Report: England MU17s 3-1 Lithuania
England men’s Under-17s produced a dominant display as they got their UEFA U17 EURO campaign underway with a 3-1 victory over Lithuania.
Goals from captain Michael Golding in each half were the least England deserved during an opening hour where they controlled proceedings.
It looked as though the Young Lions were set for a tense final ten minutes in Georgia when Lithuania made it 2-1 but the two-goal cushion was restored immediately thanks to Arsenal’s Ethan Nwaneri.
With 20 shots to Lithuania’s three, Ryan Garry’s side were worthy winners as they moved top of UEFA European Under-17 Championship qualifying round Group 3.
Chelsea midfielder Golding opened the scoring on 17 minutes with a crisp right-footed finish into the bottom left corner, which left the goalkeeper rooted to the spot.
The Young Lions skipper then doubled his side’s advantage shortly after the interval with a close-range finish.
The Lithuanians’ organised defence managed to keep the score down in windy conditions, as the Young Lions dominated.
However, in the 80th minute, Lithuania’s Mantas Malatokas pulled a goal back after England lost the ball in transition, firing a warning shot in the process.
But less than a minute later, substitute Nwaneri, who in September became the youngest player in Premier League history at 15, regained the two-goal advantage when the Arsenal forward scored, just three minutes after coming on.
Today’s game was the first of three qualification matches for England during the next week.
The win over Lithuania will be followed by a game with hosts Georgia on Friday in GFF Rustavi Academy (3pm BST), before the round concludes on Monday 31 October against Israel back at the Tbilisi Sea Technical Center Stadium (2pm BST).
The top two in each qualification group will join top seeds Netherlands and Spain in the elite round, along with the four third-placed teams with the best records against the top two in their section.
Those 32 teams will then take part in the elite round of qualifying in the spring, hoping to join hosts Hungary at the 16-team UEFA European Under-17 Championship Finals from 17 May to 2 June 2023.
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England: 1 Ted Curd (Chelsea); 4 Myles Lewis-Skelly (Arsenal), 5 Zach Abbott (Nottingham Forest), 6 Ishé Samuels-Smith (Everton); 2 Josh Acheampong (Chelsea), 10 Michael Golding (Chelsea) (captain), 8 Kiano Dyer (Chelsea), 3 Jayden Meghoma (Southampton); 11 Oliver Irow (Tottenham Hotspur), 7 Justin Oboavwoduo (Manchester City), 9 Jimmy-Jay Morgan (Southampton)
Substitutes: 15 Mirsad Ali (Leicester City) for Meghoma 70, 18 Jamaldeen Jimoh (West Bromwich Albion) for Dyer 75, 17 Tyler Dibling (Southampton) for Oboavwoduo 78, 19 Leon Chiwome (Wolverhampton Wanderers) for Morgan 78, 20 Ethan Nwaneri (Arsenal) for Irow 78
Substitutes not used: 13 Jack Thompson (Derby County), 12 Lakyle Samuel (Manchester City), 14 Chris Rigg (Sunderland), 16 Travis Akomeah (Chelsea)
Head coach: Ryan Garry
Goals: Michael Golding 17, 51, Ethan Nwaneri 81
Bookings: Kiano Dyer 53