England triumph as Pearce rings changes

England effort: Marvin Sordell shoots against Israel at Oakwell last night.               Picture: Martin Rickett/PA Wire
England effort: Marvin Sordell shoots against Israel at Oakwell last night. Picture: Martin Rickett/PA Wire
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England Under-21s came from behind to secure a comfortable victory over Israel in tonight’s friendly at Oakwell.

Stuart Pearce’s Young Lions found themselves a goal down in the 25th minute when the visitors broke forward and Mohammad Klibat looped a shot past Ben Amos.

Martyn Waghorn equalised with a header 13 minutes after the break and a Marvin Sordell thunderbolt put England in front moments later.

A penalty from Nathan Delfouneso with eight minutes of normal time remaining and a finish from fellow substitute Henri Lansbury in injury time put the gloss on the win.

Head coach Pearce had said he would make changes from last Thursday’s 6-0 European Championship qualifying triumph over Azerbaijan.

And so only two players retained their place in the first XI, with one of them, Jack Rodwell, assuming the skipper’s arm.

Amos, Andre Wisdom and Ross Barkley were the debutants amongst those to come into the team.In total, seven of the line-up were making their first start for the Under-21s.

Sordell saw a deflected effort bobble into the arms of goalkeeper Boris Kleyman before Or Barough went close for the visitors with a header.

England were behind as Israel cleared a corner and launched a swift counter-attack which was rounded off by Klibat’s curling strike beyond Amos.

It was almost 2-0 soon after when Nir Bitton drove wide, but Pearce’s youngsters were inches away from an equaliser when another free-kick from Shelvey narrowly cleared the crossbar.

The pressure paid off in the 58th minute as Oxlade-Chamberlain crossed from the right and Waghorn headed past Kleyman to net his second goal in successive matches.

It took just two minutes for England to score again, Sordell putting the hosts ahead.

England were firmly in control and added a third goal in the final 10 minutes, Delfouneso confidently dispatching the spot-kick after Oxlade-Chamberlain was brought down in the box.

Lansbury then wrapped up the win at the death.