The Courier & Advertiser (Perth and Perthshire Edition)
Lingard strikes late to keep Three Lions’ Euro hopes alive
Jesse Lingard’s impressive, late strike gave England Under-21s’ European Championship hopes a timely shot in the arm having made hard work of their clash with Sweden last night.
A year and a day after Roy Hodgson saw his side slide so meekly out of the World Cup, it looked like the Three Lions manager would witness the next generation fall short in Olomouc.
Gareth Southgate’s men struggled for fluency throughout a Group B tie which was heading for a draw until substitute Lingard volleyed home from the edge of the box five minutes from time, securing the Young Lions a somewhat fortuitous 1-0 win.
It was the Under-21s’ first finals victory in six years and boosted their hopes of progressing to the semi-finals ahead of Wednesday’s encounter with Italy.
England appeared to be running out of ideas as they hunted for a winner, only for Lingard, on for the injured Alex Pritchard, to strike the decisive blow by volleying home from the edge of the box.