England U21s 2-4 Romania U21s: England out of Euro 2019 after hectic finale
Six goals in 18 minutes give Romania win as England are knocked out after two games
Last Updated: 22/06/19 9:04am
England are out of the European U21 Championships after a dramatic 4-2 defeat by Romania on Friday, which saw all six goals come in just 18 minutes.
The defeat, paired with France's 1-0 win over Croatia later on Friday, means England's slim hopes of finishing as best runner-up were dashed, though they do have a chance to save pride against Croatia on Monday, live on Sky Sports Football.
Romania had the majority of the chances in the first half, and went ahead through George Puscas' penalty (76), before Demarai Gray's fine leveller (79).
Ianis Hagi, Romanian legend Gheorghe's son, capitalised on Fikayo Tomori's error to make it 2-1 (85), and though Tammy Abraham equalised again (87), a double from sub Florinel Coman (89 and 90+3) put the game out of reach.
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Aidy Boothroyd made five changes, leaving Ryan Sessegnon, Phil Foden, Aaron Wan-Bissaka and Dominic Solanke on the bench, with the 10 outfield players coming from just three parent clubs in Chelsea, Leicester and Everton.
Dean Henderson, who was man-of-the-match in the 2-1 defeat by France on Tuesday, was on fine form again early on, beating away Andrei Ivan's shot from an angle, before Ivan again hit the outside of the post from 10 yards with a glorious chance having chested down a looped header into the box.
James Maddison struck a 25-yard free-kick just wide moments later, but Romania had the better of the chances at the other end, again testing Henderson from inside the box as Dennis Man was found free by Ianis Hagi.
Mason Mount's long-range effort was awkward for Romania goalkeeper Ionut Radu to beat away just before the break, and England improved further after the break as Jonjoe Kenny saw a far-post header cleared off the line.
Half-time sub Sessegnon then had to be replaced by Phil Foden near the hour mark for a knee injury, and the Manchester City man nearly made an instant impact, denied by a combination of Radu and the post after an angled effort.
Romania took the lead with 14 minutes remaining as Jonjoe Kenny left a leg on Coman, with Puscas finishing low to Henderson's left from the spot kick, starting a bizarre final 20 minutes.
Gray's fine curling effort from 20 yards made it 1-1, but Tomori's fluffed clearance at the other end allowed Hagi to find the bottom left corner with a driven effort from 18 yards.
There was more to come as sub Abraham found the far corner from 10 yards after taking down a long ball, but Henderson made a howler to give Romania the lead again, beaten at his near post by a simple Coman effort from range.
England had two chances to level again through Abraham, first seeing a shot from 10 yards well saved by Radu, and then a header crash off the bar, but Romania put the cherry on top of their win as Coman half-volleyed a stunner past Henderson from 20 yards for 4-2.
Why have England's talented group of U21s failed to deliver at the European Championships?
'We're on the right track'
Despite the defeat, England U21 manager Aidy Boothroyd feels his side are on the right track, but discipline and sharpness in front of goal are the main issues...
He told Sky Sports: "The fact we've given away as many penalties as we have, and haven't been as clinical with the chances we've made, that's what happens, especially at a level like this.
"We were ring-rusty in the first half, and perhaps felt hangover from the France game, but then I thought second half only one team was going to win it.
"In order to get through this, we have to take the positives out of the way we've played the game. In my opinion, and in the opinion of a lot of other people who know the game, we're on the right track in terms of the way we're playing the game, and all we have to do now is iron out these undisciplined situations and take our chances. It's as simple as that."
All the ways to watch the tournament...
England face Croatia on Monday at 8pm in their final Group C clash, and every game during the UEFA European Under-21 Championship will be shown live on Sky Sports.
Sky Sports subscribers will also be able to stream the games via the Sky Sports app or the Sky Go app.
Non-subscribers can watch all the action through NOW TV. A Sky Sportsday pass is available for £8.99, a week pass for £14.99 or a month pass for £33.99. NOW TV can be streamed through a computer or apps.