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Stoke City (H) Fri 26 Dec 2014, 15:00, Barclays Premier League

Ledson Skippers England To Euros

by Adam Clark @efc_adamclark

Everton midfielder Ryan Ledson skippered England Under-17s as they advanced to this summer's European Championships with a 2-1 win over Italy.

The Young Lions went into the game undefeated in Elite Qualifying Group 4, having already seen off the Czech Republic and Albania.

The three games were all played during a week-long mini-tournament held in Malta, with Blues defender Callum Connolly also part of John Peacock's 18-man squad.

Following narrow 1-0 wins in their opening two games, England knew a draw would be enough to progress against the Italians and took the lead on 20 minutes through Newcastle United forward Adam Armstrong.

Everton's Connolly had a chance to double the advantage from an Armstrong free-kick early in the second half, only to see his effort well-saved by goalkeeper Alex Meret.

Roma striker Valerio Trani then levelled for Italy but a 71st-minute effort from Chelsea's Dominic Solanke secured a third straight win for England.

Ledson, Connolly and their Under-17 colleagues will discover their opponents for this summer's finals, also to be held in Malta, when the draw is made on 10 May.

Watch highlights of all of England Under-17s' qualifying games here.

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