England let a two-goal lead slip in Switzerland and were within two minutes of elimination from the UEFA European Under-21 Championship when James Milner made it 3-2 to win the game and Group 8 for the visitors.
Peter Taylor’s side needed an away victory in Lucerne to win through to Friday’s play-off draw in Nyon, and went about it in determined fashion as Theo Walcott broke the deadlock on 13 minutes. Another player who had also found the net in the opening 2-2 home draw with Moldova, David Nugent, doubled the lead five minutes later to put England into a great position.
That changed when Johan Vonlanthen halved the deficit in the 29th minute, stroking in a penalty after being felled by England goalkeeper Scott Carson. Switzerland levelled in the 70th minute through Tranquillo Barnetta, and 18 minutes later the home fans were calling for the final whistle when Milner scored the decisive fifth goal of the night. England end the group on four points, one more than Switzerland and three ahead of Moldova.