Two-goal Ugbo ensures England end with 100 per cent record

Thursday 26 Mar 2015
England Under-17s forward Ike Ugbo
Chelsea forward Ike Ugbo struck twice as England Under-17s finished off their European Championship qualification campaign with a 100 per cent record.

After firing his side into an early lead, Ugbo popped up in the second half to snatch the winner after John Peacock's side had been pegged back.

England 2-1 Romania

UEFA European U17 Championship
Elite Qualifying Round
7pm, Thursday 26 March 2015
Pirelli Stadium, Burton

The result means the Young Lions go into this summer’s tournament in Bulgaria on the back of six straight wins from qualifying.

A much-changed side, with seven changes from Monday’s 3-1 victory over Slovenia, got off to a flying start as they took the lead on seven minutes.

Some impressive pressing from Ugbo saw the Chelsea youngster steal possession from a defender as he found himself clean-through on goal, and although the onrushing keeper denied him with his first strike, he made no mistake second time around as he rolled it into the empty net with the shotstopper grounded.

That should have put Peacock’s charges in the driving seat, but they were pegged back on 13 minutes with a self-inflicted blow. Goalkeeeper Will Huffer rolled his clearance straight into the path of Adrian Petre, and the big no19 rounded the Leeds United shotstopper to slot home an equaliser.

Back came the hosts, and Manchester City midfielder Will Patching stung the palms of Romanian goalie Catalin Vasile with a fizzing drive from wide on the right. The resulting corner was cleared to captain Tom Davies, but the Everton midfielder’s drive was blocked before Ugbo blazed over the bar. 

The visitors, with the legendary Gheroge Hagi’s son Ianis as captain in their midfield, were no pushovers though as they possessed a danger on the counter attack but the chances continued to fall England’s way.

A nice move saw Marcus Edwards pick up possession from Patching, but the Spurs attacker’s strike sailed over the goal before Daniel Wright tested Vasile again before the break only to be denied by the shotstopper’s boot.

Jay DaSilva was brought on at left-back during the interval, with Tayo Edun moved up into midfield to take the place of the outing Daniel Wright, and it would not take the Chelsea youngster long to make an impact.

Following a nice piece of possession, DaSilva threaded a ball through to Edwards down the left of the area, and he cut past a defender before pulling the ball back to Ugbo who side-footed home his second of the night to regain the lead.

England looked much-improved in the second half, and their game management will have been particularly pleasing to Peacock as they controlled the tempo throughout.

The introduction of Chris Willock from the bench ensured they remained on the front foot, and his pace and trickery would prove too much for Istvan Kilyen Szabolcs – the midfielder receiving his marching orders on 65 minutes after a foul on the Arsenal youngster.

And although they failed to add to their tally, England can now go away happy with their week as preparations begin for the Euros.

England (4-1-2-1-2): 13 Will Huffer (Leeds United); 2 James Yates (Everton), 6 Danny Collinge (Stuttgart), 15 Easah Suliman (Aston Villa), 3 Tayo Edun (Fulham); 4 Tom Davies (c) (Everton); 14 Will Patching (Manchester City), 8 Daniel Wright (Sunderland); 17 Marcus Edwards (Tottenham); 16 Lukas Nmecha (Manchester City), 9 Ike Ugbo (Chelsea)

Subs: 12 Jay DaSilva (Chelsea) for Wright 40; 10 Chris Willock (Arsenal) for Ugbo 60; 5 Reece Oxford (West Ham) for Yates 68.

Subs not used: 1 Paul Woolston (Newcastle), 7 Nathan Holland (Everton), 11 Layton Ndukwu (Leicester)

Bookings: N/A

Goals: Ugbo 7, 53.

Head coach: John Peacock

Romania (4-1-4-1): 12 Catalin Vasile; 2 Ionut Capusa Tiberiu, 5 Eugen Ghita Virgil, 15 Arian Fridrich Harald, 3 Razvan Vladescu Abdrei; 4 Istvan Kilyen Szabolcs;20 Alexandru Dobre Mihai, 6 Constantin Oaida Razvan, 10 Ianis Hagi (C), 8 Roberto Casap Carlo; 19 Adrian Petre. 

Subs: 7 Virgil Ciobanu Andrei for Hagi 68; 9 Teodor Coman Florinel for Petre 76;

Subs not used: 1 Constantin Hodoroaba Bogdan, 11 Petru Gisa Vlad, 13 Georgian Tanase Ionut, 18 Dumitru Mihalcea Vlad.

Bookings: Szabolcs 18; Coman Florinel 80.

Red card: Szabolcs 65.

Goals: Petre 13;

Head coach: Arges Vintila Bogdan

By Gary Stonehouse Staff Writer at Burton Albion