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Page last updated at 20:18 GMT, Friday, 8 October 2010 21:18 UK

England U21 2-1 Romania U21

Jordan Henderson (centre) celebrates his goal against Romania
Henderson (centre) scored an excellent goal to give England the lead

Chris Smalling scored the winner as England Under-21s beat Romania in the first leg of their Euro 2011 play-off.

Gabriel Torje hit the post for the visitors before Jordan Henderson put England ahead with an impressively taken 25-yard volley.

Romania quickly equalised as an Ioan Hora cross was deflected past England keeper Frank Fielding by Ryan Bertrand.

But, after Daniel Sturridge nodded back a corner and Jack Wilshere helped it on, Smalling swept in the winner.

It could have been even better for the home side but Sturridge headed wide from a late cross by fellow substitute Marc Albrighton and England will take a slender lead into the second leg in Botosani on Tuesday.

England had scraped into the play-offs as one of the four best-placed runners-up, while Romania booked their spot by convincingly topping their group.

And, after Romania keeper Silviu Lung had saved well to keep out a sweetly struck Henderson volley early on, the visitors started to show the qualities which helped them earn the most points of any country in the group stages.

Romania were well-organised and disciplined in keeping England at arm's length, while they possessed a threat on the counter-attack and from set pieces.

Florin Gardos stole in at the far post of the England goal to meet a diagonal free-kick from the visitors but could only steer a left-foot shot wide.

England keeper Fielding saved an angled Eric Bicfalvi strike before the home side survived a scare on the stroke of half-time when Torje's powerful strike came back off the post.

The warning was heeded by Stuart Pearce's side and they increased the pressure after the break as the they probed for an opening.

It eventually came when Lung punched away a corner which Henderson excellently volleyed back with interest to give England the lead.

However, a lapse in concentration allowed Romania to launch an attack which ended with Hora's cross being deflected in by Bertrand.

It was harsh on England but they restored their lead when centre-back Smalling proved to be in the right place at the right time to score late on.



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Switzerland 1-3 England
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