England MU19s beat Georgia 6-0 and progress to the elite round of EURO qualifying
England men’s under-19s have progressed to the next stage of EURO qualifying following their emphatic 6-0 win over Georgia.
With the top two sides in each of the four-team mini groups progressing to the elite round of qualifying in the spring, the Young Lions’ victory on Saturday afternoon moved them to six points and agonisingly close to making the next stage.
And with Denmark beating Montenegro 6-1 later in the evening, it meant Simon Rusk’s team have reached the elite round of EURO qualifying with a game to spare.
A hat-trick from Leeds United’s Sonny Perkins, a double from Liverpool’s Oakley Cannonier and another goal from Omari Forson of Manchester United meant the Young Lions always looked likely to progress from their group, as they aim to retain the U19 EUROs title won by England at the beginning of July.
And today's results mean they go into Tuesday's game with Denmark just one goal ahead of the Danes, with both teams now on six points and guaranteed qualification to the elite round.
Rusk’s men started the game very strongly in the Hjørring Stadion and they were rewarded in the ninth minute when Rico Lewis recovered a wayward pass by the corner flag and worked the ball back to captain Sammy Braybrooke, whose first-time delivery was glanced across the goalkeeper and in via the post by the head of Perkins.
The Leeds United forward then had his third of the qualifying round when George Hall was body-checked to the floor and Perkins smashed the resulting spot-kick high to the goalkeeper’s left.
His hat-trick was then completed three minutes before the interval when Braybrooke’s corner was flicked on at the near post and Perkins couldn’t miss from half a yard.
The Young Lions showed no sign of letting up in the second period as Forson struck a crisp shot from range and the ‘keeper could only parry into Cannonier’s path to tap in from close range.
Forson did get his name on the scoresheet before the hour was out though as he dribbled into the box and from just inside the penalty area, smashed the ball high past the goalkeeper at his near post.
It looked as though the game would end 5-0 but in the fourth minute of injury-time, substitute Isaac Mabaya cut the ball back for Cannonier to score his second of the game.
England will now finish the qualifying round on Tuesday with a game against Denmark, with kick-off set for 1pm.
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The top two teams in each group will then join number one seeds Portugal in the spring 2023 elite round, alongside the third-placed team with the best record against the top two in their section.
The end goal is to be one of seven teams to join hosts Malta in the 2023 UEFA European Under-19 Championship Finals tournament between 3-16 July.
England: 1 James Beadle (Brighton & Hove Albion), 2 Rico Lewis (Manchester City), 3 Luke Chambers (Liverpool), 4 Sammy Braybrooke (Leicester City) (captain), 5 Ben Nelson (Rochdale, loan from Leicester City), 7 Sonny Perkins (Leeds United), 9 Oakley Cannonier (Liverpool), 10 George Hall (Birmingham City), 11 Omari Forson (Manchester United), 15 Ashley Phillips (Blackburn Rovers), 16 Lewis Hall (Chelsea)
Substitutes: 17 Isaac Mabaya (Liverpool) for Lewis 51, 16 Ben Chrisene (Kilmarnock, loan from Aston Villa) for Chambers 51, 6 Adam Wharton (Blackburn Rovers) for George Hall 56, 20 Kian Pennant (Leicester City) for Perkins 56, 19 Lee Jonas (Liverpool) for Nelson 66
Substitutes not used: 13 Joseph Whitworth (Crystal Palace), 22 Tommy Simkin (Stoke City), 8 Darko Gyabi (Leeds United), 12 Divin Mubama (West Ham United), 14 Sam Mather (Manchester United)
Head coach: Simon Rusk
Goals: Sonny Perkins 9, 19 (p), 42, Oakley Cannonier 51, 90+4, Omari Forson 58
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