By Carly Goodwill
June 1 2009
Englandís under 19ís got closer to the European Championship Finals in Ukarine on Friday night when they won 4-1 against Slovakia to set up a final game conclusion to the Elite Round next Monday.
England made clear that they intended to win this game from the offset and enjoyed the better of the possession and chances in the opening minutes,Joe Mattock shot into the side net after three minutes then Victor Moses was unfortunate to see a tidy run into the box ended by a tackle on the by-line.
After 13 minutes, Danny Rose’s made a pass from within his own half, spotted Danny Drinkwater in the area but Slovakian goalkeeper Matej Rondos was out quickly to collect the ball just ahead of the Manchester United player.
England came even closer after 16 minutes, when Drinkwater’s cross from the left picked out Ranger in the box. He beat Rondos to the ball then directed a header to goal but Tomas Kosut cleared it from the goal- line. Rose sent the ball back out to Moses on the left who took it around Ratislav Bakala before firing a low centre across the box, which Ranger was just inches away from sending home.
Slovakia’s best chance was in the 28th minute when Peter Gal-Andrazy on the left put a cross into the area but Filip Kiss headed it over. They were made to pay one minute later, as Ranger picked up a cross from Moses in the area then he turned it and scored his second goal in as many games.
Kiss tried again in the 38th minute when he hit a free kick at goal, but England captain Jason Steele watched it all the way and saved it comfortably. The same players had another encounter again a few minutes later when Kiss hit a shot at goal from just inside the area, but Steele was ready and made a lovely stop to flick the ball over the bar.
Slovakia had their work cut out with Ranger and his run was brought to an when he was tripped up 25 yards from the goal, a free kick was given as a result and taken by Drinkwater only to be saved nicely by Rondos.
The start of the second half made it worse for Slovakia when just seven minutes after the whistle Moses’ corner from the right found the head of Ranger who smashed the ball home to put the Young Lions firmly infront. Slovakia found their way back into the game when Gal-Andrezly hit home a fierce left footer from the edge of the box, but was then cautioned for his celebration.
The goal gave the Slovakians hope and they responded by bringing on another attacker to help out Arnold Simonek who had been up front alone for the first 60 minutes. Ranger was looking for a hat-trick and he nearly got it when he shot over from another Moses corner but unfortunately a header from Kieran Trippier’s cross was saved by Rondos.
England’s nerves were settled in the 88th minute after Moses played a corner from the left to the near post, and Delfouneso sent it home with a header. Followed quickly by Delfouneso getting his second goal when Rose latched onto the ball and passed it across the 6 yard box leaving the Aston Villa player to tap it home from 2 yards to give England the result they were looking for.
Final score: England 4 Slovakia 1
Referee: Mihaly Fabian
Assistant Referees: Zsolt Varga & Jose Gallego Galindo
Fourth Official: Carlos Clos Gomez