor Wickham, 46)
Sub not used 19 Ben Amos
Coach Stuart Pearce
Sweden Under-21s Team
1 Andreas Linde (GK), 2 Mattias Johansson, 3 Alexander Milosevic, 4 Filip Helander, 5 Tobias Malm, 6 Branimir Hrgota, 7 Joel Allansson, 8 Oscar Hiljemark (c), 9 Mathias Andersson, 10 Christoffer Nyman, 11 Mikael Ishak
Subs 12 August Stromberg (GK), 13 Jonathan Azulay, 14 Emil Bergstrom, 15 Andreas Blomqvist, 16 Nicklas Barkroth, 17 Sam Larsson, 18 Amin Nazari
Coach Hakan Ericsson
Referee Felix Zwayer (GER)
Assistants Stefan Lupp and Marcel Pelgrim (GER)
Fourth Official David Coote (ENG)