England under 17s moved one step closer to qualifying for this year’s European Under 17 Championship in Malta with a win over Albania this afternoon.
Chelsea striker Isaiah Brown scored the only goal for John Peacock’s men just after half-time.
The win sees England take maximum points from their opening two fixtures, with only Italy to face on Sunday.
The game against the Italians could be a winner-takes-all encounter as they face Czech Republic later today in an attempt to match England’s 100% record.
Brown’s ‘false nine’ role allowed Adam Armstrong to get in behind and Armstrong had the game’s first real opportunity as he got on the end of Ainsley Maitland-Niles low cross. However, the Newcastle striker could only hit his effort down the goalkeeper’s throat and it was comfortably saved.
Alessio Hyseni almost leveled the scores but he saw his effort blaze high and wide from point-blank range at the back post.
Maitland-Niles and Josh Sims linked up to create another good chance for England but it looked like it just wasn’t to be their day – until Brown struck.
Josh Onomah’s mishit shot found Brown free at the back post where he had the simple task of slotting home on 50 minutes.
Dom Solanke, the goalscorer in England’s win over Czech Republic, and Manchester United’s Demetri Mitchell were both introduced but neither were able to add a second.
However, England held on and captured a deserved three points. Victory against Italy on Sunday will see them through.