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

Injury-time equaliser denies Young Lions three points in Andorra

Wednesday 07 Oct 2020
England MU21s were held in Andorra on Wednesday

Eddie Nketiah equalled Alan Shearer’s goalscoring record for England men's under-21s after coming off the bench to score for the Young Lions as they were held to a 3-3 draw in Andorra.

The Arsenal forward struck his ninth goal in just five Euro 2021 qualifiers, drawing him level with Shearer on 13 goals for the U21s, but it was not enough to earn all three points for the visitors.

England fell behind to Ricard Fernandez’s first-half goal before scoring either side of the break through Tom Davies and Joshua Dasilva, only for Fernandez to equalise with his second of the game.

The Young Lions, who handed debuts to Brandon Williams, Rhys Williams and Curtis Jones, took the lead again through Nketiah with less than 10 minutes to play but they were denied victory in time added on as Christian Garcia struck late.

Andorra were coming into the game following back-to-back defeats to Turkey and Albania last month but it was the hosts who came closest to scoring in the opening quarter against the group leaders.

A clever set-piece move forced Aaron Ramsdale into action in the 12th minute, with the Sheffield United shot-stopper getting down quickly to deny Albert Alavedra’s diving header.

Curtis Jones in action against Andorra

England responded with a spell of pressure but while Jones threatened with a dangerous slaloming run, his only reward was the first yellow of the game after the referee adjudged that he went down too easily.

The hosts then took a shock lead just before the half-hour mark with a route one goal, starting with a long ball launched downfield by Andorra keeper Iker.

Rhys Williams was unable to deal with the bouncing ball and after England missed several opportunities to clear their lines, Fernandez curled a shot past Ramsdale.

Despite falling behind, the Young Lions continued to dominate possession but found themselves frustrated time and time again by Andorra’s resilient rearguard action.

Sam Surridge went close to equalising on 38 minutes after Eberechi Eze showed his quick feet on the edge of the area but the Bournemouth forward saw his header flash wide.

It only appeared a matter of time before the visitors broke their duck and they eventually drew level on the cusp of half time when Max Aarons and Dasilva combined to set up Davies.

The England captain, who also scored his debut goal for the Young Lions in Andorra in 2017, received the ball on the outside of the area and expertly placed the ball past Iker.

Having gone into the break on top, England resumed where they left off after the restart and came close to taking the lead when Eze skied his shot following a knock-down from Aarons.

The Crystal Palace winger continued to look dangerous and threatened the Andorra goal again just after the hour before England took the lead for the first time on 70 minutes.

Jones sprinted down the right and found his way into the area before cutting the ball back for Dasilva, who showed his composure to take a touch and fire a shot under Iker.


But while Boothroyd made a string of changes, Andorra were not done yet. The hosts hit back on 76 minutes through Fernandez again, pouncing after Albert Rosas Ubach headed onto the bar.

Nketiah then appeared to have the final say for England when he slotted home on 82 minutes following a surging run forward from Davies and a perfectly weighted pass from Eze.

However, Andorra grabbed a second equaliser in the first minute of extra time, with Garcia running through on goal and chipping Ramsdale to spark jubilant celebrations from the hosts.

England: 1 Aaron Ramsdale (Sheffield United), 2 Max Aarons (Norwich City), 3 Jonathan Panzo (Dijon), 15 Rhys Williams (Liverpool), 14 Brandon Williams (Manchester United), 20 Joshua Dasilva (Brentford), 6 Tom Davies (Everton), 21 Dwight McNeil (Burnley), 23 Curtis Jones (Liverpool), 19 Sam Surridge (Bournemouth), 17 Eberechi Eze (Crystal Palace)

Substitutes: 8 Jude Bellingham (Borussia Dortmund) for Dasilva 72, 9 Eddie Nketiah (Arsenal) for Surridge 72, 10 Callum Hudson-Odoi (Chelsea) for Jones 76

Substitutes not used: 22 Josef Bursik (Doncaster Rovers, loan from Stoke City), 4 Ben Godfrey (Everton), 5 Marc Guehi (Swansea City, loan from Chelsea), 11 Ryan Sessegnon (Hoffenheim, loan from Tottenham), 16 Oliver Skipp (Norwich City, loan from Tottenham), 18 James Justin (Leicester City)

Head coach: Aidy Boothroyd

Goals: Tom Davies 45, Joshua Dasilva 70, Eddie Nketiah 82

Cautions: Curtis Jones 18

By Will Jennings