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England join the party with perfect record

England booked their ticket to May's UEFA European Under-17 Championship by edging Italy 2-1 on the final day of the elite round to advance as Group 4 winners.

Czech Republic's Jakub Teršl tangles with England forward Isaiah Brown
Czech Republic's Jakub Teršl tangles with England forward Isaiah Brown ©Pavel Jiřík

England will feature at the 2014 UEFA European Under-17 Championship after topping elite round Group 4 with maximum points.

"It's a great feeling to progress. We deserved to qualify and look forward to facing the best European sides in Malta," said England manager John Peacock, whose team needed a draw against Italy on Monday to advance. Leaving nothing to chance, the Three Lions triumphed 2-1, finishing three points above Czech Republic, who signed off with a 2-0 defeat of Albania. 

The hard work began for the section winners last Wednesday, when they edged Czech Republic 1-0 courtesy of Dominic Solanke's 53rd-minute effort. Elsewhere, Italy came from behind to beat Albania 2-1, defender Ivan Francesco De Santis settling matters from the spot just after the hour.

The Azzurrini's qualification hopes were then dealt a significant blow as they succumbed 2-1 against Czech Republic two days later, Václav Černý scoring the winner a minute into added time. England made it two wins from as many games, meanwhile, consigning Albania to a 1-0 reverse thanks to Isaiah Brown.

Goals from Adam Armstrong and Solanke either side of Valerio Trani's leveller then sealed England's place in the final tournament on matchday three.