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Tottenham Hotspur and former Leyton Orient loanee Harry Kane nets as England Under-19s beat Czech Republic
England Under-19s beat their counterparts from Czech Republic 2-1 at Leyton Orient in the final friendly before the European Championships Elite Qualifying Round.
Former Orient loanee Harry Kane put the hosts in front after a quarter of an hour, finishing off a swift counter-attacking move to hand England the advantage.
Chelsea’s Pat Bamford headed Noel Blake’s side two goals in front just past the hour, rounding off the best move of the match to convert.
Jaroslav Hrebik’s men replied within ten minutes though as Filip Twardzik found the back of the net from a free kick.
England coach Blake handed a start to Spurs forward Harry Kane in partnership with Brentford’s Saido Berahino.
The Tottenham youngster spent time on loan with Orient last season but is currently enjoying time in the Championship with Millwall.
Other representation from the capital saw Chelsea duo Nat Chalobah and Todd Kane make up half of the back four, with Arsenal’s Nico Yennaris in midfield.
Both sides were lively from the off but it was the hosts who created the first opening.
Andre Wisdom’s nod back across goal was agonisingly just behind Harry Kane who was unable to convert, before the away side created their first chance.
Skipper Marek Kratky received the ball 25 yards out from a short corner move but his vicious drive was well wide and never looked like troubling Sam Johnstone.
England seized the advantage though and netted with a swift break out from the back.
Middlesbrough’s Luke Williams received the ball out wide on the right from the keeper and found Harry Kane, who stepped inside a defender to pass sweetly into the bottom left corner of the net.
Both sides were showing creativity in an open half but neither were able to really test the keepers.
Berahino was guilty of missing the best chance of the half when he received the ball on the left side of the penalty area but was unable to convert in a one-on-one situation with Lukas Zima, as the sides headed for the break level.
After a fairly pedestrian opening to the second period, Berahino provided the spark ten minutes in when he showed strength to round his marker Marek Cepelak before pulling the trigger, but his effort was well wide of the post.
The Czechs were offering little in the way of attacking threat and with 65 minutes on the clock, they found themselves 2-0 down.
Jamaal Lascelles found Todd Kane out wide, on the right and the Chelsea youngster sent in a sweet curling cross with pin-point accuracy to club-mate Bamford, whose header was planted well beyond Zima.
The visitors replied shortly after though following a foul on David Houska.
A sweet left-footed free kick from Filip Twardzik beat the wall with venom, as it curled neatly past the outstretched arm of Connor Ripley in the England goal.
Ripley was forced to leave the action with an injury inside the final 15 minutes, meaning Johnstone was brought back on.
The Manchester United youngster was immediately involved as he first punched a corner clear before England twice went close to regaining their two-goal advantage.
George Thorne fired wide after Bamford had neatly played the ball back into his path prior to Ross Barkley being denied by Zima in a one-on –one position.
The Czech stopper was one of the stars of the show as he then denied Jake Bidwell from a free kick and Bamford from the rebound.
He was not to be beaten again though, as England claimed a 2-1 victory.
England: Johnstone (Ripley 46); T Kane, Wisdom, Chalobah (Lascelles 46), Garbutt (Bidwell 46); Williams (Thorne 71), Coady (Ralls 56), Barkley, Yennaris; H Kane (Bamford 46), Berahino (Redmond 56).
Czech Republic: Zima; Kratky, Cepelak, F Twardzik, Hybs; P Twardzik (Kovac 69), Plsek (Kyndl 82), Houska, Sykora; Julis (Kunc 23 (Falta52)), Krmencik (Lutonsky 46).
Subs: Lutonsky, Bartolomeu, Kunc, Vesely.