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Greece U21 1-1 England U21

Daniel Sturridge
Sturridge scored after five minutes but had to come off injured in the first half

England goalkeeper Scott Loach produced a string of saves to help his side secure a point against Greece in their European U21 Championship qualifier.

Stuart Pearce's side took the lead after five minutes when Danny Rose beat three men and found Daniel Sturridge who poked home at the back post.

Sotiris Ninis equalised for Greece, his low 25-yard effort taking a big deflection off Kieran Gibbs.

And Watford's Loach kept England in the game with his second-half display.

The result leaves England, who won their first qualifying game 2-1 against Macedonia on Friday, in second place in group nine, three points behind Greece but with a game in hand.


England's momentum was broken in the first half as goalscorer Sturridge was forced off with what looked like an ankle problem, with Manchester United's Danny Welbeck replacing him.

And Pearce's side could then have fallen 2-1 behind on the stroke of half-time, but Loach made a superb point-blank save from Dimitris Siovas' header.

Rose wasted England's best chance of the second half, firing wide of the left upright.

And Greece were soon attacking again as Kostas Mitroglou intercepted James Tomkins' poor pass but the inspired Loach made a sprawling save.

Four minutes from time Loach was in the right position again for England as he palmed away Ninis' long range effort.

And Mitroglou should have won the match for Greece with two minutes remaining when, with Loach finally beaten, he rounded the keeper - but hit the side netting.

Greece U21: Lamprou, Agryopoulos, Boukouvalas, Papastathopoulos, Siovas, Pliatsikos, Ninis, Dimoutsos (Siakkas 76), Mitroglou (Pavlis 90), Taxtsidis (Rizogiannis 57), Koutsianikoulis.
Subs Not Used: Stratilatis, Argyriou, Papazoglou, Giantsis.

Booked: Pliatsikos, Siakkas.

Goals: Ninis 40.

England U21: Loach, Naughton, Gibbs, Tomkins, Mancienne, Muamba, Wilshere, Rodwell (Addison 57), Rose, Cleverley, Sturridge (Welbeck 28), Welbeck (Sears 75).
Subs Not Used: Fielding, Smalling, Cork, Stanislas.

Booked: Rose.

Goals: Sturridge 5.

Att: 2,678

Ref: Mauro Bergonzi (Italy).

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see also
Macedonia U21 1-2 England U21
04 Sep 09 |  Internationals
Pearce vows to protect Wilshere
03 Sep 09 |  Internationals
Pearce signs new England contract
29 Jun 09 |  Internationals
Germany U21 4-0 England U21
29 Jun 09 |  Internationals

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