England under-21s extended their unbeaten start and remain top of their Euro 2019 qualifying group after a 2-0 win in Ukraine.
Dominic Solanke gave England a half-time lead at the Obolon Stadium in Kiev and Aidy Boothroyd’s side doubled their advantage in the second period through defender Pavlo Lukyanchuk’s own goal.
The Young Lions, who drew their opening qualifier in the Netherlands before wins against Latvia, Scotland and Andorra, remain top of Group F on 13 points.
Both sides threatened in the opening exchanges, with Ivan Zotko firing wide inside the first minute following a corner, while Leicester forward Demarai Gray’s shot forced Ukraine goalkeeper Andriy Lunin to save.
Lunin was at full stretch to keep out Ainsley Maitland-Niles’ low shot in the 15th minute, but within 60 seconds the Young Lions took the lead.
Well done to our #YoungLions, who won 2-0 in Ukraine to continue their strong start to #U21EURO qualifying 👏https://t.co/AWn9kgkycF pic.twitter.com/mYoWHhrzra
— England (@England) November 10, 2017
Midfielder Kieran Dowell teed up Solanke in the penalty area and the Liverpool striker finished with a low shot into the bottom corner.
Ukraine went close nine minutes before the break when Oleksandr Zinchenko’s shot from the edge of the area flew inches wide.
England goalkeeper Angus Gunn held another long-range effort from Zinchenko soon after the restart and then foiled Artem Besyedin and Zinchenko again as Ukraine pressed for an equaliser.
But England rode the storm and increased their lead in fortuitous circumstances in the 62nd minute when Lukyanchuk diverted Gray’s cross past his own goalkeeper Lunin.
Besedin headed just wide for Ukraine following a free kick with 25 minutes left and Gray was a fraction away from adding England’s third when he pulled a low shot off target from inside the area.
Ademola Lookman forced another low save from Lunin with a goal-bound angled shot in the final minute.