Saido Berahino thanks Molineux crowd for their support

Saturday 11 Oct 2014
Berahino celebrates his strike

As a West Bromwich Albion player, Saido Berahino won’t often find himself in the position of bringing Molineux to its feet.

But the England Under-21s striker did exactly that on Friday evening as his 85th minute penalty gave the Three Lions a crucial advantage in their Euro play-off with Croatia.

Berahino and his team-mates had to do it the hard way too, after falling behind to a first-half goal from the visitors before strike partner Harry Kane headed England level.

England 2-1 Croatia

UEFA Euro Under-21 Championship
Play-off first leg
Friday 10 October
Molinuex, Wolverhampton

And the 20-year-old was quick to pay tribute to the 23,000-strong crowd in Wolverhampton, who gave England great backing throughout the game.

“I’m just glad, because the crowd supported us really well and they got behind us,” said Berahino. 

“And it was key today that we had a great crowd behind us.

“We gave a soft goal away, so it was never going to be easy to come back, but we showed a great character to come back and win the game.

“Now we go to their place on Tuesday and kick-on and qualify because that’s really important for us.”

For most of the game England faced a defensive wall from the Croatians, who made it tough to create any opportunities whilst looking dangerous on the break themselves.

But Berahino was always confident that they’d be able to get back into it, especially after Kane nodded home his cross just before the hour mark.

“During the break, the gaffer got onto us and said we had to keep going as they weren’t causing us a lot of problems and we just had to go an extra gear and put them on the back foot,” he revealed.

“I thought we did that well and managed to get back in the game and get the winning goal as well.

“I don’t think they caused a lot of problems but they had the early goal, which was a soft goal but we still felt comfortable, kept the ball and were moving it well.

“I’m just glad, because the crowd supported us really well and they got behind us”

Saido Berahino 

“It was a matter of time before we got a goal and when it did come, we didn’t look back and kicked on and managed to get a winning goal as well.”

The squad now take their aggregate lead over to Croatia for the return fixture in Vinkovci next Tuesday.

And Berahino, 20, knows that the Three Lions will be given a completely different kind of reception when they arrive there.

“It is going to be different out there, a different type of environment for all of us,” he added.

“But we’re professional enough and have been in those situations before, so we’re just going to go out there and look to do a professional job and make sure we qualify.

“The whole 18 have been training well and we’ve put in a good shift so we can go there comfortably and be really confident in Croatia and try to give them a good game.”

Watch the full interview below.

By Nicholas Veevers Content Manager - FA Owned Channels