Kosovo U21 0 – 5 England U21

Cameron Archer’s brace inspired the England Under-21s to a 5-0 defeat of Kosovo.

Keane Lewis-Potter’s opening Young Lions goal and Anthony Gordon’s strike put Lee Carsley’s side in control ahead of Archer’s second-half brace.

Ilir Krasniqi’s late own goal added to Kosovo’s woes and saw England extend their lead at the top of Group G to six points.

They had already reached Euro 2023 after Tuesday’s 3-0 win over Albania at Chesterfield and concluded their campaign at Huddersfield against Slovenia on Monday.

How Archer inspired the England U21s to a resounding victory

Head coach Carsley made eight changes after the Albania win, with only Manchester City pair Taylor Harwood-Bellis and Tommy Doyle and Everton winger Gordon keeping their places.

The Young Lions got off to a good start in Pristina to lead 2-0 in 13 minutes.

Lewis-Potter nodded into Harvey Elliott’s cross on the second minute of his full debut and Gordon doubled their lead with another header after being set up by Max Aarons.

England goalkeeper James Trafford, who was making his U21 debut, was forced into action in the 32nd minute when he fended off Qendrim Zyba’s long-range effort.

The Young Lions went straight on the offensive early in the second half and were rewarded with a third goal in the 52nd minute.

Elliott was the provider again, finding Archer with a short pass into the box and the Aston Villa striker curled a neat finish into the bottom corner.

Archer, also making his first U21 start, came off the bench to score against Albania on Tuesday.

The Young Lions were denied a fourth shortly after when Kosovo keeper David Nreca-Bisinger made a mid-air save to tip Jacob Ramsey’s 20-yard shot over the crossbar.

But the fourth came 18 minutes from time when Ramsey’s neat pass opened up the Kosovo defense and his Villa team-mate Archer sent in a low left-footed finish.

Krasniqi’s own goal after a calamitous defense from the hosts wrapped up the victory with five minutes remaining.

Carlsley wants England U21 players to keep improving

Carsley urged his England U21s to keep raising the bar after beating Kosovo.

Carsley said: “The bar is constantly raised and it’s important that you follow through, the players who played tonight and in camp are more than capable of representing their country and improving the team.

“The guys at home have to keep improving. We have the depth, but they all want to play, it’s important that their club form and the form they have when they’re with us is consistent.

“I really wanted to win the game, but it was important that we saw as many players as possible. If you think about the players who came in, they are exceptional.

“I think they did everything you expect from an U21 player. They played with a mentality to make an impression.

“These are never easy wins, but with 5-0 you would say it was comfortable.

“To have a start like that is a dream, great for Keane. There are a lot of positives, there are things we can improve. If we want to keep improving as a team, we have to ensure that we are more difficult to face. .

And after?

The England U21s take on Slovenia at John Smith’s Stadium on Monday at 7.45pm.




Sky Sports

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