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UEFA U21 Championship
September 5, 2013
• Madejski Stadium, Reading, Berkshire
Referee: N. Dabanović
• Attendance: 5268
S. Berahino 13'
Encouraging signs for Gareth Southgate's men, and they need to be more clinical in goal, but tonight found themselves up against a goalkeeper in tremendous form and some brilliant goalline clearances. All-in-all, a good start to the campaign.
Here's George Ankers' final update of the night: George Ankers21:36 LIVE"An odd second half for England Under-21s, characterised by a lot of coasting and a handful of rather bizarre misses. There was never any real danger that they would not win this match and Gareth Southgate's team gave the crowd plenty of entertainment, with some exciting, attacking football. But they will want to develop more killer instinct as the challenges in this qualfiication campaign get tougher."
Full-time: England Under 21 1-0 Moldova Under 21
90' + 2'
Chance for England. Fabulous move. Absolutely brilliant. After a brilliant build-up play, the ball ends up with Harry Kane, his backheel sets up Will Hughes who has the whole goal to aim for, but somehow finds the shoulder of the defender on the line. Some stop mind.
Into the start of stoppage time, and there is three additional minutes to play.
England are keeping hold of the ball as the look to sit on just the one goal.
Berahino charges down the eft on the counter-attack, but his cross-cum-shot is hit too hard and Hughes just misses out on a tap in.
This is now the longest spell that Moldova have had in England's half, and Jack Butland makes his first meaningful catch of the match.
Yellow Card Ion Prodan
England just can't get this second. Berahino has somehow missed the ball with the whole goal to aim for. Carroll played in Sammy Ameobi who in turn dinks the ball to Berahino but he somehow the defender scooped the ball off his toe and over the bar.
Consecutive corners being won by England, as they look to regain some of the momentum.
England are starting to lose the grip they had on the match, and Moldova are starting to sense an equaliser.
Chance for England. Stones does well down the right-hand side and his lay off finds Hughes whose first time shot just goes over the bar. A foot lower and the goalkeeper would have been in trouble.
Chance for England. Wilfried Zaha heads over from a yard out. It was harder to miss.
Nathan Chalobah fouls Rata with a desperate lunge, which allows Southgate to make a change. James Ward-Prowse off for Will Hughes.
Zaha goes for the top corner with pace and curl, but the ball went over the top of the bar for a goalkick.
Chance for England. Brilliant skill by Carroll. At one point the ball looked stuck beneath his feet, but he cleverly got the ball out of his feet and produced a curling effort goalbound. Koshelev, as ever, held well.
It's just wave after wave after wave of England attack at the moment. Koshelev is by far the standout player on the pitch, because he has somehow kept Moldova in this match.
Luke Shaw mazy run at the Moldovan defence finds an opening to Berahino. His spin and shot is just over the bar.
Redmond and Zaha have linked up brilliantly tonight, and the former's long ball is almost volleyed home by the latter, but the goalkeeper is on hand again to keep the score at 1-0.
Redmond runs into traffic and is well-marshalled in the box, but offers a signal of intent every time he gets the ball.
Chance for England. Redmond runs straight through the middle to reach a long ball from Chalobah, and his shot his well saved. The resulting corner sees the goalkeeper make another fine save.
Zaha continues where he left off in the first half, however his run and cross is well blocked in the box.
Moldova get us underway in the second half.
Here's George Ankers with his half-time report: "That ends an entertaining first half at the Madejski Stadium. England have been firmly in control and Saido Berahino's debut goal was a fine strike but they will perhaps feel that they should have scored more than just one. Wilfried Zaha and Nathan Redmond have been threatening with the ball at their feet on the flanks but too often the Young Lions have been unable to produce a ball into the middle that beats the Moldova defence. All in all, however, a very promising start for Gareth Southgate."
Half-time: England Under 21 1-0 Moldova Under 21
Chance for Moldova. Catalin Carp is picked out from a free kick and heads wide of the post when he was completely unmarked.
Chance for England. Berahino with a glancing header, which goes wide of the post.
Moldova are in possession of the ball. This is the longest the have had the ball, and the furthest they have been in England's half.
Redmond releases Wilfried Zaha, and the Manchester United youngster is taken out in the box, but the referee deemed it a coming together. Zaha felt it was a penalty.
All Nathan Redmond has wanted to do tonight is run with the ball, and what a lovely run he went on there. He took on three men before rifling a shot in the sidenetting. He has been very impressive so far.
Chance for England! Chalobah finds Carroll in the box and the on-loan QPR striker tries to curl one with pace into the top corner, but the goalkeeper punched it over. From the resulting corner, Wisdom forces another save from Koshelev.
England are toying with the Moldovan defence. They must have strung together 20-30 passes without giving the ball away, but the end product sees a cross go out of play.
George Ankers has another update: "The crowd at the Madejski Stadium definitely sense another goal, as Wilfried Zaha grows more and more confident raiding down the right flank. With Nathan Redmond and Luke Shaw - whose every touch is unfailingly met with lusty cries of "LUUUUKE!" - combining smartly down the left, the expectation feels justified. Tom Carroll, too, is showing off with some crafty passing in the middle."
England, and in particular Tom Carroll, have been passing the ball around with ease this evening. Moldova are struggling to keep hold of the ball when they get it.
Stones delivers a cross into the box, but goalscorer Berahino could not connect with the ball as he attempted a diving header.
Here's George Ankers with an update on the goal: "A cheery reception for what the fans hope and expect will be the first of a few goals for England tonight. Saido Berahino gets the goal, beating the offside trap to reach Tom Carroll's pass and strike home from a tight angle. Gareth Southgate's side have grown into control over the last five minutes."
England are on top in this one now and almost added a second. The ball comes out to Luke Shaw whose volley from outside the box sends Koshelev flying across his goal to keep the score at 1-0.
Goal Saido Berahino
Goal!!! Tom Carroll fed Saido Berahino with pass inside the box, and the West Brom youngster turned his man and rifled into the top corner of the goal. A powerful finish from Berahino on his debut.
Chance for England. Fabulous save by Alexei Koshelev as Andre Wisdom rose highest and directed a thumping header goalbounds. Tremendous save.
Yellow Card Constantin Bogdan
Nathan Chalobah's shot from the edge of the box sails over the bar.
Yellow card for Bogan after a crunching tackle on John Stones.
Chance for Moldova. Dima's free kick causes Jack Butland little concern as the ball sails past his far post for a goal kick.
England get us underway.
The teams are out for the national anthems. The England players - particularly the three debutants - bear the smiles of innocent excitement that you forget must naturally come with youth internationals. They've brought their families to the game and are waving to them in the stands.
George Ankers is at the game for us. Here is his thoughts: Good evening from the Madejski Stadium, where we will get our first indication of how Gareth Southgate will handle England Under-21s. The ground may not be what you'd call packed but there is, as ever, a friendly atmosphere as the hosts get their European Championship qualifying campaign under way. There are no local faces for the Reading faithful to welcome but plenty of familiar Premier League faces, with Luke Shaw, James Ward-Prowse and Saido Berahino all debuting.
Moldova team news: Koselev, Jardan, Focsa, Prodan, Bogdan, Anton, Zasavitchi, Rata, Carp, Mirza, Dima.Substitutes: Avram, Turcan, Milinceanu, Tiron, Patic, Matei, Bolsacov
England team news: Butland, Stones, Shaw, Chalobah, Wisdom (c), Keane, Redmond, Ward-Prowse, Berahino, Carroll, Zaha. Substitutes: Todd Kane, George Long, Jack Robinson, Eric Dier, Will Hughes, Sammy Ameobi, Harry Kane.
Hello and welcome to the England Under 21 v Moldova Under 21 European qualifying match. Gareth Southgate takes charge for the first time tonight, managing his first match for the first time in four years.
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