Ellery Balcombe earned his seventh England Under-19 cap as The Young Lions continued their unbeaten start to the European Championships with a 1-1 draw against Ukraine in Seinajoki on Friday. However, the point means that the reigning Champions wil need to wait until Monday to try and secure their passage through to the last four.
Paul Simpson's side started brightly against Ukraine, who opened their campaign with victory over France on Tuesday, and took an eighth minute lead thanks to Middlesbrough winger Marcus Tavernier. England continued to have the better of the play without creating much in front of goal. And Ukraine were level six minutes before the interval, striker Vladyslav Supriaha showing excellent strength to hold off Trevor Chalobah before swiveling to fire past Ellery from close range. England could have retaken the lead before half-time but George Hirst saw his shot deflect off the post to safety.
The second-half saw more England pressure as they sought to book their spot in the final four. Ben Brereton dragged a shot wide, Hirst saw an effort blocked, and Vitalii Mykolenko was inches away from diverting into his own net before England did put the ball in the net for a second time. However, the linesman's flag cut short Adam Lewis' celebrations as Simpson's side had to settle for a point.
The Young Lions head into Monday's game against France, who beat Turkey 5-0 in Friday's other match, knowing that qualification remains in their hands. A draw against Les Bleus, or matching Ukraine's result, would be enough to send them through to the semi-finals.