Euro Under-21s: England can reach semi-finals - Southgate

Harry Kane
Harry Kane went closest for England with three good efforts on goal
Euro U21 Championship
Location: Czech Republic. Date: 18-30 June. Coverage: Live text commentary on BBC Sport website, plus live commentary on BBC Radio 5 live, of all England matches

England still have a great chance of reaching the semi-finals of the European Under-21 Championship despite losing their opening game against Portugal, says boss Gareth Southgate.

A goal from Joao Mario was enough to give Portugal three points and leave England likely to need wins against both Sweden and Italy to progress.

Southgate, 44, said: "We still have a fantastic chance of going through.

"We have to move on quickly but the next two matches are ones we can win."

England had 20 shots on goal in an open game in the Czech Republic town of Uherske Hradiste, with Tottenham striker Harry Kane and Norwich winger Nathan Redmond going close in the first half.

Manchester United midfielder Jesse Lingard also curled wide, while new Liverpool signing Danny Ings shot over after coming on as a substitute.

England next face Sweden - who beat Italy earlier on Thursday - on Sunday, when failure to win would effectively rule out their chances of reaching the last four.

European U21 Championship
Group A: Czech Republic, Denmark, Germany, SerbiaGroup B: England, Italy, Portugal, Sweden
Top two from each group advance to semi-finalsFinal takes place on 30 June in Prague

Southgate told BBC Radio 5 live: "We know that you generally need five points to get out of the group so we need to win both games. But there's no reason why we can't do that.

"My experience of tournaments is that if you don't react well then you have no chance in the next game.

"It's a very quick turnaround and our mentality now is very important. They can't be overly critical of themselves, we have more to come and that will see us through."

England should still qualify - Lawro

"I thought England played quite well - I've seen all eight sides in this competition and Portugal are by far and away the best team," said former Liverpool defender, and BBC Radio 5 live summariser, Mark Lawrenson.

"I've seen Sweden and Italy - England look much better than both of those teams. To be honest, Sweden and Italy look to be at the level of England's qualifying opponents - and not at the level of England or Portugal.

"While England are defeated and that causes them a problem, I don't think they have too many things to work on or have to change too much in order to try and get themselves out of this group.

"Gareth Southgate will tell his players 'play anything like you did tonight and that will be enough to stay in this competition next week'."

'England have to support Kane more'

Harry Kane
Kane scored 30 goals for Spurs on his way to winning the PFA Young Player of the Year award

"Harry Kane was outstanding but he didn't have enough of the ball," said Lawrenson.

"If I was in England's shoes I would be looking at Sunday's game and thinking 'how do we get more from Harry Kane?' The lad has got loads of goals in him, which we have seen in the Premier League.

"But Kane had to go out of the areas you want him to be in because had to go and look for the ball. England have to get more support to him."

'A sixth-former playing against 11-year-olds'

William Carvalho
Portugal midfielder William Carvalho, 23, has been linked with a move to Manchester United or Arsenal

"Portugal had a couple of outstanding performances on the night - William Carvalho is far too good for this level and Bernardo Silva, who has scored 10 goals in 45 games for Monaco and played in the Champions League - looks very good.

"Carvalho [who qualifies as he was under 21 at the start of the two-year tournament cycle] looked like a sixth former in the playground playing against 11-year-olds who have just come into the first year of grammar school - it was that easy for him.

"He just strolled through the game - it was frightening. I know supposedly that Arsenal have had a good look at him and he looks an outstanding player."

As It Stood

A

TeamPWDLFAGDPts
1Denmark U2111002113
2Serbia U2110101101
2Germany U2110101101
4Czech Rep U21100112-10

B

TeamPWDLFAGDPts
1Sweden U2111002113
1Portugal U2111001013
3Italy U21100112-10
3England U21100101-10
View full Euro Under-21 Championship tables

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