Football: Lita too late to save Taylor's men from Dutch masterclass

England Under-21 1 Netherlands Under-21 2
Click to follow
The Independent Online
LEROY LITA, of Bristol City, grabbed a late consolation goal for England last night but Peter Taylor's side could not stop the Netherlands gaining a deserved victory at Pride Park.

A best-ever crowd for an England Under-21s home fixture - the 33,184 comfortably beating the 32,865 for a match against France in 1999 - saw the home side comprehensively outplayed and out-muscled.

Collins John, Fulham's Dutch striker, started the rot with a goal in the 18th minute, stabbing home from close range. John scored on this ground against Derby in the FA Cup. Foppe De Haan's side went further ahead before the interval when Eldridge Joger headed past Liverpool goalkeeper Scott Carson.

Lita got his goal in the 90th minute - the 20-year-old heading in from close range. Peter Taylor said later: "We gave two poor goals away defensively, but I thought we showed a lot of character in the second half.

ENGLAND UNDER-21: Carson (Liverpool); Hoyte (Arsenal), Baines (Wigan), Huddlestone (Derby), Taylor (Newcastle), Ridgewell (Aston Villa), Routledge (Crystal Palace), Whittingham (Aston Villa), Cole (Chelsea), Ashton (Norwich), Milner (Newcastle). Substitutes: Camp (Derby) for Carson, 46; Lita (Bristol City) for Hoyte, 65; Welsh (Liverpool) for Baines, 46; Marney (Tottenham) for Routledge, 70; Stead (Blackburn) for Cole, 41; Richardson (Blackburn) for Ashton, 46. Substitutes not used: Harding (Brighton),

Watson (Crystal Palace), Carter (Birmingham), Lonergan (Preston).

NETHERLANDS UNDER-21: Waterman; Verhaegh, Wolfgang (Maduro, 77), Van Mosselveld, Braafheid, Schaars, De Ridder, Fafiani (Tuyp, 85), John, Hofs, Joger (Korf, 83). Substitutes not used: De Zeeuw, Pasveer, Van Der Struyk.

Referee: D Ceferin (Slovenia).

l Bradley Wright-Phillips made his England debut as part of the Under- 20 side who beat Russia 2-0 at The Valley last night with goals from Chinedum Onuoha and Lloyd Sam. Half-time substitute Wright-Phillips, 19, was watched by his dad Ian Wright. Manchester City's Onuoha marked his first cap by opening the scoring after five minutes, and second-half substitute Sam sealed the win with 10 minutes left with his first touch.