Nelson nets in England U21 win
- Credit: PA Wire/PA Images
Arsenal’s Reiss Nelson scored the third goal as England under-21s beat Albania 3-0 on Friday night to keep their 100 per cent record in Euro qualifying.
Aidy Boothroyd's troops took the lead in the 22nd minute thanks to a fantastic left-foot free-kick from Manchester City midfielder Phil Foden which left Albania keeper Andrea Hoxha with no chance.
Aaron Ramsdale then made a superb reaction stop to keep out a low strike from Sherif Kallaku as he tipped his shot wide of the target when it looked like it was beating the Bournemouth stopper.
The Young Lions then could have doubled their lead shortly afterwards when they were awarded a penalty after Jon Mersinaj handled a Conor Gallagher effort from range, but Liverpool forward Rhian Brewster saw his spot-kick hit the woodwork and bounce away.
It was Nelson's Arsenal teammate Joe Willock who started the match who created the next opening when he chipped a pass over the top, but Geraldo Bajrami made a last-ditch clearance before Brewster could reach it.
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England continued to press for the second and it arrived on 43 minutes when Foden skipped past the Albanian defence before pulling the ball back for Gallagher who lashed an effort into the net beyond the reach of Hoxha.
On the stroke of half time, England had another opening when Gallagher, Willock and Foden all linked up before the latter saw his effort sail just wide of the upright.
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It should have been 3-0 on 52 minutes when Brewster was slipped in on goal but he fired wide when he was unmarked in the six-yard box, much to his frustration.
Gallagher could've had a second when his stinging low shot was saved by home keeper Hoxha down low to his left, pushing away a stinging drive.
Boothroyd then brought on Arsenal's Nelson and Tottenham's Ryan Sessegnon to try and grab a thrid and seal all three points.
Mason Greenwood then had another good chance to wrap the game up after good link-up play with Nelson, but he was adjudged to be offside when he was clean through on goal.
However a thrid did arrive in the final minute of the game when Sessegnon drove forward before cutting the ball back to Nelson for him to confidentially finish high into the roof of the net.
England's next qualifier is against Andorra on March 26, but they take on the Netherlands in a freindly on Tuesday.
England: Ramsdale, James, Guehi, Godfrey, Pannzo (Justin 65), Gallagher, Davies, Foden (Eze 81), Willock (Nelson 65), Greenwood, Brewster (Sessegnon 72). Unused subs: Aarons, Austin, Skipp, McNeil, Balcombe.