England Under-17s reach European semi-finals

England coach John Peacock
England coach John Peacock has successfully steered his side into the semis

England reached the semi-finals of the Under-17 European Championship with a 3-0 win over hosts Serbia - and in the process sealed qualification for next month's World Cup in Mexico.

Coach John Peacock's side did all the damage inside the opening 18 minutes.

Liverpool's Brad Smith scored before Hallam Hope of Everton added two more.

Peacock, whose side now face Holland on Thursday, said: "We've performed particularly well against a good Serbia team. I'm absolutely delighted."

He added: "We had to make sure we won, to secure qualification for the World Cup. That's what we've done. That was very important to us first and foremost."

England began the tournament with a 2-2 draw against France, twice taking the lead through Hope and Nick Powell, before losing 2-0 Denmark, who finished top of Group A.

The Danes will meet 2009 winners Germany, who finished behind the Dutch in Group B, in the other semi-final.

The games take place in Novi Sad's Karadjordje Stadium on Thursday.