The official website for European football

Agbonlahor confirms top spot for England

Published: Friday 5 September 2008, 20.20CET
England 2-0 Portugal
Gabriel Agbonlahor scored one and set up the other as England defeated Portugal at rain-soaked Wembley to claim first place in qualifying Group 3.
by Michael Harrold
from Wembley
Agbonlahor confirms top spot for England
England celebrate Gabriel Agbonlahor's goal ©Getty Images
Published: Friday 5 September 2008, 20.20CET

Agbonlahor confirms top spot for England

England 2-0 Portugal
Gabriel Agbonlahor scored one and set up the other as England defeated Portugal at rain-soaked Wembley to claim first place in qualifying Group 3.

Gabriel Agbonlahor scored one and set up the other as England defeated Portugal at a rain-soaked Wembley to claim top spot in Group 3.

Fine performance
Portugal were unable to cope with Agbonlahor's pace and his break down the left helped England earn a 43rd-minute penalty, which was converted by James Milner, before he capped a fine performance with England's second midway through the second half. The result ensured England finished top of the section undefeated, with only one goal conceded, on 22 points and leaves Portugal needing to beat the Republic of Ireland in their final game next Tuesday to have a chance of reaching the play-offs as one of the four best runners-up.

Hart save
Portugal enjoyed the best of the early possession and after just four minutes Joe Hart produced a stunning reflex save to palm away Vieirinha's near-post header. Ricardo Vaz Té then shot over after working space on the edge of the area. Agbonlahor had recovered from a stomach bug to start for England and his pace down the left was the home side's main threat. The Portuguese midfield pair of Miguel Veloso and Paolo Machado, though, were establishing control in the centre with Machado in particular finding his range on the England goal. Hart blocked his deflected shot on 17 minutes before the AS Saint-Etienne midfielder fired just wide soon after.

Milner penalty
England were looking to release Agbonlahor at every opportunity and on 31 minutes he beat Vasco Fernandes to the byline and pulled the ball back to Adam Johnson whose low shot was tipped away by Rui Patrício in the Portugal goal. Thirteen minutes later, a similar move resulted in the Aston Villa FC striker's pass reaching Fabrice Muamba who was upended by Machado, allowing captain Milner to fire the resulting penalty low past Patrício for his eighth goal in 38 Under-21 internationals.

Agbonlahor scores
Twice in quick succession soon after the interval Patrício was called on to make smart saves from Milner and Tom Huddlestone, but he was beaten again by Agbonlahor with 63 minutes played. Sent clear of the Portuguese defence on the halfway line by Mark Noble, the 21-year-old hared upfield before outmuscling Vasco Fernandes and shooting low beyond Patrício. Substitute Frazier Campell and Noble had chances to add to England's lead but Stuart Pearce's side, who reached the semi-finals of the last edition, had already done enough to confirm their place as group winners and leave Portugal with a nervy final fixture against the Irish on Tuesday.

Last updated: 27/03/13 6.29CET

http://www.uefa.com/under21/season=2009/matches/round=15084/match=300323/postmatch/report/index.html#agbonlahor+confirms+spot+england

Lineups

England

England

Portugal

Portugal

1
HartJoe Hart (GK)
12
Rui PatrícioRui Patrício (GK)
2
CranieMartin Cranie
3
Nuno André CoelhoNuno André Coelho
3
A. TaylorAndrew Taylor
Yellow Card38
5
BrandãoGonçalo Brandão
4
MuambaFabrice Muamba
Yellow Card21
Substitution56
6
Paulo MachadoPaulo Machado
Yellow Card45
Substitution71
5
TaylorSteven Taylor (C)
7
VieirinhaVieirinha
Substitution58
6
MancienneMichael Mancienne
8
Manuel FernandesManuel Fernandes (C)
7
MilnerJames Milner
Goal44
10
Miguel VelosoMiguel Veloso
8
HuddlestoneTom Huddlestone
13
Salgado Da Cunha Mango FernandVasco Herculano Salgado Da Cunha Mango Fernand
9
AgbonlahorGabriel Agbonlahor
Goal63
Substitution76
14
PereirinhaBruno Pereirinha
10
NobleMark Noble
16
Bruno GamaBruno Gama
Substitution46
11
A. JohnsonAdam Johnson
Substitution87
17
Ricardo Vaz TéRicardo Vaz Té

Substitutes

13
HeatonThomas Heaton (GK)
1
Ricardo BatistaRicardo Batista (GK)
12
O'HaraJamie O'Hara
2
Miguel LopesMiguel Lopes
14
StearmanRichard Stearman
4
Daniel CarriçoDaniel Carriço
15
CattermoleLee Cattermole
Substitution56
Yellow Card64
9
MoreiraJoão Moreira
Substitution46
16
KightlyMichael Kightly
Substitution87
11
Hélder BarbosaHélder Barbosa
17
LennonAaron Lennon
15
StélvioStélvio
Substitution71
18
CampbellFraizer Campbell
Substitution76
18
Daniel CandeiasDaniel Candeias
Substitution58

Coach

Stuart Pearce (ENG) Rui Manuel Dos Santos Caçador (POR)

Referee

Gianluca Rocchi (ITA)

Assistant referees

Paolo Calcagno (ITA), Stefano Papi (ITA)

Fourth official

Nicola Stefanini (ITA)

Legend:

  • GoalsGoals
  • Own goalOwn goal
  • PenaltiesPenalties
  • Missed PenaltiesMissed Penalties
  • reds_cardRed Cards
  • yellow_cardsYellow cards
  • yellow_red_cardsYellow/red card
  • SubstitutionSubstitution
  • © 1998-2014 UEFA. All rights reserved.
  • The UEFA word, the UEFA European Under-21 Championship logo and trophy are protected by trade marks and/or copyright of UEFA. No use for commercial purposes may be made of such trade marks. Use of UEFA.com signifies your agreement to the Terms and Conditions and Privacy Policy.