England’s chances of reaching the quarter-finals of the U21 European Championship hang on a thread after a slack performance and a loss to Portugal

After England lost to Switzerland in the opening game, it was the second best country to fail to score

Dany Mota’s low, angled shot and Francisco Trincao’s penalty decided the game in the second half in Ljubljana

England must now beat Croatia and hope Portugal beat Switzerland to get out of Group D

Even if England and Portugal win, there would be a three-way battle between England, Croatia and Switzerland for a place that will probably be leveled by the goal difference Croatia beat Switzerland 3-2 on Sunday

The warning signs for England were already there in the third minute on Sunday when Ben Godfrey was forced to stave off a Mota attempt from his own goal line

England ignored them or, more precisely, was largely powerless to do anything against a far superior opponent

Everton’s defender Godfrey had to do a similar salvage job in the last ditch later in the first half and again denied Mota with a glide device on the near post when Aidy Boothroyd’s side battled to maintain parity before the break

With Fabio Vieira and Vitinha both firing just out of range while traffic continued to flow in one direction, it was only a matter of time before the impasse was broken

Mota was the one to do it, and Pedro Goncalves collected a decent pass in the box before shooting his shot straight into the far post

Trincao got the game off the ground outside of England after Marc Guehi got stuck in a shoe and caught substitute Goncalo Ramos in the box

Qualification will also go beyond them unless they get a significantly improved performance against Croatia on Wednesday

England U21 boss Aidy Boothroyd told Sky Sports: “It’s deeply disappointing. You have to honor your opponent. They are a very good team and we got them on a good day

“We didn’t create nearly enough Given the goals we scored up front that was a real strength of this group. Creating opportunities and points is a big part of who we are So it’s really disappointing and something that we need to fix before the final game

“We wanted to bring the game to Portugal. We stuck to the schedule in the first half – we wanted to be in the game at half time. That is not a penalty from my point of view to go again

“It’s still mathematically possible and we will fight to the end. We came here to play three games and we intend to. We wanted to go into the last game with that still in our hands and it ain’t like that”

Attempt missed Gonçalo Ramos (Portugal U21) right footed shot from the left inside the box, but the ball misses to the right. Assisted by Trincão

Attempt blocked Pedro Gonçalves (Portugal U21) right footed shot from the left side of the box is blocked. Assisted by Trincà £ o

England U21

World news – GB – England’s hopes for the Euro U21 hang on a thread

Source: https://www.bbc.co.uk/sport/football/56551054