Men's Under 21s
Men's Under 21s

England U21s slip to rare defeat, as Germany leave Bournemouth with a late winner

Tuesday 26 Mar 2019
Dominic Solanke celebrates his first-half equaliser, on his home ground at the Vitality Stadium

England U21s suffered their first defeat in almost two years as they were beaten by Germany in controversial circumstances.

Dominic Solanke had looked to have earned the Young Lions a draw in Bournemouth, having cancelled out Mahmoud Dahdoud’s opener in the first period.

But Germany stole victory at the start of second-half stoppage time as Felix Uduokhai smashed home from close range, with the visitors playing on despite an injury to Kyle Walker-Peters inside the England area.

Head coach Aidy Boothroyd had rotated his squad from Thursday’s draw with Poland, retaining only Phil Foden and Kieran Dowell from the XI that started in Bristol.

The U21s lineup who faced Germany in Bournemouth on Tuesday

Solanke, playing at the stadium he's called home since a January move from Liverpool, was handed the captain’s armband.

And it was the Bournemouth man who carved out the game’s first half-chance, smartly latching onto Jake Clarke-Salter’s ball over the top only to roll his fourth-minute effort into the hands of Germany goalkeeper Florian Muller.

That was England’s only opportunity of a low-key opening quarter, though, with Germany going close through Benjamin Henrichs and Florian Neuhaus.

And the visitors’ growing dominance told in the 27th minute when Arne Maeir’s dinked pass found the lively Dahdoud, who took the ball on his chest before confidently finishing beyond Dean Henderson.

Germany’s lead was almost doubled ten minutes later when Dahdoud broke free of the defence, but his close-range shot was tipped onto the post by Henderson with the onrushing Neuhaus unable to turn in the rebound.

But, as the half wore on, the Young Lions found their composure and duly grabbed an equaliser, as Solanke seized on indecision by Maeir to wrong-foot Germany goalkeeper Muller and slide the ball into the net two minutes before the break.

Phil Foden was in eyecatching form against Germany

England’s positive end to the first half carried into the second, with Harvey Barnes going close with a curling effort having cut in from the left flank.

Foden went even nearer soon afterwards, moving in from the opposite wing before unleashing a drive that skimmed the outside netting – leaving some of the 10,942 inside the Vitality Stadium thinking the Manchester City man had put England in front.

The pace of the game slowed as the rate of substitutions – 13 between the two sides – increased, before the game ended in controversy.

Walker-Peters went down holding his face following a collision with Germany substitute Lukas Nmecha at a corner, but the hosts continued playing and the ball was returned into the area for the unmarked Uduokhai to control and lash home in the first seconds of stoppage time.

Solanke wore the captain's armband in the game

There were five more additional minutes played following lengthy treatment for Walker-Peters, but England could not recover from the blow and fell to their first defeat since being beaten by the same opponents at 2017’s Under-21 Championship finals.

England: 1 Dean Henderson (Sheffield United, loan from Manchester United), 4 Kieran Dowell (Sheffield United, loan from Everton), 10 Phil Foden (Manchester City), 14 Tom Davies (Everton), 15 Dael Fry (Middlesbrough), 16 Jake Clarke-Salter (Vitesse Arnhem, loan from Chelsea), 17 Kyle Walker-Peters (Tottenham Hotspur), 18 Harvey Barnes (Leicester City), 19 Ryan Sessegnon (Fulham), 20 Dominic Solanke (AFC Bournemouth), 21 Demarai Gray (Leicester City)

Substitutes: 9 Dominic Calvert-Lewin (Everton) for Davies 68, 24 Hamza Choudhury (Leicester City) for Dowell 68, 25 Ezri Konsa (Brentford) for Fry 68, 3 Jay Dasilva (Bristol City, loan from Chelsea) for Sessegnon 81, 7 Ademola Lookman (Everton) for Barnes 81, 8 James Maddison (Leicester City) for Solanke 81

Substitutes not used: 2 Jonjoe Kenny (Everton), 5 Fikayo Tomori (Derby County, loan from Chelsea), 6 Lloyd Kelly (Bristol City)

Goal: Solanke 43

Head coach: Aidy Boothroyd

Attendance: 10,942

By Jim Lucas at the Vitality Stadium