A young Sweden team were held in Cyprus and the Czech Republic drew 2-2 against finals opponents Denmark. On Thursday, England and Germany recorded home wins.
Article top media content
Cyprus 1-1 Sweden (Sweden win 5-3 on penalties)
A young Sweden XI containing six debutants – Anton Cajtoft, Jesper Manns, Sebastian Starke Hedlun, Adam Lundqvist, Kerim Mrabti and Muamer Tanković – prevailed on spot kicks in Paphos. A 65th-minute equaliser from Dino Islamović, one of three further players who earned their first caps off the bench, forced the shoot-out, where Cajtoft made the decisive save. "It was a satisfactory performance, nothing more," said coach Håkan Ericson.
Czech Republic 2-2 Denmark
A dress rehearsal of the opening game of the 2015 finals ended all-square in Prague. Home coach Jakub Dovalil gave Václav Kadlec, capped nine times at senior level, his first U21 outing since March 2013 and the Eintracht Frankfurt forward marked it with a goal, equalising with an 18th-minute header. Jens Jønsson had nodded the visitors in front from a left-wing cross by Jeppe Andersen, who then fired Denmark 2-1 up before the interval. Debutant Ladislav Takács ensured the Czechs avoided defeat with a low right-footed shot a minute from time.
England 3-1 Portugal
England laid down a marker ahead of the finals as they defeated their Group B rivals with a strong showing in Burnley, Danny Ings scoring twice on his home ground. With four debutants in their lineup – and four more who came off the bench – it was an inexperienced visiting side, and they fell behind in the sixth minute as Ings clinically put away Tom Ince's cross.
William Hughes set up full-back Carl Jenkinson to make it two a minute before the interval, though Bernardo Silva pulled one back after the restart. Ings got the final touch to man-of-the-match Nathan Redmond's cross to extend the advantage and seal an 11th consecutive win for England, who face France on Monday.
Germany 3-1 Netherlands
The home team made the best of a splendid first-half performance in Ingolstadt. Aggressive from the off, Germany pressed high up the field to win possession and went ahead through Amin Younes after 11 minutes.
Dominique Heintz and Max Meyer increased the lead for Horst Hrubesch's side before the break, but the Jong Oranje – who missed out on a place in next summer's finals – offered more resistance after half-time, Jean-Paul Boëtius replying with 12 minutes to go.