England U21s 2-1 Turkey U21s: Aidy Boothroyd's through to 2021 Euros

England Under-21s 2-1 Turkey Under-21s: Aidy Boothroyd’s Young Lions seal spot in next summer’s European Championships as Eddie Nketiah breaks goalscoring record just minutes after missing a penalty

  • England Under-21s have qualified for next summer’s European Championships 
  • Aidy Boothroyod’s side beat Turkey Under-21s 2-1 at Molineux on Tuesday
  • Defender Huseyin Turkmen scored an own goal from Ryan Sessegnon’s cross
  • Aaron Ramsdale saved a penalty from Halil Dervisoglu, who netted a consolation
  • England then missed a penalty of their own as Eddie Nketiah hit the post 
  • Arsenal’s Nketiah then broke the England Under-21s goalscoring record late on 

Finally, he broke the record. Eddie Nketiah had toiled for much of this, a night when England’s Under 21s were drawn into an ugly battle with Turkey.

He had missed a penalty, striking the post with seven minutes remaining, and it seemed that surpassing Alan Shearer’s 13-goal haul at this level would have to wait for another night.

But Nketiah still had time to make this his night, racing on to a through ball and when he is nestled between two central defenders, gunning for goal, there is usually only one outcome. 

Eddie Nketiah scored his 14th goal for the England Under-21s which is an all-time record

England’s Young Lions sealed their spot in the 2021 Under 21s Euros with a 2-1 win over Turkey

England (4-3-3): Ramsdale; Aarons, Godfrey, Guehi, Justin; Dasilva (Eze 63), Skipp, Bellingham; Hudson-Odoi (McNeil 85), Nketiah, Sessegnon

Subs not used: Austin, Bursik, Panzo, Davies, Williams, Surridge

The England skipper impishly dinked home, qualification for next year’s European Championship assured.

Turkey were impetuous opponents, this a scrappy victory, yet Aidy Boothroyd has what he wanted: two glorified friendlies next month, rather than important two qualifiers.

Those, again both here at Molineux, will offer a final chance to hone a squad that is expected to far exceed the crushing disappointment of 2019.

It was a trying evening. French referee Willy Delajod attempted to remove any joy from the occasion, fumbling for his whistle with annoying regularity as England attempted to catch Turkey quickly in midfield. It harmed the flow, although the hosts led after 17 minutes.

Much of it was owed to the combination of James Justin and Ryan Sessegnon down the left, the latter dashing into the box, crossing for Eddie Nketiah, only for Huseyin Turkmen to divert past his goalkeeper at the near post. 

Ryan Sessegnon (left)’s cross was turned into his own net by Huseyin Turkmen (middle)

Nktiah then had one disallowed, while Aaron Ramsdale diverted Ahmet Canbaz’s long-range effort from danger. Sheffield United’s No 1 also reacted smartly to a swerving effort by Halil Dervisoglu.

Drama followed eight minutes after half-time, Oliver Skipp’s under-hit pass leaving Ramsdale stranded and Dervisoglu capitalising, blatantly diving to the ground despite no contact.

Aaron Ramsdale saved a penalty by Brentford man Halil Dervisoglu in the second-half

Arsenal’s Nketiah missed a penalty with five minutes to go as his spot kick effort hit the post

Without the assistance of VAR, Delajod grinned smugly as he awarded a barbaric penalty, one Ramsdale saved from Dervisoglu with embarrassing ease down to his left. Ramsdale smirked back. Justice was done. 

Nketiah missed from the spot, then scored, before the villain, Dervisoglu, netted a stoppage-time consolation.  

Dervisoglu (left), who is on the books at Brentford, scored a late consolation in injury time

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