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Agbonlahor puts England in command

Published: Saturday 11 October 2008, 0.04CET
Wales 2-3 England
Gabriel Agbonlahor struck the winner as England took a big step towards next summer's finals with a first-leg win over their British rivals in Cardiff.
by Michael Harrold
Agbonlahor puts England in command
Gabriel Agbonlahor celebrates his decisive strike with team-mate Steven Taylor ©Getty Images

Match statistics

WalesEngland

Goals scored2
 
3
Attempts on target4
 
8
Attempts off target6
 
3
Corners3
 
6
Fouls committed8
 
16
Yellow cards0
 
0
Red Cards0
 
0

Standings

Published: Saturday 11 October 2008, 0.04CET

Agbonlahor puts England in command

Wales 2-3 England
Gabriel Agbonlahor struck the winner as England took a big step towards next summer's finals with a first-leg win over their British rivals in Cardiff.

England took a big step towards a place in next summer's UEFA European Under-21 Championship with a 3-2 win against Wales in an entertaining encounter between the British rivals at Ninian Park, Cardiff.

Agbonlahor winner
Simon Church scored twice for Brian Flynn's side who were looking to cause another upset after surprisingly topping Group 10, but after the teams went into the break level at 2-2, Gabriel Agbonlahor's 61st-minute strike put England in the driving seat ahead of Tuesday's second leg at Villa Park.

Church strikes
Wales enjoyed much of the early possession without finding a clear route to goal before taking the lead in fortuitous fashion in the 13th minute. Michael Mancienne's clearance ricocheted off Steven Taylor and straight to Church in the area and he had time to look up and pick his spot low to Joe Hart's left in the England goal. With their tails up, Wales pressed again and Arsenal FC starlet Aaron Ramsey shot over moments later.

England hit back
England, though, were not behind for long. Agbonlahor's 18th-minute effort was deflected behind and from the resulting corner David Wheater climbed highest to head in. Ten minutes later England almost had another when Agbonlahor's long-range attempt hit the crossbar, but Stuart Pearce's side did not have long to wait before getting in front thanks to a fine solo effort from Adam Johnson. The Middlesbrough FC winger cut inside from the left and after beating a challenge from Neal Eardley curled a shot beyond Owain Fon Williams and low into the far corner.

Entertaining encounter
In an exciting match, Wales soon restored parity – with the reward their enterprising first-half showing merited coming when Church struck his second a minute before the interval. Ramsey was the provider, slipping the ball through to the Reading FC striker, whose first touch took him beyond Taylor whose slip gave him the space he needed to fire low past Hart.

Damage done
Again, though, Welsh joy was short-lived. Sixteen minutes into the second half Mark Noble crossed low from the right and Agbonlahor touched the ball in from close range with a back-heel to put England back in the ascendant. Williams held James Milner's low shot on 79 minutes, then dived high to his left to tip away Noble's crashing drive as England looked to exploit space in the closing stages, but by then the damage had been done. 

Last updated: 27/03/13 6.23CET

http://www.uefa.com/under21/season=2009/matches/round=15085/match=304063/postmatch/report/index.html#agbonlahor+puts+england+command

Lineups

Wales

Wales

England

England

1
O. WilliamsOwain Williams (GK)
1
HartJoe Hart (GK)
2
EardleyNeal Eardley (C)
2
WheaterDavid Wheater
Goal19
5
BlakeDarcy Blake
6
MancienneMichael Mancienne
15
NyatangaLewin Nyatanga
5
TaylorSteven Taylor (C)
3
WigginsRhoys Barrie Wiggins
3
O'HaraJamie O'Hara
7
AdamsNicolas Adams
Substitution59
7
MilnerJames Milner
4
CollisonJack Collison
4
CattermoleLee Cattermole
8
KingAndy King
Substitution84
8
HuddlestoneTom Huddlestone
11
MacDonaldShaun MacDonald
Substitution76
11
A. JohnsonAdam Johnson
Goal35
10
RamseyAaron Ramsey
10
NobleMark Noble
9
ChurchSimon Church
Goal13
Goal44
9
AgbonlahorGabriel Agbonlahor
Goal61
Substitution76

Substitutes

12
R. TaylorRhys Taylor (GK)
13
HeatonThomas Heaton (GK)
6
JacobsonJoseph Jacobson
12
StearmanRichard Stearman
13
JamesLloyd James
Substitution84
14
CorkJack Cork
16
BrownJonathan Brown
Substitution76
15
BertrandRyan Bertrand
17
AllenJoe Allen
Substitution59
16
CampbellFraizer Campbell
Substitution76
14
WilliamsMichael Williams
17
DerbyshireMatt Derbyshire
18
WilliamsMarc Williams
18
Ebanks-BlakeSylvan Ebanks-Blake

Coach

Brian Flynn (WAL) Stuart Pearce (ENG)

Referee

Cristian Balaj (ROU)

Assistant referees

Marcel Savaniu (ROU), Zoltán Székely (ROU)

Fourth official

Sorin Corpodean (ROU)

Legend:

  • GoalsGoals
  • Own goalOwn goal
  • PenaltiesPenalties
  • Missed PenaltiesMissed Penalties
  • reds_cardRed Cards
  • yellow_cardsYellow cards
  • yellow_red_cardsYellow/red card
  • SubstitutionSubstitution
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