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England tighten Group 1 grip with Wales success

England 1-0 Wales
Gareth Southgate's men moved six points clear in qualifying Group 1 after Nathan Redmond's second-half strike secured the win.

Nathan Redmond celebrates his 56th-minute winner for England
Nathan Redmond celebrates his 56th-minute winner for England ©Getty Images

England remain on course to qualify for the UEFA European Under-21 Championship play-offs after Nathan Redmond's second-half strike secured a narrow 1-0 win over Wales.

Both sides had chances to take the lead during an even opening 45 minutes in Derby, but Redmond's powerful effort in the 56th minute sealed victory to send Gareth Southgate's men six points clear of Moldova in qualifying Group 1.

Ravel Morrison fired narrowly wide from just outside the area on 25 minutes for the hosts but five minutes later the lively Wesley Burns beat England defender John Stones for pace and broke clear, only to drag his low attempt off target. The breakthrough arrived 11 minutes after the restart when Redmond, who had been a threat down both wings all night, cut inside from the left and unleashed a low shot that crept inside the near post.

Despite continuing to dominate for long periods, England failed to find a second goal to kill the game and Wales went close to nicking an equaliser but Lee Evans saw his long-range drive superbly tipped away by Jack Butland. "That was the toughest test we've had to come through," said manager Southgate. "Nathan Redmond has earned his chance to start. He has been playing well for his club and it's pleasing for him to get the goal. It will give him a big confidence boost."