Eddie Nketiah sets scoring record as England under-21 qualify for Euro 2021
- Credit: PA
Arsenal’s Eddie Nketiah became England Under-21s’ record goalscorer as the Young Lions booked their spot at Euro 2021 this week.
The striker scored his 14th goal in just 12 games to seal a 2-1 win over Turkey, having missed an earlier penalty.
It was a nervy victory for England, though, and they needed Aaron Ramsdale to save Halil Dervisoglu’s penalty.
Huseyin Turkmen’s own goal opened the scoring for the Young Lions, who extended their unbeaten run in European qualifiers to 43 games despite Dervisoglu’s late consolation.
Aidy Boothroyd’s side top Group Three and sealed their place in Hungary and Slovenia next year with two matches to spare.
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The Young Lions dropped their first points of qualifying when held to a surprise 3-3 draw in Andorra last week but a much-changed, stronger side initially dominated Turkey at Molineux.
Everton’s new £25million defender Ben Godfrey returned along with Callum Hudson-Odoi, James Justin and Jude Bellingham among eight changes.
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And Leicester’s Justin carved the visitors apart on 17 minutes as his perfect pass dissected the Turkey defence to allow Ryan Sessegnon to break free before the Tottenham wide man, on loan at Hoffenheim, cut in from the left and saw his cross deflected in by Turkmen.
Nketiah, having equalled Alan Shearer and Francis Jeffers’ mark in Andorra, thought he had his record goal after tapping in when Josh Dasilva hit the post, but was ruled offside.
Oliver Skipp’s sloppy backpass sold Ramsdale short and Dervisoglu reached the ball first. He toed the ball past the Sheffield United keeper and took a couple of steps before going down.
Referee Willy Delajod gave the penalty but Ramsdale saved Dervisoglu’s poor penalty low to his left.
Dervisoglu curled over and Nketiah had a golden chance for his 14th goal when Justin was felled by Serkan Asan in the box with seven minutes left, but his penalty hit a post.
He did not have to wait long for his record strike, clipping in after being sent through by Sessegnon with two minutes to go before Dervisoglu struck in injury time.