England Under-21s got their first win of the new Euro qualifying campaign, after seeing off Latvia in Bournemouth on Tuesday evening.
Aidy Boothroyd’s side kick-started the season with a draw against the Netherlands on Friday, but picked up three points on the south coast as the road to the 2019 Euro Finals in Italy and San Marino finds its flow.
- UEFA European U21 Championship
- Group F
- Tuesday 5 September 2017
- Vitality Stadium, AFC Bournemouth
- Live on BT Sport
After suffering semi-final heartache at the 2017 edition this summer, Boothroyd will have been extra pleased to see two of his team from that defeat to Germany finding the net in the shape of Demarai Gray and Tammy Abraham, who also scored in that game.
But there will be aspects from the Young Lions’ performance which the head coach will also know need improving, as they head into next month’s qualifiers with Andorra and an international derby with Scotland.
It was an up-tempo start from England though and the first chance fell to Gray when Abraham did well to break away and cut the ball back to him from the right, only for his shot to be well saved by Vladislavs Kurakins in the Latvia goal.
He wasn’t to be denied moments later when Abraham teed up the Leicester City man, ironically the subject of a transfer deadline day bid from AFC Bournemouth, who struck an unstoppable shot into the top corner.
It was then Abraham who doubled England’s advantage, as the Swansea City striker took advantage of a loose ball before turning and striking a low shot at goal. Kurakins got a hand to it, but the ball slipped from his grasp and rolled over the line.