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Page last updated at 21:14 GMT, Monday, 22 June 2009 22:14 UK

England U21 1-1 Germany U21

Jack Rodwell
Rodwell was making his first start for the Under-21s

Jack Rodwell marked his first England Under-21 start with a first-half equaliser as his side finished top of Group B at the European Championships.

Germany had taken an early lead when Gonzalo Castro finished off Jerome Boateng's through ball from 12 yards.

A much-changed England side levelled on the half hour with Rodwell heading home Craig Gardner's inswinging corner.

Richard Stearman went close with a late volley as both sides qualified for the semi-finals of the tournament.

England coach Stuart Pearce made 10 changes with only Adam Johnson remaining from the Spain victory last week.

But despite the number of new faces in the side, England started well and it was against the run of play when they went 1-0 down.

Michael Mancienne, who was returning from suspension having been sent off in the championship opener against Finland, lost his man and Boateng's neat through ball found Castro who coolly slotted home through the legs of Scott Loach from 12 yards.

The goal knocked England's confidence and it took them some time to recover from the early blow.

Their first real chance came after 15 minutes with a slick passing move resulting in Gardner heading Andrew Driver's cross straight at keeper Manuel Neuer.

Germany then survived a penalty claim when Stearman was brought down by Benedikt Howedes.

But England did equalise on the half hour, and it was no more than they deserved.

Gardner's inswinging corner from the left was headed home from close range by the unmarked Rodwell and England were level.


Rodwell had a further chance before the break, but blazed over from the edge of the area after a fine run through the heart of the Germany midfield.

England introduced keeper Joe Lewis after the break but he was rarely tested in a lacklustre start to the second half.

Pearce also later replaced Fraizer Campbell with Theo Walcott as England looked to inject some added pace into their play.

But it was Germany who looked the more likely to score with Howedes going close with a header while Mesut Ozil flashed a drive wide.

England's best chance again came from a corner with Stearman's close range volley diverted behind off the legs of Neuer.

From the resulting corner the ball dropped to Johnson on the edge of the box but his half volley was well held by Neuer.

It was the last real action of a poor second half as both sides progressed through to the last four.

Germany U21: Neuer, Beck, Howedes, Boateng, Schmelzer, Castro, Khedira, Ebert, Ben-Hatira, Ozil, Dejagah.
Subs: Fromlowitz, Aogo, Johnson, Hummels, Schwaab, Grote, Adlung, Ede, Marin, Wagner, Sippel.

England U21: Loach, Stearman, Tomkins, Mancienne, Taylor, Driver, Gardner, Rodwell, Johnson, Campbell, Rose.
Subs: Hart, Cranie, Onuoha, Richards, Gibbs, Cattermole, Noble, Muamba, Walcott, Lewis.

Referee: Peter Rasmussen (Denmark)

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see also
England U21 2-0 Spain U21
18 Jun 09 |  Internationals
England U21s 2-1 Finland U21s
15 Jun 09 |  Internationals
England U21 7-0 Azerbaijan U21
08 Jun 09 |  Internationals
England Under-21s hit by injuries
01 Jun 09 |  Internationals
Pearce stands defiant on Walcott
09 Jun 09 |  Internationals
Wenger fear over Walcott workload
25 May 09 |  Arsenal

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