Carson clanger gifts Germany late point

England 2 Germany 2
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The Independent Online

Peter Taylor's England maintained their unbeaten record in the European Under-21 championship qualifying competition, but a mistake by the goalkeeper, Scott Carson, in the 89th minute cost them an opportunity to take a three-point lead at the halfway stage of their Group Six campaign.

Peter Taylor's England maintained their unbeaten record in the European Under-21 championship qualifying competition, but a mistake by the goalkeeper, Scott Carson, in the 89th minute cost them an opportunity to take a three-point lead at the halfway stage of their Group Six campaign.

With the score 2-1 to England and with little over a minute left on the clock, an attempted clearance by Carson struck German striker Mike Hanke and ricocheted into the path of substitute Roberto Hilbert, who found the net as Carson tried in vain to recover.

The Germans looked the more accomplished players technically, although in an open first half there were chances at both ends. None was more inviting than that which fell to Dean Ashton, but his composure deserted him with the goal at his mercy and the ball sailed over.

More often, however, it was the England goal under threat. Hanke was a frequent danger in the air, and Marcell Jansen brought a save late in the half from Carson, who also did well to turn a free-kick from Christian Pander around his left-hand post.

It was hardly a shock, then, that the visitors should take the lead soon after the break, Stefan Kiessling firing home from 12 yards. But the response from Taylor's team was emphatic. Darren Bent put them level within 90 seconds, his far-post header creeping past Rensing. Two minutes later, Glen Johnson crossed for Ashton to demonstrate the quality of his finishing, the Norwich City striker driving the ball fiercely past Rensing from wide on the left.

England Under-21: (4-4-2): Carson (Liverpool); Johnson (Chelsea), Hunt (Bolton), Davenport (Tottenham Hotspur), Ridgewell (Aston Villa); Milner (Newcastle Utd), O'Neil (Portsmouth), Huddlestone (Derby County), Richardson (Manchester Utd); Ashton (Norwich City), Bent (Ipswich Town). Substitutes: Welsh (Liverpool) for Ridgewell, h-t; Taylor (Newcastle) for O'Neil, 90; Rosenior (Fulham) for Richardson, 90. Substitutes not used: Camp (Derby, gk), Whittingham (Aston Villa), Stead (Blackburn Rovers), Ambrose (Newcastle).

Germany Under-21: (4-2-3-1): Rensing; Volz, Sinkiewicz, Matip, Pander; Lehmann, Fathi (Brzenska, 84); Kiessling (Hilbert, 80), Senesie (Ludwig, 66), Jansen; Hanke. Substitutes not used: Walke (gk), Callsen-Bracker, Hampel, Masmanidis.

Referee: J Jara (Czech Republic).

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