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Last Updated: Friday, 11 November 2005, 21:22 GMT
England U21 1-1 France U21
England U21s midfielder Darren Ambrose grabbed what could be a vital goal for his side against France
Ambrose's strike could be vital heading into the second leg
Darren Ambrose rescued a draw for the England U21s in the first leg of their European Championship play-off against France at White Hart Lane.

Anthony Le Tallec had put the visitors ahead with a vital away goal when he sidefooted in a near-post shot.

Darren Bent and Tom Huddlestone both had headers cleared off the line for England before Ambrose struck in front of a record 34,494 crowd for the U21s.

Ambrose slid in to score after Peter Whittingham's scuffed shot across goal.

The equaliser came as a reward for England's late surge after Le Tallec's opener had sparked the home side into life.

Bent had a header brilliantly cleared off the line by Ronald Zubar as the home side pressed for a leveller before the striker disappointingly volleyed over from close range.

It seemed England would head to Nancy for the return leg needing to overturn a deficit when Huddlestone's effort was also desperately cleared by France before Ambrose saved his side's blushes.

  • England U21 manager Peter Taylor:
    "I'm pleased because I know we can do 10 times better.

    "I told them I was delighted with the way they worked to get a draw and I know all of them can play better than they played.

    "That's the positive thing, when we go over there we have to say that to ourselves, I think we can get an away win.

    "The character and the attitude of the players was excellent because we kept going and created chances."

    England: Carson, Ryan Taylor, Whittingham, Dawson, Ferdinand, Huddlestone, Milner (Ashton 79), Ambrose, Cole, Bent, Richardson.
    Subs Not Used: Onuoha, Camp, Davies, Hoyte, Welsh, Moore.

    Booked: Richardson, Dawson, Whittingham.

    Goals: Ambrose 88.

    France: Gavanon, Sagna, Clichy (Berthold 45), Zubar, Badiane, Mavuba, Faubert, Toulalan (Didot 23), Briand, Ribery (Bourillon 84), Le Tallec.
    Subs Not Used: Faty, Mandanda, Fauverge, Sinama Pongolle.

    Booked: Faubert, Briand.

    Goals: Le Tallec 47.

    Att: 34,494

    Ref: Jonas Eriksson (Sweden).

    Interview: England U21 coach Peter Taylor

    Interview: England's Darren Ambrose


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