Football: Advantage Greece as England falter late on

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The Independent Online
Greece Under-21 2

England Under-21 0

Traianos Dellas scored one goal and Nikos Liberopoulos added another as England's Under-21 side succumbed to two late goals to their Greek counterparts in a European Under-21 Championship play-off first-leg in Iraklion, Crete, yesterday.

Dellas opened the scoring from a free-kick from outside the area, which took a wicked deflection, in the 74th minute. Liberopoulos made it 2-0 with a twice-taken penalty kick, conceded by goalkeeper Richard Wright, in injury time. Moments earlier John Curtis, the Manchester United defender, had been sent off after being shown his second yellow card.

Peter Taylor's England team, who had conceded only one goal in their eight group matches, had been under severe pressure for much of the match. The second leg is at Norwich on 17 December.

GREECE UNDER-21: S Liberopoulos, Lakis (Kostoulas, 79), Dermitzakis, Dellas, Antzas, Goumas, Mavrogenidis, Kiassos, Konstaninidis, N Liberopoulos, Stoltidis.

ENGLAND UNDER-21: Wright (Ipswich); Scimeca (Aston Villa), Curtis (Manchester Utd), Hall (Coventry), Serrant (Oldham), Hughes (Arsenal), Lampard (West Ham), Quashie (Queen's Park Rangers), K Dyer (Ipswich), Heskey (Leicester), B Dyer (Crystal Palace). Substitutes: Moses (Barnsley) for K Dyer, 77; Davies (Southampton) for Heskey, 79.

Referee: H Fernandez (Spain).