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Romania U21 0-0 England U21 (1-2)

England players celebrate their qualification to the finals
England players celebrate their qualification for the finals in Denmark

England Under-21s qualified for Euro 2011 after holding on for a goalless draw in the second leg of their play-off against Romania.

A 2-1 first-leg win ensured Stuart Pearce's side reached their third successive European Championship.

Daniel Sturridge had England's best chance but his shot was saved by home keeper Silviu Lung.

England keeper Frankie Fielding had some nervy moments but the visitors held on to book their place in Denmark.

The draw also ensures that England extend their proud unbeaten away record at this level, which dates back almost five years.

However, they were made to work hard to protect the advantage they gave themselves at Carrow Road on 8 October.

In the first 15 minutes, Romania's Sabrin Sburlea saw a deflected 20-yard shot tipped round the post by Fielding and Marius Alexe went close as the home side sought to bring themselves level in the tie.

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England had early chances of their own, most notably Sturridge who firstly somehow failed to head Tom Cleverley's free-kick into the net before racing through the Romania defence only to scuff his shot too close to Lung.

Alexe wasted another glorious chance for Romania when he skied a left-foot finish from 12 yards after Fielding had parried a long-range shot from Gabriel Torje.

The home side thought they had earned themselves a penalty in the second half when Fabrice Muamba fouled Eric Bicfalvi but the offence was deemed to be outside the box.

Otherwise, England looked a far more solid unit in the second half than in the first and the closest Romania came to breaking them down was from a long-range Sburlea shot, which Fielding was equal to.

Fielding almost undid all England's good work when he allowed a 30-yard Sburlea shot to squirm underneath him but he recovered to avert the danger.

Romania applied pressure in the dying stages of the match but England maintained their discipline to earn their qualification and a chance to make amends for their 4-0 final defeat by Germany in the 2009 European Championship in Sweden.

The under-21 finals in June 2011 will take place at four venues in Denmark - Aarhus, Herning, Aalborg and Viborg.

England will join Iceland, the Czech Republic, Belarus, Spain, Switzerland, Ukraine and hosts Denmark in the eight-team tournament.

Five-time winners Italy will not be there though following their shock 3-2 aggregate defeat at the hands of Belarus.

The Netherlands, Sweden, France and defending champions Germany have also missed out, meaning that there are only three survivors from the 2009 European event.



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see also
England U21 2-1 Romania U21
08 Oct 10 |  Football


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