England Under-17s secured qualification to the elites as they made it two wins from two in their European Championship first round qualifiers as they swept aside Armenia on Thursday.
Reiss Nelson claimed the headlines in the 5-0 victory, the Arsenal ace securing the matchball as he struck a hat-trick sandwiched in-between Andre Dozzell’s early opener and Elliot Embleton’s late strike.
With Portugal defeating San Marino 5-0 later in the day, the Young Lions place in spring’s elite round qualifiers was secured.
England 5-0 Armenia
European U17s Championship
First Round Qualifiers
Thursday 1 October
Municipal Stadium Carlos Duarte
Coming into the contest on the back of an 8-0 triumph over San Marino, Cooper’s charges looked to be going for the jugular again as they imposed themselves on Armenia from the off.
Niall Ennis and Samuel Shashoua both came close to a breakthrough in the opening moments and Dozzell struck a free-kick narrowly off target, but the Ipswich schemer would soon make amends as he fired the Young Lions into the lead.
After Jonathan Leko was fouled on the edge of the area by Armen Asilyan, Dozzell stepped up to strike home the set piece on 18 minutes.
The goalscorer turned provider five minutes later as he claimed the assist for Nelson to tap home England’s second and his first.
The pressure continued to mount as the Young Lions won a total of six corners in the opening 40 minutes, and recorded 11 efforts on goal, but they were unable to extend their lead before the break.
The only downside for Cooper will have been the booking for defender Jaden Brown in the dying moments of the half, the Tottenham Hotspur defender penalised for a foul on Karen Melkonyan.
The momentum remained with England after the restart as they quickly put to bed any fears of an Armenian comeback by grabbing a third two minutes in. Nelson was the man who claimed it, skipping past a defender and then around goalkeeper Erik Khurshudyan to seal his brace.
And things were to get even better for the Arsenal ace just 10 minutes later. After good work from the skipper Trevoh Chalobah down the right, Nelson was on hand to seal his hat-trick as he finished at the back post after meeting the full-back’s cross.
A number of changes were made in the second period, and it was substitute Elliot Embleton who added his name to the scoresheet in the final five minutes to complete the rout.
Cooper’s side face their Portuguese hosts on Sunday in the final qualifier, knowing victory will seal top spot in the group.
England (4-2-3-1): 1 Jared Thompson (Chelsea); 5 Trevoh Chalobah (C; Chelsea), 17 Jordan Williams (Huddersfield), 6 Edward Francis (Manchester City), 3 Jaden Brown (Tottenham); 18 Dennis Adeniran (Fulham), 4 Andre Dozzell (Ipswich Town); 7 Jonathan Leko (West Brom), 14 Samuel Shashoua (Tottenham), 10 Reiss Nelson (Arsenal); 9 Niall Ennis (Wolves).
Substitutes: 8 Adam Lewis (Liverpool) for Shashoua 51, 15 Elliot Embleton (Sunderland) for Adeniran 58, 12 Diego Lattie (Manchester City) for Chalobah 66.
Substitutes not used: 13 Nicholas Hayes (Ipswich Town), 2 Vashon Neufville (West Ham), 11 Mackenzie Heaney (Newcastle United), 16 Tyrese Campbell (Manchester City).
Goals: Dozzel 18, Nelson 23, 42, 54, Embleton 75
Bookings: Brown 38
Head coach: Steve Cooper
Armenia (5-4-1): 12 Erik Khurshudyan; 13 Samvel Khurshudyan, 3 Lyova Gharibyan, 18 Arson Yeghiazaryan, 4 Erik Gharibyan, 14 Armen Asilyan; 8 Karen Melkonyan, 11 Hovhannes Harutyunyan (Captain), 6 Norayr Grigoryan, 5 Artur Khachatryan; 9 Rafik Melikyan
Substitutes: 10 Abraham Portugalyan for Melikyan 41, 17 Vardan Babakhanyan for Harutyunyan 64, 7 Vigen Karapetyan for Khachatryan 72
Substitutes not used: 1 Zhora Safaryan, 2 Pargev Abrahamyan, 15 Mihran Petrosyan, 16 Armen Nahapetyan
Head coach: Tigran Petrosyants