Euro Under-21 Championship - Group C
Croatia U213England U213

England U21 3-3 Croatia U21: 'We weren't streetwise and lacked steel' - Aidy Boothroyd

Jonjoe Kenny
Jonjoe Kenny scored with a brilliant strike but made an error for Croatia's opener

England Under-21s boss Aidy Boothroyd said his side were not "streetwise" and lacked "steel" as they ended their European Under-21 Championship campaign with a 3-3 draw with Croatia.

England led three times but were pegged back, with a late Josip Brekalo goal denying them their only group win.

"We've got issues that we need to address with a new team into the next season," said Boothroyd.

"We've clearly got the talent - but talent needs some structure."

This disappointment comes after elimination for the under-17s at the European Championship in Ireland, which means they will not be able to defend their World Cup title.

Meanwhile, the under-20s finished a lowly ninth in the Toulon Tournament, having won the competition on the three previous occasions. And last year, a 3-0 defeat by Norway meant they missed out on the chance to defend their World Cup title this year.

England U21s were already out of this tournament going into Monday's game, having lost 2-1 to France and 3-2 to Romania in their first two matches.

Boothroyd added: "Scored six, nine against - they're not tournament-winning statistics.

"We need a little bit of steel and that's in our thinking. The teams that we've played have been teams that are streetwise, and we're not. We need to get that into our game all the way through our age groups."

While England's attack - comprising of Phil Foden, Demarai Gray, Reiss Nelson, James Maddison and Tammy Abraham - shone at times, the defence was England's Achilles heel throughout this campaign.

It started well for Boothroyd's youngsters inside the San Marino Stadium on Monday, when Arsenal winger Reiss Nelson scored from the spot after he had been fouled by Branimir Kalaica.

England should have extended their lead soon after. First, Chelsea's Abraham fired his toe-poke against the post, then Leicester's Gray forced a great one-handed stop from Ivo Grbic.

Then came the first jolt. Jonjoe Kenny, who conceded a penalty in the 4-2 defeat by Romania, allowed Josip Brekalo to power past him and he then thundered a strike beyond the reach of Dean Henderson.

England regained the lead just three minutes into the second half - James Maddison, coming off the back of an exceptional season with Leicester, punished Filip Uremovic's woeful defensive header with a well-placed shot.

Croatia, who looked like they could score with every counter-attack, equalised again just after the hour mark through former Everton player Nikola Vlasic, who fired a 20-yard strike into Henderson's far left corner.

Then in a game which had already been treated to great goals, Kenny popped up with the best of the lot when he picked up the ball 25 yards out and found the net with a screamer.

However, there was to be one more twist when, with eight minutes remaining, Luka Ivanusec slipped in Brekalo and he fired his low shot past Manchester United keeper Henderson.

The Wolfsburg forward's goal was the seventh England had conceded in the last 15 minutes of the three group games.

Line-ups

Croatia U21

  • 1Grbic
  • 2Uremovic
  • 15Kalaica
  • 5Katic
  • 22CabrajaSubstituted forBradaricat 76'minutesBooked at 90mins
  • 20Moro
  • 4Sunjic
  • 8VlasicSubstituted forIvanusecat 66'minutes
  • 13Majer
  • 19Kulenovic
  • 7Brekalo

Substitutes

  • 3Sosa
  • 6Benkovic
  • 10Halilovic
  • 11Ivanusec
  • 12Posavec
  • 14Bistrovic
  • 16Borevkovic
  • 17Basic
  • 18Muric
  • 21Bradaric
  • 23Semper

England U21

  • 1Henderson
  • 12KennyBooked at 51mins
  • 5Tomori
  • 4Clarke-SalterSubstituted forKonsaat 49'minutes
  • 14Kelly
  • 8MaddisonSubstituted forGibbs-Whiteat 73'minutes
  • 6DowellBooked at 38minsSubstituted forMountat 56'minutes
  • 10Foden
  • 21Nelson
  • 23Abraham
  • 7Gray

Substitutes

  • 2Wan-Bissaka
  • 3Dasilva
  • 9Solanke
  • 13Gunn
  • 15Konsa
  • 17Barnes
  • 18Mount
  • 19Calvert-Lewin
  • 20Gibbs-White
  • 22Woodman
Referee:
Orel Grinfeld
Attendance:
3,512

Match Stats

Home TeamCroatia U21Away TeamEngland U21
Possession
Home39%
Away61%
Shots
Home10
Away9
Shots on Target
Home5
Away6
Corners
Home2
Away5
Fouls
Home7
Away13

Live Text

Match ends, Croatia U21 3, England U21 3.

Full Time

Second Half ends, Croatia U21 3, England U21 3.

Hand ball by Phil Foden (England U21).

Foul by Jonjoe Kenny (England U21).

Nikola Katic (Croatia U21) wins a free kick in the defensive half.

Booking

Domagoj Bradaric (Croatia U21) is shown the yellow card for a bad foul.

Reiss Nelson (England U21) wins a free kick on the right wing.

Foul by Domagoj Bradaric (Croatia U21).

Attempt saved. Josip Brekalo (Croatia U21) right footed shot from outside the box is saved in the centre of the goal. Assisted by Lovro Majer.

Goal!

Goal! Croatia U21 3, England U21 3. Josip Brekalo (Croatia U21) right footed shot from the centre of the box to the centre of the goal. Assisted by Luka Ivanusec.

Foul by Lloyd Kelly (England U21).

Lovro Majer (Croatia U21) wins a free kick on the right wing.

Foul by Tammy Abraham (England U21).

Ivan Sunjic (Croatia U21) wins a free kick in the attacking half.

Offside, Croatia U21. Branimir Kalaica tries a through ball, but Luka Ivanusec is caught offside.

Substitution

Substitution, Croatia U21. Domagoj Bradaric replaces Marijan Cabraja.

Corner, England U21. Conceded by Filip Uremovic.

Lloyd Kelly (England U21) wins a free kick in the defensive half.

Foul by Filip Uremovic (Croatia U21).

Substitution

Substitution, England U21. Morgan Gibbs-White replaces James Maddison.

Attempt missed. Demarai Gray (England U21) right footed shot from the left side of the box is high and wide to the right. Assisted by James Maddison.

Goal!

Goal! Croatia U21 2, England U21 3. Jonjoe Kenny (England U21) right footed shot from outside the box to the bottom left corner following a corner.

Corner, England U21. Conceded by Lovro Majer.

James Maddison (England U21) wins a free kick in the attacking half.

Foul by Ivan Sunjic (Croatia U21).

Foul by Demarai Gray (England U21).

Filip Uremovic (Croatia U21) wins a free kick in the defensive half.

Attempt missed. Tammy Abraham (England U21) right footed shot from the centre of the box is too high. Assisted by Lloyd Kelly with a cross.

Substitution

Substitution, Croatia U21. Luka Ivanusec replaces Nikola Vlasic because of an injury.

Delay over. They are ready to continue.

Delay in match because of an injury Nikola Vlasic (Croatia U21).

Goal!

Goal! Croatia U21 2, England U21 2. Nikola Vlasic (Croatia U21) right footed shot from outside the box to the bottom right corner. Assisted by Sandro Kulenovic.

Substitution

Substitution, England U21. Mason Mount replaces Kieran Dowell.

Foul by Demarai Gray (England U21).

Filip Uremovic (Croatia U21) wins a free kick in the defensive half.

Booking

Jonjoe Kenny (England U21) is shown the yellow card for a bad foul.

Foul by Jonjoe Kenny (England U21).

Sandro Kulenovic (Croatia U21) wins a free kick on the left wing.

Foul by Ezri Konsa Ngoyo (England U21).

Nikola Katic (Croatia U21) wins a free kick in the defensive half.

goal

Scores, Results & Fixtures

Monday 24th June 2019

As It Stood

A

TeamPWDLFAGDPts
1Spain U2132018446
2Italy U2132016336
3Poland U21320147-36
4Belgium U21300348-40

B

TeamPWDLFAGDPts
1Germany U21321010377
2Denmark U2132016426
3Austria U2131114404
4Serbia U213003110-90

C

TeamPWDLFAGDPts
1Romania U2132108357
2France U2132103127
3England U21301269-31
4Croatia U21301248-41
View full Euro Under-21 Championship tables

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