England Under-19s kept up their winning run in Euro Qualifying on Saturday with a 1-0 victory over Finland in treacherous conditions in Skopje.
The win came courtesy of a second-half goal from substitute Tammy Abraham and means that Aidy Boothroyd’s side have secured progress to next spring’s Elite Qualifying Round with a game to spare.
Finland 0-1 England
UEFA European U19 Championship
First Qualifying Round
Saturday 10 October 2015
FFM Training Centre, FYR Macedonia
But they were tested to the maximum in Macedonia and with poor conditions in Skopje following several days of heavy rain, the kick-off was brought forward and there was a change of venue for the Young Lions.
It was still a far from ideal surface for football, but that didn’t stop England from dominating the match and they eventually made it two wins out of two games in their First Qualifying Round group.
The winner arrived in the 73rd minute when Leeds United midfielder Lewis Cook played through Abraham, with the Chelsea striker running clear and finishing well to secure the three points.
That goal was enough to break the Finns, who had firmly held out despite England’s dominance of the ball from the kick-off.
Boothroyd’s side will now face Italy in their final match of the group on Tuesday afternoon.
England: 1 Freddie Woodman (Crawley Town, loan from Newcastle United); 2 Jonjoe Kenny (Everton), 5 Taylor Moore (Lens), 6 Jake Clarke-Salter (c) (Chelsea), 3 Callum Connolly (Everton); 16 Ainsley Maitland-Niles (Ipswich Town, loan from Arsenal), 8 Lewis Cook (Leeds United), 4 Jordan Rossiter (Liverpool), Sheyi Ojo (Wolverhampton Wanderers, loan from Liverpool), 14 Josh Onomah (Tottenham Hotspur), 10 Dom Solanke (Vitesse Arnhem, loan from Chelsea).
Substitutes: 18 Tammy Abraham (Chelsea) for Ojo 67, 9 Adam Armstrong (Coventry City, loan from Newcastle United) for Onomah 88, 15 Dael Fry (Middlesbrough) for Cook 90
Substitutes not used: 13 Sam Howes (West Ham United), 12 Kyle Walker-Peters (Tottenham Hotspur), 11 Dan Crowley (Barnsley, loan from Arsenal), 7 Patrick Roberts (Manchester City)
Goals: Tammy Abraham 73
Head coach: Aidy Boothroyd