England Under-21s beat Albania Under-21s 3-0 to qualify for the 2023 European Under-21 Championship.
The Young Lions went ahead when Arsenal striker Folarin Balogun converted from close range after Gunners team-mate Emile Smith Rowe’s low cross.
Balogun then scored with a header after Charlie Cresswell set him up.
Aston Villa’s Cameron Archer added a third following a fine run from Everton winger Anthony Gordon before Albania’s Armando Dobra was sent off late on.
Dobra, who plays for League One side Ipswich Town, was dismissed for two bookable offences, the second of which saw him trip the impressive Gordon.
England are now three points ahead of the Czech Republic, who only have one match left and would finish below England if the two nations ended on the same points because of the head-to-head rule.
Lee Carsley’s side have only dropped two points in eight matches and have two games to go in their qualifying campaign. They defeated Czech Republic home and away – beating them 3-1 at Burnley in November and then 2-1 away from home on Friday.
The 16-team European Championship will take place in Romania and Georgia in June and July 2023, with Belgium, Portugal and Spain also qualified to join holders Germany and both host nations.
It is the ninth successive time England have qualified for the tournament, which is held every two years, however they have not won it since successive titles in 1982 and 1984.
- Match Stats
- Live Text
- 16JohnsonSubstituted forThomasat 83′minutes
- 17JonesSubstituted forGarnerat 73′minutes
- 10Smith RoweSubstituted forGibbs-Whiteat 61′minutes
- 18DoyleBooked at 74mins
- 20Abreu de Almeida Gomes
- 9BalogunBooked at 69minsSubstituted forArcherat 73′minutes
- 11GordonSubstituted forLewis-Potterat 83′minutes
- 8J Ramsey
- 5SelmaniBooked at 40mins
- 8RrapajBooked at 49minsSubstituted forCaraat 61′minutes
- 21CelhakaSubstituted forSylaat 79′minutes
- 6KrajaSubstituted forTociat 73′minutes
- 10DobraBooked at 78mins
- 20MuciSubstituted forBebeziqiat 80′minutes
- 14IsmajlgeciSubstituted forKarricaat 61′minutes
- Jan Machalek
- Shots on Target
Match ends, England U21 3, Albania U21 0.
Second Half ends, England U21 3, Albania U21 0.
Attempt missed. Tedi Cara (Albania U21) right footed shot from outside the box is too high following a corner.
Corner, Albania U21. Conceded by Josef Bursik.
Attempt saved. Albion Marku (Albania U21) right footed shot from outside the box is saved in the top right corner.
Foul by Luke Thomas (England U21).
Albion Marku (Albania U21) wins a free kick on the right wing.
Foul by Charlie Cresswell (England U21).
Eljon Toci (Albania U21) wins a free kick in the attacking half.
Foul by Cameron Archer (England U21).
Bruno Puja (Albania U21) wins a free kick in the defensive half.
Substitution, England U21. Keane Lewis-Potter replaces Anthony Gordon.
Substitution, England U21. Luke Thomas replaces Ben Johnson.
Attempt missed. Taylor Harwood-Bellis (England U21) header from the centre of the box is too high following a set piece situation.
Substitution, Albania U21. Klevis Bebeziqi replaces Ernest Muci.
Substitution, Albania U21. Roy Syla replaces Jurgen Celhaka.
Second yellow card to Armando Dobra (Albania U21) for a bad foul.
Anthony Gordon (England U21) wins a free kick on the left wing.
Foul by Armando Dobra (Albania U21).
Goal! England U21 3, Albania U21 0. Cameron Archer (England U21) left footed shot from the centre of the box to the bottom left corner. Assisted by Anthony Gordon with a cross.