England U21s knocked out of European Championships despite Crystal Palace’s Ebere Eze scoring

By Sam Smith and Andrew McSteen

Ebere Eze’s penalty was not enough to send England through to the knockout stages of the U21 European Championships.

The Crystal Palace attacker scored in a 2-1 win over Croatia, but Domagoj Bradarić’s 91st-minute stunner knocked out the Three Lions on goal difference.

England had seven players either born or raised in South London in their squad. Eze, from Greenwich, put them ahead before Curtis Jones made it 2-0. That scoreline would have set up Aidy Boothroyd’s side for a quarter-final tie against Spain on May 31.

They had to overturn a three-goal difference on Croatia and rely on Portugal beating Switzerland. The latter happened and England seemed set to proceed to the summer’s knockout rounds – only for Bradarić to strike from 25 yards in added-time.

It has been a disappointing tournament for England, who finish bottom of Group D because of this result.

Boothroyd told broadcasters: “I thought tonight we were excellent. We have been criticised for not being creative but tonight we were very creative. We scored two and to lose in the manner that we did after swimming the channel and getting to where we’re okay… he (Bradarić) never score a goal like that again.

“It is very disappointing. We gave ourselves a mountain to climb and we almost did it. We lose by one goal and they are the fine margins – the things they have to learn and experience like this stays with you forever. That is what the U21s is all about. It is a development team.

“Football is a strange game and we had injuries to a lot of our normal starters. The lads who came in were exceptional and gave it a real go. I need to think about that and reflect on why that was. It wasn’t through any lack of effort. After a period of time these things become clear. [I’m] very emotional right now.”

 


Please support your local paper by making a donation

 

 

Please make cheques payable to “MSI Media Limited” and send by post to South London Press, Unit 112, 160 Bromley Road, Catford, London SE6 2NZ


Housing Secretary Robert Jenrick has encouraged everyone in the country who can afford to do so to buy a newspaper, and told the Downing Street press briefing recently: “A free country needs a free press, and the newspapers of our country are under significant financial pressure”.

So if you have enjoyed reading this story, and if you can afford to do so, we would be so grateful if you can buy our newspaper or make a donation, which will allow us to continue to bring stories like this one to you both in print and online.

Everyone at the South London Press thanks you for your continued support.


Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *