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Result: England Under-21s claim convincing win over Scotland U21s

The much-changed visitors had already qualified for next summer’s finals.

England concluded their European Under-21 Championship qualification campaign unbeaten with a convincing 2-0 win over their Scotland counterparts at Tynecastle.

The much-changed visitors had already qualified for next summer’s finals in Italy and San Marino with seven wins and two draws in their previous fixtures.

They bossed the match against their traditional rivals, although it took until the hour-mark to get the opener through a textbook curling free-kick from attacker Reiss Nelson before midfielder Kieran Dowell fired in a second in added time.

Scot Gemmill’s side, who had no chance of qualification from Group D, struggled with the power, pace and strength of the visitors who are now 35 games unbeaten in qualifiers.

Gemmill made three changes to his side with keeper Ross Doohan, Oliver Shaw and Billy Gilmour coming in while England boss Aidy Boothroyd changed his whole side apart from goalkeeper Dean Henderson.

The Three Lions dominated the first-half which began with Doohan making comfortable saves from Harvey Barnes’ 25-yard drive and a header from striker Tammy Abraham.

England tightened their grip on the game and in the 27th minute Dowell’s corner from the right met by the towering captain and defender Jake Clarke-Salter but he headed over the bar.

Seconds after Scotland captain Ross McCrorie volleyed over the bar from eight yards following a David Bates knock down from a Lewis Morgan free-kick, the visitors sped up the other end but Barnes lifted his shot over the bar from inside the box after being set up by Abraham.

As the pressure began to intensify the home side escaped again when the Chelsea striker, on loan at Aston Villa, volleyed a Barnes cross wide of the target from 10 yards before his deflected drive from 14 yards was blocked by the foot of Doohan.

Scotland v England – 2019 UEFA Euro U21 – Qualifying – Group Four – Tynecastle Stadium
Scotland U21’s Ross McCrorie, left, tackles England U21’s Kieran Dowell (Craig Watson/PA)

There was no respite for the Scots as a glancing header from forward Dominic Solanke just cleared the bar before midfielder Joshua Onomah fired another effort wide.

The second-half continued along similar lines.

Doohan dived down to his right to push a low drive from Barnes round the post before Scotland survived a couple of corners.

The young Scots could barely get out of their own half and after McCrorie was booked for fouling Dowell 30 yards from goal when Bates’ pass had put him under pressure, Nelson, on loan to Hoffenheim from Arsenal, curled in a wonderful free-kick which gave Doohan no chance.

England refused to allow the home side to get into the game and in yet another attack by the visitors, Solanke’s untidy back post header appeared to come off the post.

A rare Scotland foray in the 84th minute saw Henderson, hitherto a spectator, save Morgan’s angled-drive before Bates’ header from the corner landed on top of the net.

Dowell made certain of a deserved England win, however,  with a thunderous drive from outside the box in the two minutes of added time and there could have been no Scotland complaints.

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