Berahino brace boosts England

A review of Thursday's European Under-21 Championship qualifying action, including a comfortable win for England.

Last Updated: 14/11/13 at 22:48 Post Comment   

Saido Berahino (right) grabbed two goals for England

Saido Berahino (right) grabbed two goals for England

Saido Berahino paid tribute to his father - and was punished for it - on a night in which his brace helped England Under-21s to a comprehensive 3-0 win against Finland.

The 20-year-old's father was one of the estimated 300,000 killed in the civil war that plagued Burundi, leading to him leave the capital of Bujumbura for Birmingham a decade ago.

Michael Keane opened the scoring from an excellent James Ward-Prowse free-kick after 21 minutes, but the 20-year-old West Brom striker was soon on the scoresheet.

After the impressive Luke Shaw saw a shot parried, Berahino slotted home simply from close range and showed a shirt with 'RIP Love U Dad' scrawled on it.

Berahino was booked for the gesture and will now miss England's next European Under-21 Championship qualifier but he soon had the second he craved, netting his sixth goal in four appearances for Southgate's unbeaten, table-topping side in stoppage time.

The striker told BT Sport: "I've had a few problems at home and I've been thinking about my dad and today I just wanted to do it for my dad.

"My mam's watching at home so I was just showing her that I still love my dad and always will.

"I was a bit disappointed (to get booked) because I was looking forward to (the next game against San Marino) but there's not much I can do. I'll just have to learn from that and not get another one the same way."

Meanwhile, Callum Paterson kept Scotland hopes alive by grabbing a late equaliser against Georgia.

The Hearts forward came off the bench to find the back of the net with an acrobatic overhead effort after Giorgi Chanturia had opened the scoring in the first half.

The draw kept the Scots level with the Georgians on seven points, with Holland and Slovakia out in front in Group Three on 10 points.

Manager Billy Stark said: "At the moment, 16 points is still gettable for us and that means you have a chance of qualifying.

"It's a really tough group. We have seen the quality of Slovakia and we have seen the quality of Georgia and we are cutting each other up a bit.

"We have a tough fixture against Holland in our next game but, if we can win that, we go into the last two games with optimism, albeit we won't underestimate the task of beating Holland here.

"We just have to show a bit more belief in ourselves.''

Northern Ireland Under-21s will not be going to the finals in 2015 after a 3-0 defeat to Italy saw their qualification hopes ended.

Steve Robinson's men still have three games left to play in Group Nine but, having lost five out of five so far, even if they were to win all three they would not have enough points to qualify for the play-offs.

Federico Viviani opened the scoring for the Italians in the 27th minute and late goals from Antonio Rozzi and Andrea Belotti sealed the win.


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