Euro Under-21 Championship
Portugal U21Portugal U212England U21England U210

England U21 0-2 Portugal U21: England's Euro hopes hang by a thread

Portugal players celebrate Dany Mota's opening goal
England have won only four of their last 18 group games at Euro U21 finals

England's chances of reaching the Euro Under-21 Championship quarter-finals hang by a thread following a limp display and defeat by Portugal.

Having lost to Switzerland in their opening game, England were second best, failing to have a shot on target.

Dany Mota's low, angled shot and Francisco Trincao's penalty decided the game in the second half in Ljubljana.

England must now beat Croatia and hope Portugal defeat Switzerland to have any chance of progressing from Group D.

Even if England and Portugal win then it would come down to a three-way, head-to-head between England, Croatia and Switzerland for one place, likely settled by goal difference. Croatia beat Switzerland 3-2 on Sunday.

The warning signs were there for England as early as the third minute on Sunday when Ben Godfrey was forced to head away a Mota effort from his own goal line.

England failed to heed them or, to be more accurate, were largely powerless to do anything about it against a far superior opponent.

Everton defender Godfrey had to perform a similar last-ditch salvage job later in the first half, again denying Mota with a sliding tackle at the near post as Aidy Boothroyd's side struggled to preserve parity before the break.

With Fabio Vieira and Vitinha both firing just wide from range as the traffic continued to pour one way, it was only a matter of time before the deadlock was broken.

Mota was the one to do it, collecting a neat pass Pedro Goncalves inside the box before slotting his shot just inside the far post.

Trincao put the game beyond England from the spot after Marc Guehi's stuck in a boot and caught substitute Goncalo Ramos in the box.

Qualification will also be beyond them unless they produce a markedly improved performance against Croatia on Wednesday.

'It is still possible and we will fight to the end'

England U21 boss Aidy Boothroyd, speaking to Sky Sports: "It is deeply disappointing. You've got to give credit to the opponent. They're a very good team and we got them on a good day.

"We didn't create anywhere near enough. Considering the goals we scored leading up to this, it was a real strength of this group. Creating chances and scoring is a big part of what we are so it is really disappointing, and something we need to rectify before the last game.

"We intended to take the game to Portugal. In the first half we stuck to game plan - we wanted to be in the game at half-time. That's not a penalty in my view. We're not going to give excuses. Now it's about picking them up and going again.

"It is still mathematically possible and we'll fight to the end. We've come here to play three games and we intend to. We wanted to go into the final game with it still in our hands and it's not."


Portugal U21

Formation 4-3-1-2

  • 1Meireles Costa
  • 2CorreiaBooked at 52mins
  • 4Queirós
  • 3Monteiro Pinto Leite
  • 5Dalot
  • 7Vitinha
  • 6Morris LuísSubstituted forSantos Bragançaat 45'minutes
  • 23VieiraSubstituted forConceiçãoat 63'minutes
  • 8Carvalho FernandesSubstituted forMachado Trincãoat 45'minutes
  • 18Pereira GonçalvesSubstituted forBarros Soaresat 88'minutes
  • 11Mota CarvalhoSubstituted forMatias Ramosat 73'minutesBooked at 90mins


  • 9Matias Ramos
  • 10Santos Bragança
  • 12Arantes Maximiano
  • 13Franco Tavares
  • 14Lopes Pereira
  • 15Embaló Djaló
  • 16Barros Soares
  • 17Machado Trincão
  • 19de Melo Tomás
  • 20Neto Lopes
  • 21Conceição
  • 22Neves Virgínia

England U21

Formation 4-3-3

  • 1Ramsdale
  • 15Tanganga
  • 4GodfreyBooked at 67mins
  • 5Guehi
  • 14S SessegnonSubstituted forBrewsterat 83'minutes
  • 6DaviesSubstituted forJonesat 72'minutes
  • 16Skipp
  • 18Smith RoweSubstituted forEzeat 45'minutes
  • 23MaduekeSubstituted forGallagherat 72'minutes
  • 9Nketiah
  • 11R SessegnonSubstituted forMcNeilat 55'minutes


  • 2Aarons
  • 3Kelly
  • 7Cantwell
  • 8Gallagher
  • 12Wilmot
  • 13Bursik
  • 17Jones
  • 19Brewster
  • 20Eze
  • 21McNeil
  • 22Griffiths
François Letexier

Match Stats

Home TeamPortugal U21Away TeamEngland U21
Shots on Target

Live Text

  1. Post update

    Match ends, Portugal U21 2, England U21 0.

  2. Full Time

    Second Half ends, Portugal U21 2, England U21 0.

  3. Post update

    Foul by Filipe Soares (Portugal U21).

  4. Post update

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

  5. Post update

    Daniel Bragança (Portugal U21) wins a free kick in the defensive half.

  6. Post update

    Foul by Rhian Brewster (England U21).

  7. Booking

    Gonçalo Ramos (Portugal U21) is shown the yellow card.

  8. Post update

    Gonçalo Ramos (Portugal U21) has gone down, but the referee deems it simulation.

  9. Post update

    Attempt missed. Gonçalo Ramos (Portugal U21) right footed shot from the left side of the box misses to the right. Assisted by Trincão.

  10. Post update

    Diogo Costa (Portugal U21) wins a free kick in the defensive half.

  11. Post update

    Foul by Marc Guehi (England U21).

  12. Post update

    Corner, England U21. Conceded by Gonçalo Ramos.

  13. Substitution

    Substitution, Portugal U21. Filipe Soares replaces Pedro Gonçalves.

  14. Post update

    Foul by Trincão (Portugal U21).

  15. Post update

    Marc Guehi (England U21) wins a free kick in the attacking half.

  16. Post update

    Corner, Portugal U21. Conceded by Ben Godfrey.

  17. Post update

    Attempt blocked. Pedro Gonçalves (Portugal U21) right footed shot from the left side of the box is blocked. Assisted by Trincão.

  18. Post update

    Foul by Daniel Bragança (Portugal U21).

  19. Post update

    Oliver Skipp (England U21) wins a free kick in the attacking half.

  20. Substitution

    Substitution, England U21. Rhian Brewster replaces Steven Sessegnon.

Scores, Results & Fixtures

Sunday 28th March 2021

As It Stood


1Germany U2121104134
2Romania U2121103214
3Netherlands U2120202202
4Hungary U21200215-40


1Spain U2121103034
2Czech Rep U2120202202
3Italy U2120201102
4Slovenia U21201114-31


1Denmark U2122003036
2France U2121012113
3Football Union of Russia U2121014313
4Iceland U21200216-50


1Portugal U2122003036
2Croatia U2121013303
3Switzerland U2121013303
4England U21200203-30
View full Euro Under-21 Championship tables

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