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Half-Time Report: England Under-21s on brink of European Championship exit

England Under-21s slip to a 2-0 reverse at half time against Italy to leave their European Championship hopes hanging by a thread.

England Under-21s are on the brink of an early exit from the European Championships after two goals in as many minutes gave Italy Under-21s a 2-0 lead at half time at the Ander Stadium.

The Young Lions started brightly, and Harry Kane almost profited from Nathan Redmond's teasing delivery early on before John Stones was alert to thwart Alessio Romagnoli inside the first 10 minutes.

Marco Benassi of Italy celebrates with team mates after scoring to make it 2-0 as Nathan Redmond of England looks on during the UEFA Under21 European Championship match between England and Italy at Andruv Stadium on June 24, 2015 © Getty Images

Kane then linked up neatly with Danny Ings on 13 minutes, but the new Liverpool striker could only flash his strike just wide of the post with the goal at his mercy.

Andrea Belotti opened the scoring on 25 minutes when he lobbed the ball over Jack Butland from inside the area after some sloppy marking of a free kick.

Danny Ings and Harry Kane look dejected after Italy score to make it 2-0 during the UEFA Under21 European Championship match between England and Italy at Andruv Stadium on June 24, 2015© Getty Images

The Italians doubled their advantage almost immediately when Marco Benassi was afforded plenty of room before finishing the move off, despite the best efforts of Ben Gibson.

England's response was a good one, and Kane fired in a long-range effort that forced Italian goalkeeper Francesco Bardi into action, after Redmond had earlier brought out a save on 41 minutes.

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Marco Benassi of Italy celebrates with team mates after scoring to make it 2-0 as Nathan Redmond of England looks on during the UEFA Under21 European Championship match between England and Italy at Andruv Stadium on June 24, 2015
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