Euro U21 Qualifying - 2nd Leg
Croatia U211England U212

England U21s qualify for Euro 2015

Liam Moore
Liam Moore scored England's opener in Vinkovci

England's Under-21s secured their place at next year's European Championship finals as victory in Croatia sealed a 4-2 aggregate win.

After winning the first leg at Molineux 2-1, England made the perfect start in Vinkovci when Liam Moore volleyed home.

Marko Livaja levelled for Croatia before the break with a low finish, but the hosts rarely looked like scoring the further goals needed to progress.

Instead, it was England who sealed victory when Will Hughes swept home.

The win - England's 10th in a row - means they will compete at a fifth consecutive finals, with Euro 2015 - an eight-team tournament - to take place in the Czech Republic in June.

Their appearance at the last tournament, in 2013, was one to forget for England, as they were eliminated at the group stages without winning a game.

However, England's form will certainly give them reason to be optimistic of a better showing next year, with Gareth Southgate's side winning nine of their 10 qualifying group-stage games, scoring 31 goals and conceding just two.

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

Saido Berahino was key to that impressive form, scoring on nine occasions, and a goal and assist by the West Brom striker had given England a 2-1 aggregate lead heading into Tuesday's second leg in Croatia.

It was a slender advantage, especially with Croatia having scored an away goal, but Leicester defender Moore helped settle England's nerves when he volleyed them into an early lead from Tom Carroll's corner.

Croatia had been lethargic up to that point and, while the goal did wake them up, they did not pose enough of a threat to Jack Butland in the England goal.

But a defensive error got them back into the game when Livaja outmuscled Moore to bring a long ball under control and, with just Butland to beat, the striker made no mistake with a low finish.

That put them within one goal of forcing extra-time but they failed to impose themselves on England, with the away side instead looking the most likely to extend their advantage.

England U21 coach Gareth Southgate
"I want to show that England teams can play in a different way and, for everything that we're trying to do throughout the age groups, it was important that we qualified."

That is exactly what they did when, after Berahino hit the post, Hughes stroked home the decisive second for England from the edge of the area.

Southgate said the manner in which his side achieved qualification was important to the national setup.

"We played to our strengths and that's how we've built the team - on possession," said the former England defender.

"I want to show that England teams can play in a different way and, for everything that we're trying to do throughout the age groups, it was important that we qualified."

He added: "We've been playing that way since the start, but we were really conscious that if we wanted to get our message across, we had to do it tonight, under pressure.

"It was clear from the beginning that if we got the ball into midfield our movement, touch and awareness was going to cause a problem.

"We were in control of the game and we didn't want to come here and sit back."

Line-ups

Croatia U21

  • 12Livakovic
  • 13Milos
  • 5Datkovic
  • 6Mitrovic
  • 3Milic
  • 4Bradaric
  • 10PasalicSubstituted forCaktasat 67'minutes
  • 7Pjaca
  • 21HalilovicSubstituted forMisicat 79'minutes
  • 11RebicSubstituted forBagaricat 33'minutes
  • 14Livaja

Substitutes

  • 1Delac
  • 8Galovic
  • 9Perica
  • 16Caktas
  • 17Bagaric
  • 19Brucic
  • 20Misic

England U21

  • 1Butland
  • 2Dier
  • 6Moore
  • 5Gibson
  • 3Shaw
  • 4HughesBooked at 56mins
  • 8Forster-Caskey
  • 10Carroll
  • 11RedmondSubstituted forInceat 85'minutes
  • 9Kane
  • 7Berahino

Substitutes

  • 12Garbutt
  • 13Bond
  • 14Pritchard
  • 15Lascelles
  • 16Baker
  • 17Ince
  • 18Woodrow
Referee:
Clément Turpin

Match Stats

Home TeamCroatia U21Away TeamEngland U21
Possession
Home41%
Away59%
Shots
Home10
Away14
Shots on Target
Home4
Away5
Corners
Home2
Away8
Fouls
Home14
Away8

Live Text

Match ends, Croatia U21 1, England U21 2.

Full Time

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

Corner, England U21. Conceded by Matej Mitrovic.

Foul by Harry Kane (England U21).

Mato Milos (Croatia U21) wins a free kick in the defensive half.

Attempt missed. Antonio Milic (Croatia U21) right footed shot from the centre of the box misses to the right. Assisted by Marko Livaja.

Substitution

Substitution, England U21. Tom Ince replaces Nathan Redmond.

Foul by Harry Kane (England U21).

Mato Milos (Croatia U21) wins a free kick in the defensive half.

Attempt blocked. Harry Kane (England U21) right footed shot from the left side of the six yard box is blocked. Assisted by Nathan Redmond.

Attempt missed. Petar Misic (Croatia U21) left footed shot from outside the box is too high. Assisted by Drazen Bagaric.

Substitution

Substitution, Croatia U21. Petar Misic replaces Alen Halilovic.

Corner, England U21. Conceded by Matej Mitrovic.

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

Foul by Alen Halilovic (Croatia U21).

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

Foul by Mijo Caktas (Croatia U21).

Goal!

Goal! Croatia U21 1, England U21 2. Will Hughes (England U21) right footed shot from the centre of the box to the bottom left corner. Assisted by Harry Kane.

Attempt saved. Harry Kane (England U21) right footed shot from outside the box is saved in the centre of the goal. Assisted by Luke Shaw.

Harry Kane (England U21) wins a free kick in the attacking half.

Foul by Niko Datkovic (Croatia U21).

Substitution

Substitution, Croatia U21. Mijo Caktas replaces Mario Pasalic.

Attempt missed. Antonio Milic (Croatia U21) left footed shot from outside the box is high and wide to the left. Assisted by Filip Bradaric.

Foul by Eric Dier (England U21).

Alen Halilovic (Croatia U21) wins a free kick in the defensive half.

Offside, England U21. Will Hughes tries a through ball, but Jake Forster-Caskey is caught offside.

Corner, England U21. Conceded by Filip Bradaric.

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

Foul by Drazen Bagaric (Croatia U21).

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

Foul by Marko Pjaca (Croatia U21).

Foul by Liam Moore (England U21).

Marko Livaja (Croatia U21) wins a free kick in the defensive half.

Corner, England U21. Conceded by Filip Bradaric.

Attempt blocked. Harry Kane (England U21) header from the right side of the six yard box is blocked. Assisted by Tom Carroll with a cross.

Corner, England U21. Conceded by Filip Bradaric.

Saido Berahino (England U21) hits the right post with a right footed shot from the right side of the box. Assisted by Tom Carroll.

Attempt missed. Harry Kane (England U21) left footed shot from a difficult angle on the left is too high. Assisted by Will Hughes with a through ball.

Attempt blocked. Tom Carroll (England U21) left footed shot from outside the box is blocked. Assisted by Harry Kane.

Booking

Will Hughes (England U21) is shown the yellow card for a bad foul.

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

Top Stories