Nathaniel Chalobah earned his ninth England Under-21 cap and played the whole of a 1-0 win over Moldova at Reading on Thursday night.
The match was the start of a qualification campaign for the next European Championships and the first to involved Chelsea’s assistant first team coach in the preparation of the England side.
The goal came early – scored by West Brom’s Saido Berahino on his debut at this level – but despite a firm grip on the game throughout, England did not take other chances that came their way, especially in the second half when Berahino was joined by Man United’s Wilfred Zaha and Derby’s Will Hughes in allowing gilt-edged opportunities to pass by.
Todd Kane remained on the bench so awaits his first Under-21 cap with the next game on Monday away to Finland.
Marco van Ginkel was the captain for Netherlands Under-21s in their 4-0 home victory over Scotland. Playing as a no.10, the Chelsea summer signing was outstanding as the Dutch scored all their goals in a 25-minute period in the second half.
He was withdrawn with 88 minutes played while Nathan Ake, making the step up from Under-19s, remained on the bench. It was also the Dutch side’s first game in qualification for the 2015 finals in the Czech Republic.
Thorgan Hazard scored the opening goal in Belgium Under-21s’ away game in Italy, his side going on to record an impressive 3-1 win against the nation that were losing finalists in the European Championships in the summer.
Hazard netted just after the break and was substituted after an hour. It is played two, won two in their group for Belgian Under-21s who also featured Romelu Lukaku’s younger brother Jordan, a defender on loan at Oostende from Anderlecht.
Chelsea players made a significant contribution to England Under-19s’ notable 6-1 victory away in Estonia. The match was a warm-up for next month’s European Championship qualifiers and all four in the squad played part of the game.
Mitchell Beeney made his debut in goal and played the first half, the score 3-1 at the interval. Ruben Loftus-Cheek also began the game before being replaced by his fellow Chelsea midfielder Lewis Baker just before the hour. The substitute certainly had an impact, scoring the fifth and sixth goals, both coming in the final few minutes.
Right-back Ola Aina played the second half; it was also his and Loftus-Cheek’s debut at this age level. Baker now has four goals from his six Under-19 appearances.
Isak Ssewankambo captained Sweden Under-17s in a 1-1 draw against Iraq in Istanbul, the match the first of a double-header held in Turkey. The midfielder played the whole game.