Kosovo U21 0-6 England U21: Aidy Boothroyd’s Young Lions continue perfect start to Euro qualifiers after Eddie Nketiah hits perfect hat-trick in thrashing to close in on Alan Shearer’s goal record
- England U21s beat Kosovo U21s to extend their perfect record in Euro qualifying
- Eddie Nketiah scored the opener for Aidy Boothroyd’s men just after the break
- Nketiah then netted his double four minutes after the first with a textbook finish
- The ace’s hat-trick came from the penalty spot after Conor Gallagher was fouled
- Reiss Nelson bagged England’s fourth as the floodgates well and truly opened
- Ryan Sessegnon and Jude Bellingham rounded off the scoring for the visitors
The captain’s armband and a perfect hat-trick: Eddie Nketiah’s rise continued, with Alan Shearer’s goalscoring record firmly in his sights.
England Under 21s are moving closer to next year’s European Championship, this a fifth consecutive qualifying victory, and their skipper for the night is now just two short of Shearer’s 13 at this level.
A breakthrough took time, patience required against combative opposition, but ended in a rout. Nketiah’s attention to improving his link-up play with Arsenal boss Mikel Arteta is clearly paying dividends yet, crucially, he remained just as ruthless inside the box.
Eddie Nketiah netted a superb hat-trick as England U21s routed Kosovo in Euro 2021 qualifying
The Arsenal ace is closing in on Alan Shearer’s scoring record after bagging three quick goals
Three goals in 10 minutes took the game away from Kosovo, with Chelsea midfielder Conor Gallagher’s contribution and a first goal on debut for Jude Bellingham other highlights in Pristina.
Nketiah had struck the bar from Gallagher’s free-kick just after half-time but opened the scoring six minutes into the second half.
Tom Davies had broken ranks from midfield, sauntering inside the box, to stand a cross up for the striker, waiting at the back post to nod home unmarked.
Nketiah scored the first with a header, before burying with his right and from the penalty spot
Reiss Nelson, Nketiah’s Arsenal team-mate, was also on target after finding the roof of the net
That was a poacher’s effort and so was the second, four minutes later. Davies was again involved, his skewed shot finding a loitering Nketiah and his instincts were sharp, spinning to clip past Florian Smakiqi. Kosovo cried offside but Nketiah was clearly on.
The hat-trick was complete just after the hour, Gallagher clumsily hauled down inside the box. Nketiah stroked home, right footed, yet England were not done.
Bellingham made an instant impact from the bench. Reiss Nelson had notched the fourth, then the Dortmund midfielder came into his own, starting a move for Ryan Sessegnon’s fifth, before then proving why the Bundesliga club paid £25million for him.
Bellingham hunted possession inside the box, dropped a shoulder, and caressed into the far corner, in a move that bodes very well for the future.
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