England under-21’s beat Azerbaijan

England under 21s manager Stuart PearceEngland under-21’s have beaten their equivalents from Azerbaijan 2-0 on Thursday night in Baku.

Goals from Liverpool’s Jonjo Shelvey and Tottenham’s Steven Caulker secured victory for the visitors, who are now five points clear at the top of their UEFA under-21 championships qualifying group.

With only a fixture against Norway left to play, Stuart Pearce has admitted that he is pleased with the progress made by his team.

“We are pleased to have won the match and hopefully that puts us in a situation that sees us in the play-offs,” The Guardian quotes Pearce as saying.

“We gave our best. We’ve played better, but this was my strongest team available.

“Whenever you play international football, there is an expectation on your team and we knew Norway were putting pressure on us to win the group with their game tonight, in Belgium.

“I think it was the game we expected it to be, a very tight game.

“Azerbaijan are an improving nation. The first two group games were difficult for them, coming to England and Belgium.

“Since then, their results have been very, very good,” he concluded.

By Gareth McKnight