Callum Hudson-Odoi scored two superb goals on Tuesday night as England Under-21s cruised to victory in a European Championship qualifier in Milton Keynes.
Austria were the opponents who were comprehensively beaten 5-1 and it was the young Chelsea attacker who opened the scoring.The visitors had started the game pretty well but there was no way back for them once Hudson-Odoi had sweetly volleyed into the top of the net from 12 yards out having met a cross by Norwich’s Max Aarons. It was his first England Under-21 goal on his second appearance at this level.
That was with 12 minutes on the clock and the next two goals were scored by his strike partner on the night, Eddie Nketiah, the Arsenal forward currently on loan at Leeds, but the icing on the cake of the first-half performance came from Hudson-Odoi.In stoppage time before the break, the 18-year-old collected the ball not far outside the England penalty area and advanced. With Austria backing off as he attacked at pace, Hudson-Odoi curled in a shot from just outside the area to make the score 4-0.
Another Chelsea player was in the England defence that was only under pressure intermittently. Marc Guehi did good work when called upon but was unable to celebrate a clean sheet to go with the win as a header was conceded by the Young Lions midway through the second half.Nketiah completed his hat-trick with just over 10 minutes to go and then had a penalty saved.Conor Gallagher replaced Hudson-Odoi for the final five minutes for his second Under-21 cap.Austria had a 100 per cent record until this fourth game in their qualifying campaign but are now behind England, who have won three out of three, on goal difference.Elsewhere in the same group, Chelsea Academy striker Armando Broja played up front for Albania against Kosovo. He did not score by his team won 2-1, their first victory in the group, and they trail England by four points.In Tuesday’s senior internationals and having conceded a late penalty that cost Spain victory in their game on Saturday, Kepa found himself on the bench initially for a top-of-the-table clash with Sweden but he was called into action after an hour when his replacement, David De Gea, was forced off with what appeared to be a hamstring injury.By that point, Sweden were already one goal up, scored by Marcus Berg of Krasnodar but although it was a stoppage-time equaliser which had delayed the Spanish qualification in the last game, the boot was on the other foot this time. Valencia player Rodrigo scored with 92 minutes played to give Spain the point they needed to guarantee their place at next summer’s finals.
With Italy having qualified for Euro 2020 with three games to go when they won at the weekend, Jorginho was given a rest when he was named among the subs for a game away to Liechtenstein. Italy won 5-0.
There was disappointment for Christian Pulisic and the United States in a CONCACAF Nations League qualifier when they lost to Canada for the first time since 1985. The result was 2-0 with Pulisic withdrawn after an hour having experienced flu-like symptoms in the days leading up to the match. Matt Miazga was an unused sub.
At Under-19 level, goalkeeper Karlo Ziger was an unused sub for Croatia who lost a European Championship qualifier 2-0 away to group-leaders Georgia.