England U21s 5-0 Albania U21s: Eddie Nketiah scores twice while Callum Hudson-Odoi also finds the net on a comfortable evening for Aidy Boothroyd’s side
- Callum Hudson-Odoi gave England the perfect start, scoring inside five minutes
- Young Leicester defender James Justin got England’s second after 26 minutes
- Jamal Musiala, who plays for Bayern Munich, made it 3-0 with a cracking effort
- Eddie Nketiah scored two second-half goals to give England a comfortable win
The look of an Under-21 squad invariably alters through a qualifying campaign and England’s finished with the emergence of two promising full debutants.
Their hope will be that 17-year-old Jamal Musiala notches a fair few more for the Young Lions and eventually the seniors after scoring his first at this level.
The Bayern Munich forward was born in Stuttgart but his involvement in this camp suggests England should win the allegiance battle with Germany.
Callum Hudson-Odoi scored England’s opener on a comfortable night for the Under-21s
The Chelsea man cut in from the left and scored to give Aidy Boothroyd’s side the lead early on
Eddie Nketiah scored twice in the second-half as England strolled to victory at Molineux
The Arsenal striker added to his U21 tally with two goals in a simple qualifier for the youngsters
Leicester defender James Justin snuck in at the back post to score England’s second goal
Bayern Munich 17-year-old Jamal Musiala also scored in an impressive individual display
England U21s: Bursik, Wilmot, Godfrey, Kelly, Justin, Musiala (Jones 61), Skipp (Da Silva 76), Davies, Buchanan (McNeil 76), Hudson-Odoi (Gallagher 61), Nketiah
Subs not used: Ramsdale, Austin, Lamptey, Panzo
Goals: Hudson-Odoi 5, Justin 26, Musiala 36, Nketiah 52, 86
Albania U21s: Molla, Marku, Adolf Selmani, Sota, Mitaj (Kraja 81), Tuci (Ndrecka 45) Cokaj, Muci (Ademi 68), Dobra (Pellumbi 68), Bullari, Xhixha (Mihana 45)
Subs not used: Harizaj, Kolaj, Kalaj
Bookings: Selmani, Cokaj
The way Musiala took his goal – the third of the night – was a glimpse into the future, drifting off the right, pointing exactly where he wanted a return pass from Oliver Skipp.
He effortlessly glides past opponents.
Callum Hudson-Odoi and James Justin had already put this final qualifier beyond Albania and the second of those arrived thanks to Derby’s Lee Buchanan, another making his first start.
Buchanan, who has only featured in 13 Championship matches, buccaneered from left back, taking four defenders out of the game, and crossed for Justin to place back where it had come from.
That was England’s 32nd goal of the campaign, their highest ever total, and attention now turns to whether they can do themselves justice at the European Championship next year.
The group stages are in March and manager Aidy Boothroyd has ‘around 15 players’ who will definitely make that squad.
Captain Eddie Nketiah will be one of them, of course, and he wriggled a fourth, capitalising on weak defending.
Even after missing a penalty, there remained time for Nketiah to curl his second with four minutes left on a night England might have hit double figures.
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