Young Lions clatter into final hurdle
By Lee Thrions
Monday 29 Jun 2009 23:18:00
Browse all Youth articles

A mixture of great finishing from the Germans and a lack of firepower from England meant that the Young Lions were given a harsh lesson in the Under-21s European Championships final, losing 4-0 to Germany.


Despite dominating possession and creating plenty of chances, Stuart Pearce’s men and boys received a sound thrashing from the side they could have knocked out of the whole tournament in the group stage. Article continues below



I hope you’ll forgive me for not wanting to dwell on it too much, but after a hit and miss tournament, the final performance brought about an epic miss.


Second choice goalkeeper Scott Loach, standing in for the suspended Joe Hart, could not have done much about Gonzalo Castro’s first goal, but completely misjudged Mesut Ozil’s free kick at the start of the second half, palming the ball into his own net.


Loach then allowed Sandro Wagner to shoot between his legs for Germany’s third. But the goal of the game was a superb curler for Wagner’s second.


Without the suspended Agbonlahor and Campbell, England were far less of a threat than the Germans, despite creating the chances.


So captain Mark Noble had to watch on as his rival captain lifted the trophy.


“It’s one of the worst things I’ve ever done,” the Hammers man told Sky Sports News. And at 22 he won’t get the chance to do it again. Unless of course, it’s at senior level, when he’ll hopefully go one better.


England U21: Loach, Cranie (Gardner 80), Richards, Onuoha (Mancienne 46), Gibbs, Cattermole, Muamba (Rodwell 77), Noble, Milner, Walcott, Johnson.
Subs Not Used: Lewis, Taylor, Stearman, Tomkins, Driver, Rose.


Goals: Castro 23, Ozil 48, Wagner 79, 84.


It’s a bad result, but what positives should we take from the tournament as a whole?

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