England v Greece, 03 March 2010

Score2-1 to Greece
RefereeMarijo Strahonja
CompetitionUEFA Under-21 Qualifying group 9
VenueKeepmoat Stadium
Attendance9,708
Kick-Off: 6.00pm MATCH REPORT ---------------------------------------------------------------------------------- Source: ESPN Soccernet England's hopes of qualifying for next summer's Under-21 European Championship suffered a major blow with defeat to Greece in Doncaster. Victory for Stuart Pearce's side at the Keepmoat Stadium would have taken them above their opponents to the top of Group Nine and within three points of qualifying for the play-offs. But they did not manage a meaningful effort on goal until the 35th minute, by which time they were behind to Kyriakos Papadopoulos' opener. A defensive blunder allowed Giannis Papadopoulos to pinch a second and a debut goal from Nathan Delfouneso 11 minutes from time came too late to prevent Pearce falling to a first home competitive defeat. England must now beat Portugal and Lithuania in their remaining qualifying matches and hope Greece lose to Macedonia to be sure of reaching the play-offs ahead of the finals in Denmark. Pearce gave a debut to Tottenham defender Kyle Walker at right-back while Lee Cattermole and Jack Rodwell returned after missing the double-header against Portugal and Lithuania in November through injury. The Greeks were without star player Sotiris Ninis, who scored against England in the 1-1 draw between the sides last year. Greece, managed by Pearce's former Newcastle team-mate Georgios Georgiadis, were unlucky only to take a point from their home encounter and they were much the better side in the early stages, with Elin Dimoutsos and Giannis Papadopoulos both shooting over. England, who were wearing black armbands in memory of Macclesfield manager Keith Alexander, were struggling to create chances with only Andy Carroll up front and it was Scott Loach who was called on to make the first save from Giannis Papadopoulos' shot. It was therefore no surprise when Greece took the lead in the 28th minute. Sokratis Papastathopoulos' header from a Giannis Papadopoulos corner was cleared off the line by Ryan Bertrand but only as far as Kyriakos Papadopoulos, who shot home right-footed. England upped the tempo in response and Tom Cleverley saw his 20-yard effort deflected onto the roof of the net while Cattermole then tested Asterios Giakoumis after a driving run from midfield. But the hosts would have been two down before half-time had Loach not got fingertips to Anestis Argyriou's angled drive. Things did get worse for England less than four minutes into the second half when hesitation in defence allowed Georgiadis' side to double their advantage. Cattermole halted a Vasileios Koutsianikoulis run just outside the box and, as Chris Smalling tried to let the ball run through to Loach, Giannis Papadopoulos nipped in to curl a shot into the bottom corner. Jack Wilshere found space 15 yards out thanks to a neat flick but could only sky his effort and Pearce reacted to his side's predicament by bringing on Chelsea striker Daniel Sturridge in place of holding midfielder Fabrice Muamba. Smalling was then in the right place to clear from almost on the goalline after Loach blocked a Dimoutsos effort while a poor touch from the Fulham defender almost released Konstantinos Mitroglou but he make amends with a decent tackle. That was Smalling's last meaningful action as he made way for Aston Villa striker Delfouneso. And five minutes after making his entrance, the 19-year-old gave England hope. Walker fired in a shot from the edge of the area and Giakoumis could only push the ball out to Delfouneso, who finished confidently. England, runners-up at the last European Championship finals in 2009, pushed for an equaliser during four minutes of injury time but failed to test Giakoumis again.

1  England

Manager: Stuart Pearce

2  Greece

Manager: Georgios Georgiadis

Goals:

Nathan Delfouneso 79 G

Goals:

Kyriakos Papadopoulos 28 G
Giannis Papadopoulos 48 G

Starting lineup:

Goalkeeper Scott Loach
Defender Micah Richards
Defender Chris Smalling
Defender Kyle Walker
Defender/Midfielder Ryan Bertrand
Defender/Midfielder Jack Rodwell
Midfielder Lee Cattermole
Midfielder Tom Cleverley
Midfielder Fabrice Muamba
Midfielder Jack Wilshere
Forward Andy Carroll

Starting lineup:

Goalkeeper Asterios Giakoumis
Defender Giannis Skondras
Defender/Midfielder Dimitrios Siovas
Midfielder Anestis Argiriou
Midfielder Elini Dimoutsos
Midfielder Dimitris Giantsis

Substitutions:

Daniel Sturridge for Fabrice Muamba 54
Nathan Delfouneso for Chris Smalling 74
Dan Gosling for Tom Cleverley 87

Substitutions:

Giorgos Katsikogiannis for Vasilis Koutsianikoulis 62
Athanasios Papazoglou for Kostas Mitroglou 72
Savvas Gentzoglou for Dimitris Giantsis 78

Cards:

Cards:

Anestis Argiriou 17 Y
Giorgos Katsikogiannis 84 Y

On the bench:

Goalkeeper Frank Fielding
Defender James Tomkins
Defender/Midfielder Dan Gosling
Defender/Midfielder Michael Mancienne
Midfielder Fabian Delph