Men's Under 21s
Men's Under 21s
The FA

Slovakia 1-2 England U21s

Nathan Redmond hits winner over Slovakia to kick-start U21 Euros

Monday 19 Jun 2017

England Under-21s got their Euro campaign up and running in Kielce, after a second-half comeback saw them beat Slovakia 2-1.

It was a tale of two halves for the Young Lions, who bounced back from a poor display in the opening period to score twice in 11 second-half minutes through Alfie Mawson and Nathan Redmond to seal the points.

They were made to work all the way for the victory against a Slovakia team backed by a vociferous support and a firm defensive base.

Slovakia 1-2 England
  • UEFA U21 Championship Finals
  • Group A
  • Monday 19 July 2017
  • in Kielce Stadium, Poland
But Aidy Boothroyd’s side managed to pick their way through and survive a late onslaught to put themselves in a strong position in Group A ahead of the final match with Poland on Thursday.

It was a disappointing start to the game though, as England fell behind in sloppy style after 23 minutes when Martin Chrien found space in the box to guide a near-post header over Jordan Pickford and into the far corner from Stanislav Lobotka’s corner.

The Young Lions tried to respond, with Lewis Baker flashing a shot narrowly over the bar, but it was slim-pickings with the Slovakian rearguard proving physically strong and resolute with a lead to hang onto.

And they almost doubled their advantage before the break when Jaroslav Mihalik forced a save from Pickford with a rasping low drive.

James Ward-Prowse then saw a free-kick palmed over the bar by Adrian Chovan on the stroke of half time after England had looked to build some pressure before the break.

Boothroyd made one change at the break with Jacob Murphy replacing Mason Holgate at right-back and the Young Lions started on the front foot, with Redmond forcing a smart save from Chovan with a low shot inside the box.

And moments later, England drew level when Murphy’s cross from the right picked out Mawson in the box. His first effort was saved by Chovan, but the Swansea defender followed up to score from close range.

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Redmond then put the Young Lions ahead with a fine goal.

The move started when Tammy Abraham held the ball up on halfway for Ward-Prowse, who switched the ball to his Southampton team-mate.

Redmond advanced inside from the left before firing an unstoppable shot into the top corner to turn the game on its head.

There were half-chances to add a third goal, particularly when Slovakia moved into a more attacking formation in a bid to salvage a draw during the later stages.

But the Young Lions held firm to protect their goal and manage the game well in the final stages with substitute Cauley Woodrow, on for the tiring and physically battered Abraham, helping to shield the ball and play the game out.

England (4-2-3-1): 1 Jordan Pickford (Sunderland); 2 Mason Holgate (Everton), 5 Calum Chambers (Arsenal), 23 Alfie Mawson (Swansea City), 3 Ben Chilwell (Leicester City); 8 James Ward-Prowse (Southampton) (c), 4 Nathaniel Chalobah (Chelsea); 15 John Swift (Reading), 10 Lewis Baker (Chelsea), 11 Nathan Redmond (Southampton); 9 Tammy Abraham (Chelsea).

Substitutes: 14 Jacob Murphy (Norwich City) for Holgate 46, 7 Demarai Gray (Leicester City) for Swift 80, 22 Cauley Woodrow (Fulham) 87.

Substitutes not used: 6 Jack Stephens (Southampton), 12 Matt Targett (Southampton), 13 Angus Gunn (Norwich City, loan from Manchester City), 16 Rob Holding (Arsenal), 17 Kortney Hause (Wolverhampton Wanderers), 18 Dominic Iorfa (Wolverhampton Wanderers), 19 Will Hughes (Derby County), 20 Jack Grealish (Aston Villa), 21 Jonathan Mitchell (Derby County).

Head coach: Aidy Boothroyd

Goals: Mawson 50, Redmond 61

Bookings: Ward-Prowse 27

Slovakia: 1 Adrian Chovan; 4 Martin Valjent, 2 Branislav Ninaj, 3 Milan Skriniar, 14 Robert Mazan; 6 Stanislav Lobotka; 10 Albert Rusnak, 21 Matus Bero, 8 Martin Chrien, 7 Jaroslav Mihalik; 15 Adam Zrelak (C).

Substitutes: 18 Pavol Safranko for Zrelak 66,  22 Laszio Benes for Chien 66, 17 Lukas Haraslin for Mihalik 74.

Substitutes not used: 12 Marek Rodak, 23 Adam Jakubech, 5 Thomas Huk, 9 Tomas Vestenicky, 11 Nikolas Spalek, 13 Lubomir Satka, 16 Lukas Skovajsa, 19 Denis Vavro, 20 Miroslav Kacer.

Head coach: Pavel Hapal

Goals: Chrien 23

Bookings: 21 Matus Bero 12, 14 Robert Mazan 64.

Referee: Gediminas Mazeika

Attendance: 12,087

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By Nicholas Veevers Content Manager - FA Owned Channels in Kielce, Poland