England sink Israel to reach Under-21 Euros final

England Under-21s reach the final of the Under-21 Euro 2023 Championships with a comprehensive 3-0 win over Israel in Wednesday’s semi-final at the Adjarabet Arena.

England Under-21s reached the final of the Under-21 Euro 2023 Championships with a comprehensive 3-0 win over Israel Under-21s in Wednesday’s semi-final at the Adjarabet Arena.

Goals from Morgan Gibbs-White, Cole Palmer and Cameron Archer deservedly propelled Lee Carsley‘s side into the showpiece match, where either Spain or Ukraine – who lock horns later this evening – will stand in their way of a fourth Under-21 continental crown.

The Young Lions already had Israel’s number from their 2-0 group-stage win over Guy Luzon‘s team last month, and the first half of their semi-final followed a similar script, as England dominated the ball and were presented with a golden chance to take the lead with 17 minutes gone.

After Emile Smith Rowe had somehow failed to convert two chances – one hitting an Israel defender and the other being kept out by Tomer TzarfatiAnthony Gordon picked up the loose ball, but he was felled by Karem Jaber.

Referee Morten Krogh pointed to the spot, although the VAR room took a good few minutes to give their seal of approval, and the delay appeared to affect Gibbs-White, who sent his spot kick well wide of the post.

Besides that chaotic episode, there was little to write home about in the opening exchanges, with England largely struggling to carve out clear-cut chances against a deep Israel backline.

James Trafford also had little to worry about in the England goal, and with 42 minutes gone, Nottingham Forest’s Gibbs-White went from zero to hero to put England in front.

Palmer – in for the injured Jacob Ramsey – picked out the run of his compatriot with a pinpoint inswinging cross into the box, and Gibbs-White got in between two white shirts before jumping with his back to goal and directing a sublime header into the top corner.

A lethargic Israel were content to get to half time with just the one-goal deficit to reverse – evidenced by their baffling refusal to put pressure on Levi Colwill when the Chelsea man stood stagnant with the ball in the centre circle for several moments.

If the Israel fans were not already frustrated enough, they were made to witness their side come under a barrage of attacks from England early in the second half, as Carsley’s men sought to put the tie to bed.

The Young Lions briefly thought they had doubled their lead when Smith Rowe squared for a sliding Palmer to tap home at the back stick in the 64th minute, but the offside flag initially spared Israel’s blushes.

However, following another lengthy review, Smith Rowe was deemed to have been onside when receiving Gibbs-White’s pass, and the goal was given, ostensibly extinguishing any faint hopes of an Israel fightback.

A few forays forward from the Young Chosen team amounted to nothing, and any doubts were laid well and truly to rest in the 90th minute, as substitute Archer was left in acres of space inside the box to pick out the roof of the net from Palmer’s layoff.

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