Dowell On Target In England Under-21 Success

Kieran Dowell's breathtaking stoppage-time strike against Scotland ensured England Under-21s completed their European Championship qualifying campaign in appropriately stunning style.

Everton attacker Dowell was one of 10 players brought into the Young Lions' starting XI by boss Aidy Boothroyd after England clinched qualification for next year's tournament with a 7-0 demolition of Andorra last week.

Boothroyd's team did not want for fluency in Edinburgh, however, with the visitors raining 26 shots on the Scots' goal during a one-sided contest.

For all their dominance – England also hogged 66 per cent of possession – the away team needed an hour to make their superiority count.

Reiss Nelson, the Arsenal forward currently on loan with Hoffenheim in the Bundesliga, took aim with a free-kick from 30 yards and defeated goalkeeper Ross Doohan with an effort which scorched into the top corner.

Dowell's clubmate Dominic Calvert-Lewin – who scored twice in the victory over Andorra – replaced striker Tammy Abraham with three minutes remaining.

And he had a tremendous view when Dowell controlled a loose ball and skilfully progressed infield, before thundering a precise long-range strike past Doohan to seal a 2-0 victory for England at Hearts' Tynecastle Stadium.

It was a second England Under-21 goal for 21-year-old Dowell, who scored the winner in the final of this year's Toulon Tournament – and also won the Under-20 World Cup with his country in 2017.

Ademola Lookman was an unused substitute in Scotland, with Jonjoe Kenny and Tom Davies both rested, after all three played integral roles against Andorra five days ago.

England finish top of Group 4 with eight wins and two draws from their 10 matches and an eight-point advantage over second-placed Holland.

The European Championship finals will be staged in Italy and San Marino next June.

Elsewhere, Richarlison was on the pitch as Brazil conjured up a late dose of drama to overcome arch-rivals Argentina in Saudi Arabia.

Still pursuing full international honours when he joined Everton from Watford in the summer, Richarlison won his fourth cap when he came on for Manchester City striker Gabriel Jesus in the 65th minute of the latest meeting between the two South American behemoths.

Resilient Argentina, at the foothills of a rebuilding job under caretaker boss Lionel Scaloni following a poor World Cup in Russia, appeared set to hold out for a scoreless draw when Brazil were awarded a corner in the third minute of stoppage time.

Neymar delivered the ball to the near post where it was met by Inter Milan defender Miranda, who powered his header past Argentina's Manchester United goalkeeper Sergio Romero to give Brazil a fourth win from four since their own World Cup was ended by Belgium at the quarter-final stage.

Everton Under-23 striker Shayne Lavery played 83 minutes of Northern Ireland Under-21s' 1-0 victory over Slovakia at Windsor Park. Lavery drew an early save from goalkeeper Marek Rodak as the home side, backed by more than 5,000 fans, took the game to their opponents.


The Slovaks were reduced to 10 men on the stroke of half-time when Laszlo Benes collected a second booking. And Northern Ireland made their numerical advantage pay when Glenavon midfielder Mark Sykes scored on 62 minutes.

Lavery's side secured the runners-up position in Group 2 but missed out on one of the four play-off berths open to the best second-placed finishers in qualifying, with Portugal nabbing the final place courtesy of a 4-2 home win over Bosnia and Herzegovina.

Nathan Broadhead started up front for Wales Under-21s in their 3-1 home success over Switzerland. Broadhead was replaced on 61 minutes with the Welsh already two goals to the good at Newport County's Rodney Parade ground.

Switzerland halved the deficit shorty after the Everton man's withdrawal, only for Bristol City's Connor Evans to hit his second of the night with three minutes remaining. Evans' clubmate Joe Morrell had scored the first for a Wales side which claimed fourth spot in Group 8.


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