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England edge out hosts

Published: Friday 17 May 2002, 22.00CET
Goals from Jermain Defoe and Peter Crouch saw England edge out hosts Switzerland 2-1 in Group 1.

Match statistics

EnglandSwitzerland

Goals scored2
 
1
Attempts on target2
 
1
Attempts off target0
 
0
Corners0
 
0
Fouls committed0
 
0
Yellow cards3
 
1
Red Cards0
 
0

Standings

Group 1: ITA / POR / ENG / SUI

TeamsPWDLFA+/-Pts
1England England11002113
2Italy Italy10101101
2Portugal Portugal10101101
4Switzerland Switzerland100112-10

Legend:

P: Played   
W: Won   
D: Drawn   
L: Lost   
F: For   
A: Against   
+/-: Goal difference   
Last updated: 30/11/2017 14:54 CET
Published: Friday 17 May 2002, 22.00CET

England edge out hosts

Goals from Jermain Defoe and Peter Crouch saw England edge out hosts Switzerland 2-1 in Group 1.

Hosts Switzerland were desperately unlucky not to claim a point in their first-ever match in the UEFA European Under-21 finals, as a skilful and determined England team made the most of their early dominance to win their Group 1 game 2-1.

Captains dominant
Jermain Defoe shot England ahead in the opening minutes, and although a fine Alexander Frei free-kick quickly cancelled out a Peter Crouch goal early in the second half, Switzerland just could not beat Paul Robinson in their opponents' goal to level the scores. However, in an encounter in which captains David Dunn and Ricardo Cabanas each looked dominant presences, both teams suggested that they could make good progress in this tournament. England coach David Platt gave Crouch his first Under-21 start up front alongside Defoe, and their partnership appears an inspired move.

Defoe strikes first
It was West Ham United FC's Defoe who made his mark on three minutes. Dunn, who produced intelligent balls all night, fed Jermaine Pennant down the England right, and his inch-perfect cross was converted by the grateful forward. This blow hit the hosts hard, and for the first 20 minutes England produced some superb flowing football. Grasshopper-Club's Cabanas, playing at his home ground, and the always-dangerous Frei eventually stemmed the flow with some attacking play of their own, and the skipper almost equalised on 41 minutes, but his shot flew across the face of goal after hitting Robinson's legs, one of many important saves by the Leeds United AFC goalkeeper.

Crouch scores
England began the second half as they had the first, pressing hard for a second goal, and it came seven minutes into the half. Crouch was fouled 25 metres out, and after Dunn's free-kick crept through the wall, it was the tall Aston Villa FC striker that pounced to shoot home his first goal at this level. However, the Switzerland team regrouped after this blow, played with a panache that matched that of England before they took a two-goal lead. That advantage was halved on 57 minutes when England substitute David Prutton handballed 25 metres from goal, and Frei struck a swerving free-kick that gave Robinson no chance of a save.

Frei halves deficit
Switzerland came forward with waves of attacks that made England cling on to claim their three points. With 18 minutes to go Frei was sent through and seemed certain to score, only for Robinson to block with his legs, and Luke Young to clear off the line. And for the remainder of the game Robinson continued in this vein, using all parts of his body to prevent as second Swiss goal and get his team off to a perfect start, although the near-capacity crowd saluted the hosts' efforts after the full-time whistle ended the siege on the English defence.

'This win was lucky'
Platt conceded his team had been fortunate, saying after the game: "I feel this win was lucky, in a very close match. I hope we have not used up all our luck for the tournament." Robinson echoed his coach's comments, playing down his own important contribution. "I am lucky to have kept us in this match in the intense last 20 minutes. I don't feel like a hero, I just did my job," he said.

Challandes upbeat
Swiss coach Bernard Challandes was upbeat in defeat. "I am very happy with this performance. It is a real pity we lost, as everyone can see how strong this team is, he said, going on to praise the home fans, adding: "It was a very good atmosphere, proof that Swiss fans can be excited by football." Meanwhile, Frei was pleased with his goal despite the loss, saying: "It is a pity I couldn't secure anything with my great free-kick, now the whole team have to try and be lucky [in Monday's match] against Portugal."

Last updated: 28/03/13 3.58CET

http://www.uefa.com/under21/season=2002/matches/round=1587/match=68953/postmatch/report/index.html#england+edge+hosts

Lineups

England

England

Switzerland

Switzerland

1
RobinsonPaul Robinson (GK)
Yellow Card90+1
1
BeneyNicolas Beney (GK)
2
YoungLuke Young
2
MeyerRemo Meyer
3
KoncheskyPaul Konchesky
3
MagninLudovic Magnin
4
DavisSean Davis
Yellow Card5
Substitution34
4
GrichtingStéphane Grichting
6
BarryGareth Barry
5
KellerStephan Keller
7
DunnDavid Dunn (C)
6
FriedliRoman Friedli
Substitution80
10
DefoeJermain Defoe
Goal2
Substitution65
7
MelunovicElvir Melunovic
11
PennantJermaine Pennant
8
ZanniReto Zanni
Yellow Card14
Substitution59
12
RiggottChris Riggott
10
CabanasRicardo Cabanas (C)
17
SmithAlan Smith
11
A. FreiAlexander Frei
Goal58
Substitution81
19
CrouchPeter Crouch
Goal53
Substitution78
19
BerishaJohann Berisha

Substitutes

13
TaylorStuart Taylor (GK)
12
BallyThierry Bally (GK)
22
BywaterStephen Bywater (GK)
22
BolliReto Bolli (GK)
14
PruttonDavid Prutton
Substitution34
Yellow Card57
9
GygaxDaniel Gygax
Substitution59
16
ParkerScott Parker
Substitution65
18
RaimondiMario Raimondi
Substitution80
21
Sh. AmeobiShola Ameobi
Substitution78
20
BieliRainer Bieli
Substitution81
5
TaylorMartin Taylor
13
EggimannMario Eggimann
8
GreeningJonathan Greening
14
DenicolàLuca Denicolà
9
ChristieMalcolm Christie
15
RochatAlain Rochat
15
JenasJermaine Jenas
16
OppligerPascal Oppliger
18
KnightZat Knight
17
PrevitaliIvan Previtali
20
ZamoraBobby Zamora
21
MuffAndré Muff

Coach

David Platt (ENG) Bernard Challandes (SUI)

Referee

Attila Hanacsek (HUN)

Assistant referees

Markku Tiensuu (FIN), Miroslav Jedvaj (CRO)

Fourth official

Eduardo Iturralde González (ESP)

Legend:

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