Sheffield United striker Brewster scored twice and Levi Colwill hit the bar in an encouraging performance for Lee Carsley's England U21 side; Italy had Nicolo Rovella sent off late on for a second yellow card; Young Lions next face Germany U21s on Tuesday
Thursday 22 September 2022 20:48, UK
Rhian Brewster struck twice inside the first five minutes as England U21s beat Italy U21s 2-0 in a friendly in Pescara on Thursday evening.
The Sheffield United striker converted his first from the penalty spot with just three minutes on the clock, after Conor Gallagher had been floored by Edoardo Bove as he tried to turn in a Cole Palmer effort.
And Brewster was celebrating again just two minutes later, lifting in his second after a fine through ball from Angel Gomes sent him clear.
A block from Caleb Okoli denied Gallagher from scoring England's third and Levi Colwill later hit the woodwork but there was no way back for Italy from those quickfire setbacks and the hosts - who hit the target with just three of their 20 shots - showed their frustration late on, with Nicolo Rovella sent off for a second bookable offence four minutes from time.
Josef Bursik (Stoke City); Charlie Cresswell (Millwall, on loan from Leeds United), Taylor Harwood-Bellis (Burnley, on loan from Manchester City), Levi Colwill (Brighton, on loan from Chelsea); Djed Spence (Tottenham), Oliver Skipp (Tottenham), Angel Gomes (Lille), Ryan Sessegnon (Tottenham); Cole Palmer (Manchester City), Rhian Brewster (Sheffield United), Conor Gallagher (Chelsea)
Subs: Max Aarons (Norwich City), Luke Thomas (Leicester City), Tommy Doyle (Sheffield United, on loan from Manchester City), James Garner (Everton), Anthony Gordon (Everton), Harvey Elliott (Liverpool), Jacob Ramsey (Aston Villa), Folarin Balogun (Reims, on loan from Arsenal), Luke Mbete (Huddersfield Town, on loan from Manchester City)
After England's fast start, Italy put the pressure on for long periods but Lee Carsley's side impressively stood firm.
England goalkeeper Josef Bursik saved well from Pietro Pellegri and Brewster came up with a superb block to keep out Mattia Viti's header during a first half which ended with Colwill nodding against a post.
Italy continued to push forward after the break but were largely limited to speculative efforts from range and the frustration got to already-booked Rovella when he was punished for a tackle from behind on Jacob Ramsey on 86 minutes.
Folarin Balogun almost capitalised on the man advantage for England but his injury-time strike at goal was well saved.
By then a notable win for England's youngsters was already assured and now Brewster will be aiming to add more international goals to his record when he returns to his home ground Bramall Lane on Tuesday, when England U21s face Germany in another friendly.