England claimed the seventh victory of their UEFA Under-21 Championship qualifying campaign, beating Andorra 3-1 in a feisty affair at Molineux.
Curtis Jones’s maiden Young Lions goal was cancelled out as visiting skipper Christian Garcia levelled from the spot on the stroke of half-time.
England MU21s 3-1 Andorra
2021 U21 EURO qualifier
7.30pm, Friday 13 November
But second-half goals from Ben Wilmot and Callum Hudson-Odoi – also a penalty – ensured Aidy Boothroyd’s side remain unbeaten with one game remaining in qualification.
Boothroyd promised to stoke competition for tournament spots and, indeed, only three players who started the 2-1 win over Turkey that sealed UEFA EURO 2021 finals qualification began here.
Andorra’s low block press frustrated England in the early stages, but Hudson-Odoi was played in on goal by Jonathan Panzo only for his effort to be parried by Iker Alvarez.
Two minutes later, Rhian Brewster burst into space on the right and his fizzing, low drive struck the right-hand upright.
The Young Lions dominated possession and Conor Gallagher curled over on the half hour, before Hudson-Odoi’s dangerous ball was scrambled to safety by defender Eric Pablos.
The breakthrough came when Hudson-Odoi found a pocket of space on the left and drifted the ball across to Jones, who steered home from close range to put his side in front.
Andorra, who held England to a 3-3 draw in the reverse fixture, got a perfect chance to equalise when Gallagher clipped Eric Izquierdo and a penalty was awarded.
The spot kick was cooly converted by Garcia as the last act of the first half.
Any nerves in the home camp were settled four minutes into the second half when Wilmot shook off his marker and bravely headed Dwight McNeil’s corner home from six yards.
Brewster had caused the Andorran back four no end of problems on 65 minutes, he was chopped down for a penalty which was converted by Hudson-Odoi.
Further chances flowed with substitute Ebere Eze seeing his shot saved by Alvarez’s legs at the near post eight minutes from time.
Boothroyd’s men are in action again on Tuesday night in their final qualifier against Albania.
England: 1 Aaron Ramsdale (Sheffield United), 2 Tariq Lamptey (Brighton and Hove Albion), 3 Jonathan Panzo (Dijon), 7 Curtis Jones (Liverpool), 8 Conor Gallagher (Chelsea, on loan at West Bromwich Albion), 10 Callum Hudson-Odoi, 12 Ben Wilmot (Watford), 15 Rhys Williams (Liverpool), 19 Rhian Brewster (Sheffield United), 20 Josh Da Silva (Brentford), 21 Dwight McNeil (Burnley)
Substitutions: 9 Eddie Nketiah (Arsenal) for Brewster 72’, 23 Jamal Musiala (Bayern Munich) for Jones 72’, 11 Ebere Eze (Crystal Palace) for Hudson-Odoi 73’, 14 Lee Buchanan (Derby County) for McNeil 82’
Unused substitutes: 5 Marc Guehi (Chelsea, on loan at Swansea City), 6 Tom Davies (Everton), 16 Oliver Skipp (Tottenham Hotspur, on loan at Norwich City), 18 James Justin (Leicester City), 22 Josef Bursik (Stoke City, on loan at Doncaster Rovers)
Head coach: Aidy Boothroyd
Goals: Jones 27’, Wilmot 49’, Hudson-Odoi 65’ (pen)