England’s young guns qualify for the U21 European Championship play-offs

England 2 – Portugal 0 (European U21 Championship qualifier, September 5, 2008) James Milner converted a 44th-minute penalty won by Fabrice Muamba to give Stuart Pearce’s side the edge at half time. After the break Gabi Agbonlahor showed his trademark pace to fire the second in a victory that ensures England finish convincing winners of Group Three.

Italy 1 – Greece 1 (European U21 Championship qualifier, September 5, 2008) Italy’s latest sensation, Inter’s Mario Balotelli fired the Azzuri into the lead, crashing home a volley after the Greek defense failed to clear a cross. In the second half Greece drew level with a fine strike of their own, Lazaros Christodoulopoulos scored a fine solo goal to score from 25-yards out.

Germany 3 – Northern Ireland 0 (European U21 Championship qualifier, September 5, 2008) Bayern’s wunderkid Toni Kroos gave the Germans the lead with delicious free-kick, Halfar made it 2-0 at the break scoring from a rebound. Aogo added the third with a low drive in the 61st minute.

France 5 – Malta 0 (European U21 Championship qualifier, September 5, 2008) France were out of sight by halftime, Loic Remy, Yoan Gouffran (who was dismissed moments later) and Yohan Cabaye established a 3-0 at the break. Frederic Nimani netted a brace in the second half.

Russia 4 – Georgia 0 (European U21 Championship qualifier, September 5, 2008) Days after the end of the war between Russia and Georgia, the two nations faced off on the football pitch with Russia dominating their neighbours. Nababkin and Prudnikov gave Russia the advantage at the break with Prudnikov (again) and Salugin completing the rout in the second half.

Croatia 4 – Albania 0 (European U21 Championship qualifier, September 5, 2008)

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South Korea 1 – Jordan 0 (Friendly, September 5, 2008) Lee Chung-Yong bagged his first international goal early in the first half to help his team win its last test before the final qualifying matches for the 2010 World Cup.


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