England u17s must win Wednesday’s final qualifier against Slovenia if they are to book a place in this summer’s u17s UEFA European Championships
John Peacock’s men knew that victory over Russia on Monday would guarantee the Three Lions a place in the finals after Sunday’s impressive win over Portugal but were undone by two goals either side of half time from the visitors.
City’s Angus Gunn and Kean Bryan both started once more in this Elite Round qualifier in Burton and they got off to the perfect start on six minutes when Bradley Fewster’s effort on goal was deflected past Anton Mitryushkin by Russia defender Nikita Chernov.
A quick witted pass from Bryan proved instrumental in the creation of the goal.
The visitors reacted well to the set back of going behind and would have equalised immediately if not for the heroics of Gunn, who got down well to parry away a stinging drive which came through a sea of legs.
However, there was nothing Angus could do about Ayaz Guliev superb equaliser on the half-hour mark which arrived as the result of a slaloming run and excellent finish from the Russian no.10.
Dan Crowley had the chance to restore England’s advantage after the break but it was the visitors who found the game’s decisive third goal five minutes into the second half, courtesy of another wonder goal – this time by Ramil Sheidaev who fired into the top corner from 25-yards.
Defensive midfielder Bryan was withdrawn with half an hour to play as England pushed for an equaliser but to no avail, despite the best efforts of Alex Kiwomya and Ruben Loftus-Cheek who both went close in the remaining minutes.
England must now win their final qualifier against Slovenia and hope results in the game between Portugal and Russia go their way to have any chance of qualifying.
There was better news for City’s Irish midfielder Jack Byrne who helped his side to begin their qualification campaign in style with a 1-0 win over Austria in Group 6.
Reece Greco-Smith scored the game’s only goal after 32 minutes, leaving the Irish in with a great chance of reaching Slovakia 2013 with Georgia up next on Wednesday.
Elsewhere in the qualifiers, Jose Angel Pozo’s Spain will take on Olivier Ntcham’s France in a mouthwatering Group 1 encounter on Tuesday, while Mathias Bossaerts’ Belgium will be playing for pride when they face Croatia in the same group.
Meanwhile, Tosin Adarabioyo's England u16s kick off their Montaigu Tournament tilt with their group opener against the Netherlands later on Tuesday.
We'll bring you a full round-up of those involved on Wednesday.