England U21s 3-1 Andorra U21s: Aidy Boothroyd’s side avoid further embarrassment against the visitors as they ease to victory with goals from Curtis Jones, Ben Wilmot and Callum Hudson-Odoi
- England’s perfect record ended last month with a 3-3 draw against Andorra
- Aidy Boothroyd’s side got revenge with a comfortable victory at the Molineux
- Curtis Jones got the opener before Andorra levelled with a penalty kick
- Ben Wilmott put them back in front before Callum Hudson-Odoi added a third
It is nine years to the day since England lost an Under-21 qualifier and, really, there was never any danger of that record ending on Friday night.
Yet they were made to work harder than envisaged for victory by an Andorra side Aidy Boothroyd will be glad to see the back of.
Andorra snarled and bit, roughed England up, and the hosts did not always enjoy that, going in at the break level, casting minds back to last month’s distressing 3-3 away draw.
England U21s avoided another embarrassing result against Andorra as they took a 3-1 victory
Liverpool midfielder Curtis Jones scored his first goal for the U21s to open the scoring
There was cause for concern briefly as Christian Garcia levelled from the penalty spot
England were soon back on top though as Watford’s Ben Wilmot handed them the lead again
England U21: Ramsdale, Lamptey, Wilmot, Williams, Panzo, Jones (Musiala 72), Gallagher, Da Silva, Hudson-Odoi (Eze 72), Brewster (Nketiah 72), McNeil (Buchanan 82)
Subs not used:Bursik, Guehi, Davies, Skipp, Justin
Goals: Jones 27, Wilmot 49, Hudson-Odoi 65
Andorra U21: Iker, Izan Fernandez, Del Castillo, Garcia, De Pablos, Vales, Izquierdo, Guillen, Rebelo, Rosas, Pomares
Subs: Gimenez, Teixeira, Alonso, Miquel Torres, Gomes, Casanovas, Pelfort, Suarez, Joan Torres
Goal: Garcia 45
Eventually they exerted proper control, although must hope that European Championship opposition in March will be slightly more adventurous and thus offer additional space for the Young Lions’ enviable attacking armoury to exploit.
This was occasionally tough going. Tuesday’s game against Albania represents Boothroyd’s final preparation before the Euros and there remain question marks on who makes that squad and the system they intend to adopt.
There was much left to ponder on a night which saw Bayern Munich’s Jamal Musiala’s debut from the bench.
Chances came and went, Callum Hudson-Odoi shooting straight at Iker when put through by marauding central defender Jonathan Panzo, who later saw his own effort cleared off the line.
England led after 27 minutes, a move finished off by Curtis Jones – his first international goal at this level – after a wicked cross by Hudson-Odoi off the left.
The move owed much to Dwight McNeil’s energy in his own half to give England initial impetus and the Burnley winger was generally the most productive in a white shirt.
Rhian Brewster had earlier struck a post and glanced a McNeil cross over, while the industrious visitors equalised on the stroke of half-time.
Callum Hudson-Odoi converted from the penalty spot after Rhian Brewster was fouled
Goalkeeper Iker Alvares De Eulate Molne saves a shot from substitute Eddie Nketiah
Conor Gallagher clipped Eric Izquierdo inside the box and Christian Garcia sent Aaron Ramsdale the wrong way from the spot.
McNeil was heavily involved in the restoration of England’s advantage, whipping in a corner for Ben Wilmot to pounce and head home three minutes after the break.
Garcia would give away his own daft penalty, barging over Brewster, and Hudson-Odoi netted the third. Jones, bright all evening, almost scored a stunning volley and looks as if he may be capable of answering Liverpool’s call if required over the coming weeks.
It was all smiles for Aidy Boothroyd unlike after their 3-3 draw in Andorra last month