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England beat Finland to pull clear in Group 1

England 3-0 Finland
A Michael Keane header and Saido Berahino's double helped the unbeaten hosts remain top of qualifying Group 1.

A delighted Michael Keane celebrates after scoring England's first goal
A delighted Michael Keane celebrates after scoring England's first goal ©Getty Images

England moved three points clear at the top of UEFA European Under-21 Championship qualifying Group 1 with a 3-0 victory over Finland.

Michael Keane opened the scoring with a fine header before Saido Berahino added his fifth and sixth goals of the campaign to ensure England pulled three points clear of Wales at the top of the section. Finland, who had Patrick O'Shaughnessy sent off 20 minutes from time, are now five points adrift of their opponents having played a game more.

Buoyed by a 5-0 victory against Lithuania last time out, England started brightly against the side who held them to a 1-1 draw in Tampere in September. They had to wait until the 21st minute for the opener, though, as Keane climbed highest to head in James Ward-Prowse's inviting free-kick.

Gareth Southgate's team doubled their lead eight minutes before half-time when Berahino converted Luke Shaw's low cross. The hosts started the second period as they finished the first, with Southampton FC midfielder Ward-Prowse forcing Jesse Joronen into a fine save. Any hope Finland had of getting back into the match vanished when O'Shaughnessy received his second yellow card.

Berahino completed the scoring a minute into added time with a neat finish after good build-up play involving substitute Thomas Ince. England play San Marino on 19 November, while Finland are not in action against until 5 March.