Jesse Lingard scored a stunning late volley to salvage England Under-21s’ Euro 2015 campaign with a 1-0 victory over Sweden.
An opening-game loss to a strong Portugal side put England’s hopes of qualifying for the last eight under threat, and they were even further in jeopardy with the scores still goalless after 85 minutes in Olomouc on Sunday.
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But Manchester United youngster Lingard stepped up with a crucial winner, striking skilfully across the ball on the volley after a corner had been cleared to him at the edge of the box.
It was Lingard’s second goal in eight caps for the Young Lions. The 22-year-old has only ever made one senior appearance for United and spent the second half of last season on loan at Derby County.
Victory for England against Italy on Wednesday will guarantee them progress to the quarter-finals, while a draw would also be enough if Sweden fail to beat Portugal.
Manager Gareth Southgate will be without Alex Pritchard for England’s final group game. The Tottenham Hotspur playmaker left the stadium on crutches after picking up an ankle injury.