It was a tough evening of Under-21 European Championship Qualifying for the seven young Bees involved with their nations.
The positive results came courtesy of Jan Žambůrek and Jaakko Oksanen.
Jan made his second start of the week for Czech Republic as they did the double over Kosovo thanks to a 3-0 win in Ceske Budejovice. Thursday’s first game between the two ended 1-0 but this was a more comfortable evening for Jan and his teammates; Václav Sejk and Adam Gabriel had them two ahead at the break with Pavel Šulc getting a third before the hour mark.
Jan played the full 90 minutes as Czech Republic made it four wins from four in Group G to open up a three point cushion at the top.
Jaakko was a late substitute during Finland’s 3-1 win over Austria in Tampere. Naatan Skyttä had given The Finns a two-goal advantage before Leo Greiml pulled one back midway through the second-half. However, Oliver Antman scored with four minutes remaining to wrap up a second win in four games for Finland who now sit fourth in Group A, five points behind leaders Croatia and two off Norway in second.
The outing was Jaakko’s 14th for his nation’s Under-21s.
Elsewhere the results were not so positive.
Fin Stevens and Joe Adams played 90 minutes, while Nathan Shepperd was an unused sub, for Wales’ 5-0 defeat to Netherlands in Group E. The hosts led 2-0 at the break but put the game to bed with three goals in six second-half minutes. The defeat means Wales have taken four points from their opening four games to sit fifth.
Fin has played every minute so far in qualifying while Joe has also started all four games. Nathan has made the matchday squad for Wales’ last three matches but is yet to make his competitive debut for Paul Bodin’s side.
Alex Gilbert made his first competitive start for Republic of Ireland’s Under-21s as they lost 2-1 to Montenegro. Ireland went into the game in Podgorica unbeaten but found themselves 2-0 down inside nine minutes. After Ognjen Obradović’s own goal halved the deficit, Jim Crawford’s side were given a golden chance to level things from the penalty spot late on but Conor Coventry saw his effort saved. Defeat drops Ireland to fourth, four points off group leaders Sweden albeit with a game in hand.
Alex, who played an hour, was making his sixth Under-21 appearance last night, and second of this qualifying campaign.
Mads Bidstrup wasn’t involved in the Denmark Under-21 matchday squad who fell to defeat to Belgium in Leuven. Loïs Openda got the only goal after 38 minutes to hand Denmark their first loss of qualifying. The result opened up a six point gap between the two sides at the head of Group I.
At Under-19 level, Daniel Oyegoke wasn’t in the matchday squad as England finished their week-long stay in Marbella with a 3-2 reverse to Belgium. Daniel featured in England’s previous matches against France and Mexico but wasn't involved on Tuesday as a much-changed side lost to a late Johan Bakayoko effort.