Oct 10, 2014 at 5.45pm UK
England U21sEngland Under-21s
2-1
Croatia U21sCroatia Under-21s
Kane (58'), Berahino (85' pen.)
Dier (69'), Moore (83')
FT(HT: 0-1)
Livaja (13')
Zuparic (49'), Pavicic (80'), Pasalic (81')

Result: Saido Berahino penalty gives England Under-21s advantage

Saido Berahino scores a penalty late on to give England Under-21s a 2-1 win in the first leg of their European Championship playoff against Croatia Under-21s

A late Saido Berahino penalty has given England Under-21s a 2-1 win in the first leg of their European Championship qualification playoff against Croatia Under-21s at Molineux this evening.

Nathan Redmond tried to put the visitors under pressure early on with a quick break down the right flank before sending in a cross for Tom Carroll, but the Croatia keeper got the the ball first.

Saido Berahino of England runs away to celebrate after scoring his teams second goal from the penalty spot during the UEFA U21 Championship Playoff First Leg match between England and Croatia at Molineux on October 10, 2014© Getty Images

The away side broke the deadlock inside the opening quarter of an hour when Niko Datkovic flicked the ball on for Marko Livaja from a corner, leaving the striker with a simple head in from close range.

Harry Kane looked for a quick equaliser for the Young Lions after winning a free kick around 30 yards out, but his set piece flew well high of the bar.

The keeper appeared to be beaten later in the first half as Luke Shaw unleashed a powerful effort, but his driven shot came back off the inside of the post.

17-year-old Ante Coric, who was making his full debut for the Under-21s, came close to doubling Croatia's lead, curling a 25-yard effort towards goal, but Jack Butland diverted it behind.

Redmond and Liam Moore also had chances for the hosts before the half-time whistle, but the Croatian defence did enough to ensure that Gareth Southgate's men trailed at the break.

After a couple of changes early in the first half, England managed to get back on level terms just before the hour mark when Berahino picked out Kane with a cross, setting the Tottenham Hotspur forward up for a tap in.

Kane almost gave the home side the lead inside the final 15 minutes after Redmond made another pacy run down the wing, but his finish missed the target.

However, England were handed a chance to find a winner in the last five minutes when Dominik Livakovic brought Berahino down in the box, and the West Bromwich Albion forward calmly converted the resulting penalty, ensuring that the side heads into Tuesday's second leg with a one-goal advantage.

England Under-21 manager Gareth Southgate gives instructions to his players during a training session at St Georges Park on September 3, 2013
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