Chris Mepham and Mads Sorensen both captained their nations last night in European Championship Qualification action while Ellery Balcombe kept a clean sheet in England’s win over Bulgaria.
The latest round of UEFA Under-21 European Championship Qualification saw Chris Mepham put in a Man of the Match performance as he skippered Wales to a 0-0 draw at home to Group Eight leaders Romania last night. Rob Page’s side had the better of the game but couldn’t find a way through the Romanian backline who stood firm, even after they were reduced to ten men with 20 minutes to play. The draw sees Wales drop to fourth in the group, five points behind Romania but with a game in hand.
In Group Four, Scotland’s hopes of qualifying took another hit as they were beaten 2-0 by Ukraine at McDiarmid Park, Perth. Theo Archibald was an unused substitute as the visitors netted in added-time at the end of both halves to seal the win which took them above The Scots and into third place. Scot Gemmill’s side are now six points off group leaders England and a point behind Holland in second with only the best four runners-up, across all nine groups, advancing to the Play-Offs.
At Under-19 level both Ellery Balcombe and Mads Sorensen played 90 minutes as England and Denmark finished their respective First Round qualifying campaigns with a 100 per cent record. An 11th minute Jadon Sancho goal in Stara Zagora was enough to beat hosts Bulgaria and ensure that Paul Simpson’s ended the week top of their group with three wins from three.
It was a similar story in Rovinj as Mads Sorensen led Denmark to a 5-2 win over Croatia to top their group and join England in March’s Elite Qualifying Round. Andreas Poulsen scored either side of the break but Croatia levelled with two goals in three minutes just after the hour. Jonas Wind restored The Danes’ lead from the spot inside the final 20 minutes with Mads Rasmussen, and a second from Wind, wrapping up the win.