Abraham on target as England U21s seal Euro 2017 place

Date published: Tuesday 11th October 2016 6:15

Tammy Abraham: Stock continues to rise

Tammy Abraham: Stock continues to rise

England Under-21s wrapped up their road to Euro 2017 in style with a crushing 5-0 win over Bosnia.

Tammy Abraham’s brace and goals from John Swift, Josh Onomah and Duncan Watmore sealed their qualification campaign in Walsall.

Victory means the Young Lions, who had already reached next year’s tournament in Poland as Group 9 winners, end the campaign unbeaten.

They brushed off the loss of manager Gareth Southgate, who took over the senior side after Sam Allardyce’s departure, and now have the chance to exorcise the ghosts of Euro 2015 after they went out at the group stage.

After Thursday’s 1-0 victory in Kazakhstan sealed qualification interim boss Aidy Boothroyd made nine changes, including starting Aston Villa midfielder Jack Grealish and handing Abraham a full debut.

The hosts drew 0-0 in Sarajevo, one of only three points Bosnia have won in qualifying, last November and the rock-bottom visitors enjoyed a plucky opening five minutes without threatening.

England slowly gained control though and two quickfire goals put them in command.

First Reading midfielder Swift thumped the hosts ahead after 14 minutes when he collected Grealish’s pass and arrowed a 25-yard drive into the top corner.

Four minutes later Abraham, the Sky Bet Championship’s eight-goal top scorer, marked his full bow as he cashed in from six yards after Kenan Piric parried Onomah’s effort.

From then the hosts were dominant and Sunderland’s Watmore fired over from the edge of the area after 30 minutes.

England’s victory was never in doubt once Swift opened the scoring and the marauding Watmore caused problems and he forced Piric into a smart save 10 minutes before half-time.

Despite being a spectator for the majority of the half Christian Walton was finally called into action when he turned over Armin Cerimagic’s drive to maintain England’s 2-0 lead at the break.

The hosts continued to press in the second half and, four minutes in, Tottenham’s Onomah made it 3-0 when he capitalised on some questionable defending to turn and fire low into the corner.

Watmore got in on the act after 62 minutes when he raced clear and slotted past Piric and the goalkeeper turned Abraham’s header over 90 seconds later.

But the Bristol City striker, on loan from Chelsea, did grab his second in the 68th minute when he chipped over Piric after Watmore’s pass.

Substitute Demarai Gray had the chance to make it 6-0 but Piric gathered his low effort as the hosts settled for five.

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