England U21s 5-0 Bosnia U21s: Abraham brace helps Young Lions end Euro qualifying campaign in style

Tammy Abraham scored a brace on his Under-21s debut as Aidy Boothroyd's England ended their 2017 Euros qualifying campaign with an impressive 5-0 thrashing of Bosnia & Herzegovina in Walsall.

England U21s 5-0 Bosnia U21s: Abraham brace helps Young Lions end Euro qualifying campaign in style
(Picture: Getty Images/Tony Marshall - The FA)
England U21s
5 0
Bosnia & Herzegovina U21s
England U21s: Walton; Iorfa, Stephens, Chalobah (Chambers, min. 45), Galloway; Swift, Hayden, Onomah; Watmore, Grealish (Redmond, min. 73), Abraham (Gray, min. 73).
Bosnia & Herzegovina U21s: Piric; Memija, Satara, Sanicanin, Civic; Popovic, Cerimagic, Redjic, Sadikovic, Hadziahmetovic; Bajic.
SCORE: 1-0, min. 14, Swift. 2-0, min. 18, Abraham. 3-0, min. 49, Onomah. 4-0, min. 62, Watmore. 5-0, min. 68, Abraham.
REFEREE: Mohammed Al-Hakim (IRQ). Yellow cards: Hayden (min, 29), Civic (min, 73), Swift (min, 81).
INCIDENTS: Final U21 European Championship qualifier between England Under-21s and Bosnia & Herzegovina Under-21s at Walsall FC's Banks's Stadium. Attendance: 5,263.

Tammy Abraham scored a brace on his debut as England Under-21s ended their European Championship qualifying campaign on a high with a 5-0 rout of Bosnia & Herzegovina on Tuesday afternoon.

The Young Lions' victory in Kazakhstan last week had already sealed their place in next summer's finals in Poland, but Aidy Boothroyd's rotated side still put bottom-of-the-table Bosnia to the sword with a ruthless display in Walsall.

John Swift opened the scoring with a blistering drive from distance before the in-form Abraham followed in a rebound to put the hosts in command at the break.

Tottenham Hotspur's Josh Onomah fired a third before Duncan Watmore of Sunderland made it 4-0, Abraham soon rounding off the scoring with a well-taken chip from close-range to end their qualifying campaign without defeat after eight games.

Nine England changes as fringe players get a chance

Interim manager Boothroyd, stepping up from the Under-18s in the absence of Gareth Southgate - who has himself taken an interim first-team role after Sam Allardyce's departure - named three debutants.

The England squad pose for their line-up picture before kick-off in Walsall.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

With Abraham earning his first start up-front, Onomah and Newcastle United midfielder Isaac Hayden were handed their first bows at U21 level while Luton Town loanee Christian Walton made his first appearance in goal. 

The gulf in quality, with Bosnia entering this game without a win and all of their three points having come courtesy of goalless stalemates, was apparent from the off.

Quickfire Swift and Abraham strikes put hosts in control

Despite making nine changes to the team that won in Aktobe last Thursday, the home side were 1-0 ahead inside 16 minutes when Reading midfielder Swift was afforded too much space on the edge of the area.

He controlled Grealish's pass inside from the left wing and took one touch to get to get the ball out of his feet before firing a powerful dipping strike which Bosnian goalkeeper Kenan Piric was helpess to prevent breaking the deadlock.

John Swift's dipping strike from distance put England 1-0 up early on.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

And though Bosnia had conceded just once in their last four qualifiers - including a goalless draw with England last November - it was 2-0 just four minutes later as Abraham marked his first start with yet another goal.

The 19-year-old, on loan at Bristol City from Chelsea, was the quickest to pounce on the rebound after Piric beat away Onomah's effort, guiding the ball into the bottom corner for his 12th goal of the season in just 15 games for club and country. 

Young Lions soon extend their advantage

England continued to dominate possession throughout the remainder of the first-half and looked the more likely to add to the scoring, with Watmore firing over the crossbar.

But Walton was called into action to deny Bosnia a route back into the game, tipping over Armin Cerimagic's well-hit strike after a dangerous counter-attack.

Boothroyd's side remained solid to preserve their lead into half-time, when captain Nathaniel Chalobah was forced off with a knock sustained in the closing stages of the opening period.

Grealish, Watmore and Onomah celebrate England's fourth goal.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Calum Chambers came on to replace him at centre-back but England's rhythm wasn't disrupted and within five minutes of the restart, it was 3-0 as Onomah got in on the act.

The teenager, who scored his first goal for Spurs last month in the EFL Cup, was found by the head of Grealish inside a crowded box after Bosnia failed to clear the ball and Onomah spun towards goal, driving a shot low and hard beyond Piric.

Boothroyd's side complete memorable afternoon

It would have been easy for England, who won the Toulon Tournament under Southgate's charge in May for the first time in 22 years, to ease off of their opponents from there but they did exactly the opposite.

Instead, they played with excellent pace and tempo as they went in search of extending their lead - which they soon did.

Watmore had a couple of opportunities in which he looked to round the 'keeper, but he was twice frustrated - the second chance coming off a sublime Swift through ball, before he was pushed too wide by Piric. 

But it wasn't long before it was 4-0 as Grealish earned his third assist, sending Watmore through on goal with a dinked pass and the Sunderland man poked beneath Piric for the goal that his efforts warranted.

And Watmore set up one himself soon after, putting Abraham into space inside the box and the striker oozed confidenced as he delicately lifted a lob over the goalkeeper for his second of the afternoon and England's fifth.

Abraham celebrates scoring his second to make it 5-0 to England after 68 minutes.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

With 20 minutes remaining it could still have been more as Abraham - on his hat-trick - and Man of the Match Grealish made way for Leicester City forward Demarai Gray and Southampton's Nathan Redmond.

Gray in particular had one effort well saved after a teasing run saw him dance between a few Bosnian challenges on the edge of the area, but they ultimately had to settle for just the five goals in front of a 5,000-strong crowd at the Banks's Stadium.

That, plus the clean sheet, meant England finished four points clear at the summit of Group 9 - remaining unbeaten as they scored 20 goals and conceded just three across eight games, with Boothroyd now having overseen two wins from two in his temporary tenure.