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2023 UEFA U21 EUROS: Gibbs-White, Palmer, and Archer Shine as England Secures Final Spot

Morgan Gibbs-White of England celebrates after scoring the team's first goal
Morgan Gibbs-White of England celebrates after scoring the team's first goal [Credit: Alex Caparros]

Goals from Morgan Gibbs-White, Cole Palmer, and Cameron Archer propel England into their first final since 2009.

England showcased their dominance with a resounding 3-0 victory against Israel, securing their place in Saturday’s final as they aim to clinch the title for the first time since 1984.

In their semi-final clash, Israel had previously triumphed over co-hosts Georgia in a penalty shootout, marking their first-ever progression to the semi-finals. Meanwhile, England advanced to the semi-finals with a 1-0 win against Portugal, courtesy of Anthony Gordon’s solitary goal.

The action started early for England, with Gibbs-White delivering a free kick in the 6th minute, but Colwill’s headed attempt went over the bar.

In the 17th minute, England was awarded a penalty kick after a VAR review, as Gordon was brought down by Jaber inside the box. Despite Gibbs-White missing the penalty, and failing to hit the target, Israel escaped unscathed.

Israel showcased solid defensive discipline, effectively containing England, while failing to test goalkeeper James Trafford.

Gandelman threatened for Israel with a strike just outside the box in the 37th minute, narrowly missing the target.

Just before halftime, Gibbs-White redeemed himself, breaking the deadlock with a header. Palmer provided a precise cross, allowing Gibbs-White to rise above Jaber and guide the ball past Tzarfati.

England started the second half with similar intent, but Tzarfati denied Smith Rowe’s shot.

In the 63rd minute, another VAR check led to a goal for England, as Palmer found the back of the net from close range following intricate play involving Gibbs-White and Smith Rowe.

Israel struggled to pose a threat, as Revivo’s free kick in the 82nd minute failed to trouble Trafford.

In the final minutes, Israel pressed for a consolation goal, while England aimed to preserve their clean sheet. Eventually, Archer sealed the victory for England, scoring the third goal to confirm their spot in the final. Palmer initiated a counterattack, locating Archer in the box, and the Aston Villa player confidently struck the ball past Tzarfati.

Lee Carsley’s side secured their place in the UEFA European U21 Championships final, their first since 2009. They will face the winner of the other semi-final clash between Spain and Ukraine on Saturday at 5pm. Although Israel’s tournament run concludes, they can be proud of their achievement, having qualified for the football Olympics finals for the first time since 1976.

Among the standout performers, Gibbs-White showcased resilience after missing the penalty, rebounding to score the opening goal. Smith Rowe and Gomes also displayed brilliance, contributing significantly to England’s triumph.

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