Euro U21 Qualifying - 1st Leg
England U212Croatia U211

England U21 2-1 Croatia U21

West Brom striker Saido Berahino scores a late penalty as England's Under-21s beat Croatia in their Euro 2015 play-off first leg
Berahino has been in prolific form for the England Under-21s, scoring 10 goals in Euro 2015 qualifying

Saido Berahino scored a late penalty as England Under-21s secured a valuable first-leg advantage in their Euro 2015 play-off against Croatia at Molineux.

Gareth Southgate's side fell behind when Marko Livaja headed home an early opener following a corner.

England pressed and Luke Shaw hit the post, before Harry Kane nodded in an equaliser from Berahino's cross.

With time running out, West Brom striker Berahino was fouled in the area and converted the winning penalty.

The second leg will be played in Croatia on Tuesday.

England's slender advantage will give them hope of progressing to a fifth European Championship finals in a row, especially after their impressive qualifying form.

Southgate's side scored 31 goals as they finished top of their qualifying group, winning nine of their 10 games, but that attacking prowess was lacking in the early stages of Friday's game.

Berahino, joint top scorer in the group stage with nine goals in eight games, spurned the hosts' first chance when he was put through by Derby midfielder Will Hughes's smart ball, scooping his shot high and wide.

Euro 2015
The 2015 European Under-21 Championship finals take place in Czech Republic from 17-30 JuneThe six other play-off games are Slovakia v Italy, France v Sweden, Denmark v Iceland, Netherlands v Portugal, Ukraine v Germany and Serbia v Spain.
The group-stage draw for the finals is in Prague on 6 NovemberSpain are the holders

England looked largely comfortable, but poor defending allowed Croatia to take the lead against the run of play.

A corner was flicked on by Niko Datkovic towards the far post, where Livaja nodded in.

To England's credit, they responded well as Manchester United full-back Shaw struck the inside of a post before Norwich midfielder Nathan Redmond had a powerful 25-yard drive tipped over by Croatia keeper Dominik Livakovic.

Croatia's defence was well organised and they also looked dangerous on the counter-attack, with the lively Ante Coric bending a shot just over the bar following a swift break.

England, though, did not get frustrated and their patience was rewarded before the hour mark when Berahino delivered a low cross into the area and Kane stooped in to glance home a close-range header.

From then on, Croatia seemed content to try and close out the game and leave the West Midlands with the scores level.

However, the lively Berahino broke at pace against a tiring defence, raced into the area and was fouled by the onrushing Livakovic, who then failed to keep out the striker's spot-kick.

England Under-21s boss Gareth Southgate:

"We know how we can play when we have been a goal ahead and how we cope with that, but [going behind] is a different sort of test.

"When you want something in life, very often it is not straightforward to get it.

"I am delighted with the character to come from a goal behind and the intelligence with which we have done it.

"But we will have to show that all again on Tuesday because we will be tested in every area of the game."

England v Croatia
England U21s, who fell behind after 13 minutes against Croatia, conceded just two goals in 10 games during qualifying
England v Croatia
Gareth Southgate's side finished top of their Euro 2015 qualifying group, with nine wins from 10 games
Luke Shaw
Manchester United full-back Luke Shaw hit the post for England U21s
England v Croatia
Harry Kane has scored seven goals in his past five games for England U21s

Line-ups

England U21

  • 1Butland
  • 2KeaneSubstituted forDierat 45'minutesBooked at 69mins
  • 6MooreBooked at 83mins
  • 5Gibson
  • 3Shaw
  • 4HughesSubstituted forInceat 56'minutes
  • 8Forster-Caskey
  • 10Carroll
  • 11Redmond
  • 9Kane
  • 7Berahino

Substitutes

  • 12Garbutt
  • 13Bond
  • 14Dier
  • 15Lascelles
  • 16Baker
  • 17Ince
  • 18Bamford

Croatia U21

  • 12Livakovic
  • 2ZuparicBooked at 49mins
  • 5Datkovic
  • 6Mitrovic
  • 3MilicSubstituted forMilosat 90+1'minutes
  • 4Bradaric
  • 8PavicicBooked at 80mins
  • 7Pjaca
  • 18CoricSubstituted forPasalicat 63'minutesBooked at 81mins
  • 11Rebic
  • 14LivajaSubstituted forBagaricat 70'minutes

Substitutes

  • 1Delac
  • 9Perica
  • 10Pasalic
  • 13Milos
  • 16Caktas
  • 17Bagaric
  • 19Brucic
Referee:
Javier Estrada Fernández

Match Stats

Home TeamEngland U21Away TeamCroatia U21
Possession
Home70%
Away30%
Shots
Home20
Away8
Shots on Target
Home6
Away1
Corners
Home12
Away6
Fouls
Home9
Away17

Live Text

Match ends, England U21 2, Croatia U21 1.

Full Time

Second Half ends, England U21 2, Croatia U21 1.

Substitution

Substitution, Croatia U21. Mato Milos replaces Antonio Milic because of an injury.

Corner, England U21. Conceded by Matej Mitrovic.

Attempt blocked. Saido Berahino (England U21) left footed shot from outside the box is blocked. Assisted by Eric Dier.

Tom Ince (England U21) wins a free kick in the defensive half.

Foul by Ante Rebic (Croatia U21).

Delay over. They are ready to continue.

Delay in match Antonio Milic (Croatia U21) because of an injury.

Corner, Croatia U21. Conceded by Eric Dier.

Goal!

Goal! England U21 2, Croatia U21 1. Saido Berahino (England U21) converts the penalty with a right footed shot to the bottom left corner.

Penalty England U21. Saido Berahino draws a foul in the penalty area.

Penalty conceded by Dominik Livakovic (Croatia U21) after a foul in the penalty area.

Booking

Liam Moore (England U21) is shown the yellow card for a bad foul.

Foul by Liam Moore (England U21).

Ante Rebic (Croatia U21) wins a free kick on the left wing.

Attempt missed. Nathan Redmond (England U21) left footed shot from the left side of the box misses to the right. Assisted by Tom Carroll with a through ball.

Eric Dier (England U21) wins a free kick on the right wing.

Foul by Ante Rebic (Croatia U21).

Booking

Mario Pasalic (Croatia U21) is shown the yellow card.

(England U21) wins a free kick in the defensive half.

Mario Pasalic (Croatia U21).

Booking

Domagoj Pavicic (Croatia U21) is shown the yellow card for a bad foul.

Jake Forster-Caskey (England U21) wins a free kick in the defensive half.

Foul by Domagoj Pavicic (Croatia U21).

Attempt missed. Matej Mitrovic (Croatia U21) header from the centre of the box misses to the left. Assisted by Filip Bradaric with a cross following a corner.

Corner, Croatia U21. Conceded by Ben Gibson.

Attempt blocked. Niko Datkovic (Croatia U21) header from the centre of the box is blocked. Assisted by Filip Bradaric with a cross.

Corner, Croatia U21. Conceded by Ben Gibson.

Attempt missed. Ben Gibson (England U21) left footed shot from the centre of the box is too high following a corner.

Attempt blocked. Ben Gibson (England U21) header from the centre of the box is blocked. Assisted by Tom Ince with a cross.

Corner, England U21. Conceded by Dominik Livakovic.

Corner, England U21. Conceded by Niko Datkovic.

Attempt missed. Ante Rebic (Croatia U21) right footed shot from the left side of the box is high and wide to the right. Assisted by Mario Pasalic following a fast break.

Substitution

Substitution, Croatia U21. Drazen Bagaric replaces Marko Livaja.

Booking

Eric Dier (England U21) is shown the yellow card for a bad foul.

Foul by Eric Dier (England U21).

Ante Rebic (Croatia U21) wins a free kick in the attacking half.

Foul by Nathan Redmond (England U21).

Ante Rebic (Croatia U21) wins a free kick in the defensive half.

goal

As It Stood

A

TeamPWDLFAGDPts
1England U21109103122928
2Finland U21104421710716
3Moldova U2110514126616
4Wales U21103341213-112
5Lithuania U2110226619-138
6San Marino U2110118230-284

B

TeamPWDLFAGDPts
1Denmark U21108203792826
2Russia U211071222121022
3Slovenia U211052329111817
4Bulgaria U21102351826-89
5Estonia U2110235923-149
6Andorra U2110019135-341

C

TeamPWDLFAGDPts
1Slovakia U2185211971217
2Netherlands U2185122261616
3Scotland U2183231215-311
4Georgia U218314815-710
5Luxembourg U218107523-183

D

TeamPWDLFAGDPts
1Spain U2187102461822
2Austria U2185121512316
3Hungary U2183051213-19
4Bosnia and Herzegovina U2182061022-126
5Albania U218206715-86

E

TeamPWDLFAGDPts
1Croatia U2186112051519
2Ukraine U2186112081219
3Switzerland U2185032381515
4Latvia U2182061122-116
5Liechtenstein U218008334-310

F

TeamPWDLFAGDPts
1Germany U2186202552020
2Romania U2183321419-512
3Montenegro U2183231211111
4R. of Ireland U2182241012-28
5Faroe Islands U218116923-144

G

TeamPWDLFAGDPts
1Sweden U2185122014616
2Greece U21850320101015
3Poland U2185031710715
4Turkey U2184131611513
5Malta U218008230-280

H

TeamPWDLFAGDPts
1Portugal U2188002261624
2Israel U2185032215715
3Norway U2183051119-89
4Azerbaijan U218215915-67
5Macedonia U218116413-94

I

TeamPWDLFAGDPts
1Italy U2186021971218
2Serbia U2185121810816
3Belgium U218512157816
4Cyprus U218206721-146
5Northern Ireland U218107317-143

J

TeamPWDLFAGDPts
1France U2187102872122
2Iceland U2185122011916
3Kazakhstan U218305818-109
4Armenia U218305719-129
5Belarus U218107614-83
View full Euro U21 Qualifying tables

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