Gordon On Target For England Under-21s

Anthony Gordon scored his third goal in as many England Under-21 appearances, as manager Lee Carsley’s team cruised to victory over Andorra on Friday.

Everton forward Gordon came off the bench midway through the second half at Bournemouth’s Vitality Stadium, with England leading 3-1.

And barely 10 minutes after replacing PSV Eindhoven player Noni Madueke, Gordon cracked a volley into the bottom corner to complete the scoring in a 4-1 European Championship qualifying rout.

Gordon’s goal added to a double on his debut against Czech Republic back in November and pressed the 21-year-old's claims for a start when former Everton midfielder Carsley takes his team to Albania on Tuesday for the second half of a March qualification double header.

England remain second in Group G, three points behind Czech Republic, 1-0 winners in Albania on Friday, but with two games in hand.

The home side were given a flying start against bottom team Andorra when Folarin Balogun, the striker on loan at Middlesbrough from Arsenal, netted on six minutes.

Aston Villa midfielder Jacob Ramsey doubled the hosts’ lead 11 minutes before the break.

And Morgan Gibbs-White, the Wolverhampton Wanderers midfielder on loan at Sheffield United, added England’s third eight minutes after the restart.

Andorra gave Carsley's team pause for thought when Albert Rosas concluded a weaving run with an accurate finish beyond goalkeeper Josef Bursik.

It would be Gordon who had the final say, however, the Goodison Park Academy graduate adding to his burgeoning reputation with a terrific effort to seal the three points.

Abdoulaye Doucoure, meanwhile, played the first half of Mali’s World Cup qualifying defeat by Tunisia in Bamako.

Everton midfielder Doucoure confirmed his intention to represent Mali, the country of his parents’ birth, last month.

He was duly summoned for a two-legged play-off tie that will determine which of the two countries advances to this year’s tournament in Qatar.

Doucoure, who was capped by France at every level from Under-17 to Under-21, began the game alongside Brighton & Hove Albion central midfielder Yves Bissouma, but was sacrificed at half-time following a torrid four minutes for defender Moussa Sissako.

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Lifelong Evertonian Pat Griffin enjoys chat with Toffees star to mark milestone.

Standard Liege player Sissako scored into his own goal on 36 minutes and the centre-half’s misery was compounded by a red card four minutes later.

Manager Mohamed Magassouba responded with a reshuffle for the second 45 minutes, with Doucoure, one of a trio of players to make way, replaced by defender Mamadou Fofana.

Mali kept the deficit at one goal and go to Tunisia on Tuesday with their bid to qualify for a first World Cup still alive.

Ryan Astley, the Everton Under-23 defender, completed 90 minutes and there was a 69th-minute substitute appearance for Club colleague Rhys Hughes, in Wales’ Under-21s’ European Championship qualifying defeat by Switzerland.

The Welsh, who were three down inside 20 minutes and trailing 5-1 when Hughes was introduced, already faced a tall order to reach the tournament in Romania and Georgia next year.

But defeat by the Group E-leading Swiss in Lausanne all but extinguished the qualification hopes of manager Paul Bodin’s team.

Everton central midfielder Isaac Price, who made a senior debut in this month’s FA Cup victory over Boreham Wood, won a first Northern Ireland Under-21 cap as a late substitute in Slovakia.

The 18-year-old was sent on immediately after his side went 2-1 down with four minutes remaining but the away team couldn’t force an equalising strike and remain fifth in their six-team European qualifying group.