No time for sulking as Boothroyd tries to rally players


Boss Aidy Boothroyd has told his England Under-21s to pick themselves up after their heartbreaking late Euro 2019 loss to France. Aaron Wan-Bissaka’s injury-time own goal – when he sliced in despite Dean Henderson coming to gather the ball – condemned the 10-man Young Lions to an opening 2-1 defeat in Group C. Jonathan Ikone’s 89th-minute leveller had cancelled out Phil Foden’s sensational second-half solo strike in Cesena. England suffered defeat to France following a late own goal (Nick Potts/PA) Henderson earlier saved Moussa Dembele’s first-half penalty but the game turned after Hamza Choudhury was sent off for an awful tackle on Lille’s Jonathan Bamba just after the hour. Houssem Aouar’s resulting penalty hit the post but England caved to late pressure in Italy leaving them struggling to make the last four. Boothroyd said: “We are all very disappointed but we have no time for sulking. “We have another game coming up (Romania on Friday) and if we’re going to get out the group we need to get maximum points. Aidy Boothroyd was disappointed England did not take their chances in the first half (Nick Potts/PA) “If you don’t take your chances and stop your opponent you put yourself in a vulnerable position. “We could quite easily have gone in 3-0 at half-time. I thought we were the better team by a long way in the first half. “We tried to rally but in the end, it was just wave after wave of attack and we couldn’t get them off us. We take it and move on.” Leicester midfielder Choudhury apologised to Bamba immediately after his reckless tackle but the challenge changed the game. “He is devastated in there,” said Boothroyd, with England third in Group C after Romania’s 4-1 win over Croatia earlier on Tuesday. Hamza Choudhury was sent off as England lost to France (Nick Potts/PA) “There is no malice in him, he’s a good guy who thinks he has hurt a fellow professional and let his team-mates down. “It was just his enthusiasm to want to block the ball.” Boothroyd also refused to criticise Wan-Bissaka for his late mistake, slicing the ball over Henderson from close range as the goalkeeper came to take Jean-Philippe Mateta’s flick. He added: “To be perfectly honest all I saw at the end was everyone on the floor devastated. I haven’t had a chance to look at that yet.” Ibrahima Konate turned against his own post during England’s bright start but Henderson stopped Dembele’s penalty after Jake Clarke-Salter’s 25th-minute handball. Phil Foden scored a fine solo goal to put England Under-21s ahead against France (Nick Potts/PA) Foden scored nine minutes after the break when he beat three players and found the bottom corner. Choudhury was dismissed after a VAR review and Lyon’s Aouar missed his penalty before more late drama at the end. France boss Sylvain Ripoll also confirmed Bamba had gone to hospital for X-rays. He said: “He went to the hospital for medical tests. We hope there’s nothing broken. “I haven’t seen the footage but as far as I have been told they tell me a red was justified.” Topics Aaron Wan-Bissaka, Aidy Boothroyd, Phil Foden, International Match, England Phil Neville keen for England to send out ‘strong statement’ at World Cup Late Aaron Wan-Bissaka own goal gives France Under-21s victory over England Neville wants to win final World Cup group game against Japan Neville to pick strongest side possible as England end group stage against Japan Bolton administrators call for patience as takeover nears completion Barcelona give Liverpool ‘green light’ for £90m forward Manchester United could hijack Tottenham midfielder deal with ‘seductive’ £80m bid – report Manchester City to sign defender for more than twice the price they sold him for last summer Before the gold rush: remembering Chelsea’s last season before Roman Abramovich arrived Quiz! Can you name the 34 players with most caps for Brazil?

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