England Under-21s book Euro ’23 quarter-final berth

England Under-21s reached the quarter-finals of Euro 2023 as Group C winners following a comfortable 2-0 victory against Israel.

Anthony Gordon’s header put them in front in the 15th minute before Emile Smith Rowe doubled the lead in the second half.

Lee Carsley’s side, guaranteed top spot after beating the Czech Republic in their opening match, will meet Germany in the final group game on Wednesday.

After starting brightly, England nearly took the lead after some quick passing around the box was finished by Smith Rowe, but his backheeled effort was ruled out for offside.

They continued to attack with Gordon firing a promising ball into the box and Curtis Jones’ shot was well defended by Gil Cohen.

The dominant start was rewarded with quarter of an hour gone when a brilliant cross from Morgan Gibbs-White on the left found Gordon in the centre of the box and the Newcastle forward nodded the ball into the bottom corner.

England were in charge but Israel sparked into life in the final 10 minutes of the first half.

Dor Turgeman had the first opportunity with his header going wide of the post and Ethane Azoulay had a better chance in stoppage time when his direct free-kick from the edge of the area was saved by James Trafford.

England had an opportunity to double their lead three minutes after the break when Gibbs-White threaded a great ball through to Noni Madueke, but his effort flew wide.

Daniel Peretz made a great punch to clear the danger from Gibbs-White’s curling free-kick before a solid spell of pressure from Israel saw Karm Jaber’s effort go wide.

England eventually earned their second through Smith Rowe in the 68th minute with an excellent finish from the Arsenal forward drilled low into the left corner.

They continued to push and substitute Cameron Archer nearly made it three, but Peretz made a solid save from a tight angle.

A great run from Harvey Elliott down the centre found Cole Palmer on the right, but his shot was easily blocked and cleared by the Israel defence before Yoav Hofmeister made a solid challenge to stop Jacob Ramsey’s attempted shot in the final minutes.

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