A Curtis Jones goal and a late 2-0 lead weren’t enough to save England from crashing out of the group stage of the U21 European Championship tonight, and tempers flared after the final whistle. The Young Lions appeared to be headed to the knockout rounds of the competition, but a 91st-minute goal by Croatia’s Domagoj Bradarić sent his side through over England on head-to-head goal difference despite the 2-1 defeat.
Jones, whose goal had given England their 2-0 advantage in the second half, received a second yellow card, and subsequent red, after the final whistle due to his involvement in an on-field scuffle between the two teams. According to England U-21 manager Aidy Boothroyd, the dust-up was created by a combination of emotions running high and Croatian celebrations amongst the England players.
“All their staff were on the pitch and celebrating in between some of our players and it just got a bit fraught,” said Boothroyd.
Things went a little better for the other Liverpool players in action today. Andy Robertson captained Scotland to a 4-0 victory in their World Cup Qualifying match against Faroe Islands. The left-back assisted Scotland’s fourth goal, and the win, along with draws against Austria and Israel earlier in the international break, puts Scotland in second place in Group F.
Meanwhile, Xherdan Shaqiri played the first half in Switzerland’s 3-2 friendly victory over Finland. The win capped off a very successful international slate for the Swiss after WCQ group wins over Bulgaria and Lithuania.
Thiago Alcântara (Spain) and Kostas Tsimikas (Greece) were both unused substitutes for their respective national teams. Tsimikas was apparently injured in Greece’s last match, but there doesn’t appear to be any new information on his status at this time.