England MU19s top qualifying group
Goals from Tottenham Hotspur striker Dane Scarlett and Chelsea defender Levi Colwill Samuels help England men's under-19s secure victory over Sweden
England men’s under-19s have topped their initial UEFA European Under-19 Championship qualifying group after a 2-0 victory against Sweden.
The Young Lions and Sweden were taking part in a mini tournament, along with Andorra and Switzerland, where the teams attempted to secure a top-two spot which would see them progress to the next qualifying stage in Spring, where the final eight teams who will compete in the Finals in Slovakia in July will be decided.
With England MU19s beating Andorra 4-0 and drawing 0-0 with Switzerland in the last week - and Sweden winning their two matches - it meant the Young Lions went into today’s qualifier knowing a draw would secure a top two spot alongside their hosts.
But Ian Foster’s men went one better and secured top spot in the group thanks to goals from Tottenham Hotspur striker Dane Scarlett and captain Levi Samuels Colwill.
England got off to an ideal start at the Skytteholms IP as Bristol City’s impressive midfielder Alex Scott was brought down in the penalty area and Scarlett sent the goalkeeper the wrong way from the penalty spot.
The visitors almost doubled their advantage on the quarter of an hour mark when good play from Aston Villa midfielder Carney Chukwuemeka released Scarlett but just as he was about to get the shot away, Arash Motaraghebjafarpour made a superb last-ditch tackle. The ball fell to Chukwuemeka eight yards out and his low shot was saved superbly, and then Juventus winger Sam Iling-Junior fired over the rebound.
Scarlett had another effort tipped over the bar midway through the first half and more good play from Chukwuemeka just before the break ended with Scott having a 20-yard strike tipped over the bar, as the Young Lions had to settle for a one-goal advantage at half-time.
Sweden almost equalised just four minutes into the second period when Oscar Wilhelmsson was slid through, however, Brentford goalkeeper Matthew Cox made a smart stop with his feet after narrowing the angle.
England did get the second goal they were searching for in the 65th minute though when Samuels Colwill, who is currently on loan at Huddersfield Town from Chelsea, powerfully headed home Scott’s in-swinging corner.
The Young Lions had gone into the contest with a three-point and five-goal advantage over Switzerland in third but with the Swiss winning 6-0 against Andorra, failure to have recorded at least a point in this game would have seen England miss out on next summer’s Finals in Slovakia.
But despite some late pressure from Sweden, which included a goal being ruled out for offside in injury-time, Foster’s men held on for the 2-0 win and topped the group in the process, with Sweden finishing second.
England: 1 Matthew Cox (Brentford), 2 Daniel Oyegoke (Brentford), 3 Callum Doyle (Sunderland, loan from Manchester City), 4 Carney Chukwuemeka (Aston Villa), 5 Levi Samuels Colwill (Huddersfield Town, loan from Chelsea) ©, 7 Sam Iling-Junior (Juventus), 8 Alex Scott (Bristol City), 9 Dane Scarlett (Tottenham Hotspur), 10 Aaron Ramsey (Aston Villa), 11 Harvey Vale (Chelsea), 15 Ronnie Edwards (Peterborough United)
Substitutes: 12 Luke Chambers (Liverpool) for Ramsey 39, 14 Nile John (Tottenham Hotspur) for Iling-Junior 68, 18 James Balagizi (Liverpool) for Vale 68, 16 Charlie Webster (Chelsea) for Scott 85, 17 Jude Soonsup-Bell (Chelsea) for Scarlett 85
Substitutes not used: 13 Tobi Oluwayemi (Celtic), 6 Jamal Baptiste (West Ham United), 19 Daniel Jebbison (Burton Albion, loan from Sheffield United), 20 Omari Giraud-Hutchinson (Arsenal)
Head coach: Ian Foster
Goals: Dane Scarlett 6, Levi Samuels-Colwill 65