England U21s took a significant step towards qualifying for Euro 2023 with an away victory over main Group G rivals the Czech Republic.

The Young Lions leapfrogged their hosts at the top of the table thanks to goals from Arsenal’s Emile Smith Rowe and Aston Villa’s Jacob Ramsey.

Smith Rowe’s first-half half-volley opened the scoring, then Ramsey tapped in at the start of the second period.

Daniel Fila scored a superb late goal for the hosts but England held on.

Fila’s 25-yard effort with three minutes remaining set up a nervy finale but despite some late pressure the Czechs could not equalise.

The Young Lions now need four points from three remaining games to reach Euro 2023. They are top of Group G on goal difference, having moved level on points with the Czechs.

Lee Carsley’s side complete their qualification campaign this month, with fixtures against Albania at home on 7 June, Kosovo away on 10 June and Slovenia at home on 13 June to come.

The Czechs – the only team who can stop England qualifying automatically for the tournament in Georgia and Romania – have only one game remaining. They finish their campaign against bottom side Andorra at home on 13 June.

England have now won six of their seven matches in qualifying under Carsley, their only dropped points coming in a 2-2 draw in Slovenia.

The Young Lions have consistently struggled to make an impact in major tournaments at this level, having been eliminated in the group stage at five of the past six editions, including the past two in 2019 and 2021.

But they were impressive on Friday and the victory means they are one of just six unbeaten teams in qualifying, along with Spain, the Netherlands, Portugal, Italy and France.


Czech Rep U21

Formation 4-5-1

  • 1Kovár
  • 12Cedidla
  • 2Vitík
  • 3Donát
  • 19Jurásek
  • 11SulcSubstituted forKarabecat 45′minutes
  • 8CervSubstituted forSoucekat 64′minutesBooked at 90mins
  • 22Kaloc
  • 20Zamburek
  • 13KohútSubstituted forSejkat 64′minutes
  • 17CvancaraSubstituted forFilaat 73′minutes


  • 4Gabriel
  • 5Danek
  • 7Soucek
  • 9Sejk
  • 10Karabec
  • 14Fila
  • 15Pojezny
  • 16Jaros
  • 18Pech

England U21

Formation 4-3-3

  • 1BursikBooked at 90mins
  • 2Aarons
  • 15Cresswell
  • 5Harwood-BellisBooked at 24mins
  • 16Johnson
  • 17Jones
  • 6Garner
  • 8J Ramsey
  • 7Gibbs-WhiteBooked at 64minsSubstituted forAbreu de Almeida Gomesat 82′minutes
  • 9BalogunSubstituted forArcherat 68′minutes
  • 10Smith RoweSubstituted forGordonat 65′minutes


  • 3Thomas
  • 11Gordon
  • 12Spence
  • 14Archer
  • 18Doyle
  • 19Hill
  • 20Abreu de Almeida Gomes
  • 22Trafford
  • 23Lewis-Potter

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