England U19s kicked-off their U19 EURO elite qualifying round with a 4-1 win over Czech Republic at St. George’s Park.
A Bukayo Saka brace and goals for Marc Guehi and Danny Loader wrapped up a dominant display.
The victory gave Keith Downing’s side a strong start as they look to top a group also including Greece and Denmark to secure a place at this summer’s finals in Armenia
That said, the Young Lions actually fell behind against the run of play in the 10th minute. Jakub Selnar pounced on a half-clearance to drive a 20-yard effort well beyond the reach of Josef Bursik.
England’s response was immediate. Straight from the restart, Angel Gomes thread in Saka down the left and the Arsenal forward made no mistake.
That lead should have been extended in the first-half but both sides went in level at the break after Ian Poveda’s penalty was easily saved by Matej Kover. The dangerous Poveda had won the spot-kick having been scythed down by David Snajdr.
The hosts didn’t allow that setback to impact their attacking rhythm and they were in front shortly after the interval; Conor Gallagher’s effort being flicked in from close range by his Chelsea teammate Guehi.
Saka doubled his tally in the 56th minute - Gomes again the provider – with a similar move to his opener.
Reading striker Loader put the icing on the cake with five minutes remain by side-footing home substitute Tariq Lamptey’s cross from the left.
England U19s: 1 Josef Bursik (AFC Telford United, loan from Stoke City), 2 Max Aarons (Norwich City), 3 Steven Sessegnon (Fulham), 4 Conor Gallagher (Chelsea), 5 Marc Guehi (Chelsea), 6 Jonathan Panzo (Monaco) ©, 7 Ian Poveda (Manchester City), 8 Morgan Gibbs-White (Wolverhampton Wanderers), 9 Danny Loader (Reading), 10 Angel Gomes (Manchester United), 11 Bukayo Saka (Arsenal).
Substitutes: 16 Tariq Lamptey (Chelsea) for Poveda 66, 20 Arvin Appiah (Nottingham Forest) for Saka 66, 17 Felix Nmecha (Manchester City) for Gomes 72. 18 Rekeem Harper (West Bromwich Albion) for Gallagher 90, 14 George McEachran (Chelsea) for Gibbs-White 90.
Substitutes not used: 12 Stephen Walker (MK Dons, loan from Middlesbrough), 13 Billy Crellin (Fleetwood Town), 15 Nathan Ferguson (West Bromwich Albion), 19 Lewis Gibson (Everton),
Head coach: Keith Downing
Goals: Bukayo Saka 11 and 56, Marc Guehi 49, Danny Loader 87