Report: England MU19s 4-0 Armenia
England men’s under-19s’ EURO qualification hopes remain in their hands after an emphatic 4-0 victory over Armenia on Saturday afternoon.
The Young Lions went into the day in second place in their UEFA Under-19 Championship qualification group following their 3-1 win over the Republic of Ireland on Wednesday and Portugal’s 4-0 victory against Armenia.
But with Portugal and the Republic of Ireland not playing until Saturday evening, England MU19s have gone top of Group 3 thanks to today’s win at Rotherham FC’s stadium.
Alfie Devine’s early strike and an own-goal from Armenia’s Narek Manukyan meant England were in control at the break and despite a second-half red card for Liam Delap, the Young Lions secured victory thanks to further goals from Jarell Quansah and Samuel Edozie.
The win over Armenia means England know victory against Portugal on Tuesday at Chesterfield will secure qualification at this summer’s UEFA Under-19 Championship Finals in Romania.
MU19 head coach Ian Foster made four changes to the XI which beat the Republic of Ireland on Wednesday, as Chelsea duo Bashir Humphreys and Xavier Simons came into the defence and midfield respectively, with Manchester City pairing Edozie and Delap selected in the attacking positions.
England started the contest well and almost took the lead inside three minutes, when Delap’s header was met by Quansah and his own header went just over the bar.
But the fans in attendance didn’t have long to wait for the game’s first goal when Quansah set up Tottenham’s Devine to score on six minutes.
Carney Chukwuemeka shot just wide soon after and Armenia’s goalkeeper Rafayel Manasyan twice saved from Delap inside the opening quarter of an hour.
Devine would have had a second had it not been for Manasyan pushing away another effort following some good play from England.
Delap then headed just wide of goal but minutes later it was 2-0, as Harvey Vale’s corner ended with Manukyan turning the ball into his own net.
Delap was agonisingly close once again just before the break but England did get a third goal soon after the restart.
Devine found substitute Daniel Jebbison in the box and his header back across the goal was headed powerfully into the net by Quansah.
Armenia were reduced to ten men just before the hour but the numbers were levelled up three minutes later when Delap received a second yellow card himself.
Manchester City’s Edozie then cemented the victory in the 76th minute following great link-up play and a superb finish.
Chukwuemeka and Ronnie Edwards among those to go close in the final quarter of an hour, but the Young Lions had to settle for the four goals, matching the result recorded by Portugal in their opening match against Armenia.
England MU19s will now wait to see how the result from the Republic of Ireland versus Portugal on Saturday night before the Young Lions play their final qualifier on Tuesday at Chesterfield (7.30pm kick-off).
Tickets are still available and group booking rate tickets are from just £1 for the match and England Accredited Clubs able to apply for up to 10 complimentary tickets per club.
Highlights: England MU19s 4-0 Armenia
The best of the action from Rotherham with four goals from the Young Lions
England: 1 Matthew Cox; 2 Brooke Norton-Cuffey, 5 Ronnie Edwards, 6 Jarell Quansah, 16 Bashir Humphreys; 8 Carney Chukwuemeka, 14 Xavier Simons; 7 Alfie Devine, 17 Samuel Edozie, 11 Harvey Vale ©; 19 Liam Delap
Substitutes: 20 Daniel Jebbison for Vale 46, 18 James Balagizi for Devine 73, 15 James Norris for Quansah 73, 12 Daniel Oyegoke for Norton-Cuffy 77, 13 Ted Sharman-Lowe for Cox 87
Substitutes not used: 3 Callum Doyle, 4 Timothy Iroehbunam, 9 Dane Scarlett
Goals: Alfie Devine 6, Narek Manukyan OG 38, Jarell Quansah 58, Sam Edozie 76
Bookings: Liam Delap 59, 62
Red card: Liam Delap 62
Head coach: Ian Foster
See MU19s in qualification action