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2023 UEFA U21 Euro: England Secures Quarter-Final Spot with Convincing 2-0 Win Against Israel

Goals from Anthony Gordon and Emile Smith-Rowe helped England progress to the knockout stages for the first time since 2017 with a 2-0 win against Israel.

Emile Smith Rowe of England and Behn Johnson of England celebrating after goal scored [Credit: Giorgi Ebanoidze]

England secured a 2-0 win against the Czech Republic in their opening group game, their first opening win since 2009. Lee Carsley’s side entered this second group game knowing that another win would take them into the quarter-finals.

Early in the game, Arsenal attacker Emile Smith-Rowe had a goal disallowed for offside after excellent intricate play from England around the edge of the Israeli box.

England took the lead in the 15th minute as Morgan Gibbs-White floated in a cross for Anthony Gordon to head home past Daniel Peretz, giving England the lead.

Since the opening goal, England was comfortable in possession as Israel was content to sit back and allow them to dictate the ball.

In the 41st minute, Israel created their first chance of the match as Roy Revivo delivered a cross into the path of Dor David Turgeman, who failed to get his header on target.

On the stroke of half time, James Trafford made a save towards his left near post to deny Eitan Azulay from a free kick.

Early in the second half, England should have extended their advantage. Gibbs-White released Noni Madueke through on goal, but the Chelsea winger’s shot missed the target. Madueke could have passed it to Gordon, who was unmarked inside the Israel box.

As the second half progressed, Israel started to press England high up the pitch and caused them some problems. However, the England defense withstood the pressure.

In the 68th minute, England scored their all-important second goal, which was scored by Emile Smith-Rowe. England quickened their intricate play by the edge of the box. Smith-Rowe found Gibbs-White, who then passed the ball back to the Arsenal man, who drilled in a fantastic low finish from outside the box, scoring his second goal of the tournament.

Substitute Cameron Archer had a chance to extend England’s lead five minutes later. Harvey Elliot slotted a lovely pass into the path of the Aston Villa man. However, he tried to go around the goalkeeper, and his touch was too heavy, allowing Peretz to make the save.

Lee Carsley’s Young Lions began to slow down the tempo of the game as they held a comfortable lead and one foot into the competition’s quarter-finals.

The Young Lions secured top spot in Group C, and there will be no pressure going into their last group game against Germany, with qualification already sealed.

Israel must beat the Czech Republic and hope England will do them a favor against Germany for a chance to progress to the next round.

Among the standout performers, Levi Colwill and Morgan Gibbs-White were impressive for England. However, a special mention goes to Emile Smith-Rowe, who came up clutch again as he sealed the icing on the cake, securing England’s qualification to the quarter-finals. Smith-Rowe has now scored two goals in two games in the tournament, and he will hope to continue his fantastic form.

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