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Friday, 17 May, 2002, 21:28 GMT 22:28 UK
England see off Swiss
Crouch scored his first goal for England U-21
Crouch scored his first goal for England U-21
Switzerland U-21 1-2 England U-21

Aston Villa striker Peter Crouch claimed his first England Under-21 goal as David Platt's side edged out hosts Switzerland at the European Championships.

  Photo Gallery: See this story in pictures

Crouch struck from close range on 53 minutes to double the advantage given to his side by Jermain Defoe with just two minutes gone.

But Alexander Frei's brilliant free-kick gave the Swiss a way back and they went close to an equaliser on a number of occasions.


The Swiss gave us a very difficult game and I hope for our sake that they can go on
England U-21 coach David Platt

Frei posed problems for the English defence and it took a superb double save from Paul Robinson five minutes from time to deny Bernard Challandes' side a share of the points.

Swiss resurgence

England started brightest and when skipper David Dunn found Pennant in space down the right and his cross was meet Defoe who buried it from inside six yards.

The Swiss stepped up a gear after the break, but it was England who extended their lead on 52 minutes.


England are a great team and I'm very proud that my team performed so well against them
Switzerland U-21 coach Bernard Challandes

Dunn's free-kick hit the defensive well and fell perfectly for Crouch to beat the helpless Beney.

However, Frei's 25-yard free-kick beat Robinson's despairing dive and thundered into the top corner.

Frei went close again after 73 minutes, but Luke Young cleared off the line before Robinson denied first Cabanas and then Melunovic five minutes from time.

But England held on to get their campaign off to a winning start.


England U21: Robinson, Young, Riggott, Barry, Konchesky, Pennant, Davis (Prutton 34), Dunn, Smith, Crouch (Ameobi 78), Defoe (Parker 64).
Subs Not Used: Bywater, Christie, Jenas, Knight, Stuart Taylor, Zamora, Greening, Martin Taylor.

Booked: Davis, Prutton, Robinson.

Switzerland U21: Bener, Meyer, Magnin, Grichting, . Keller, Friedli (Raimondi 80), Melunovic, Zanni (Gygax 59), Cabanas, Alexander Frei (Bieli 80), Berisha. Subs Not Used: Eggiman, Denicola, Rochat, Opplaga, Muff, Bolli, Bally, Previtali.

Booked: Zanni.

Attendance: 16,000

Referee: A Hanacsek (Hungary).


Other results: Italy U21 1-1 Portugal U21

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 ON THIS STORY
BBC Five Live's Mike Sewell
"England's decisiveness was the difference"
England Under-21 boss David Platt
"We were mentally very strong"
England player David Prutton
"Overall we deserved it"
Links to more Football stories are at the foot of the page.

 

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