By Tom Beech | In England
England Under-21s suffered a setback in their Euro 2011 qualifying campaign as Greece snatched a 2-1 victory over Stuart Pearce’s men in Doncaster.
Micah – who has continued his return to full fitness with Manchester City in recent weeks – captained the side, partnering Manchester United signing Chris Smalling.
It was the latter who created the first half-chance as he headed Jack Wilshere’s cross down, but the Greek defence were on hand to clear the danger.
Asterios Giakoumis had his defender’s heart in their mouths minutes later as he dashed from his line, but Andy Carroll failed to take advantage with the goal at his mercy.
However, England weren’t having it all their own way, and Elini Dimoutsos’ volley flew just over the bar, whilst Kon Mitroglou forced Scott Loach into a fine save low to his right.
And soon after the visitors seized the lead. Kyriakos Papadopolous powered into the back of the net after a Greek corner, and few could argue that it wasn’t deserved.
England immediately came out on the attack, with Tom Cleverly seeing a shot deflected just over the bar, whilst Lee Cattermole twice forced the visitor’s stopper into saves as he instigated a one-man assault in attack.
If England harboured hopes of claiming the three points, they were dented quickly after half-time as Grrece doubled their advantage.
Cattermole slid in to make the interception only for his attempt to divert the ball to Papadopolous, and the forward tapped home to make it 2-0.
The following 20 minutes saw Greece successfully stifle the Three Lions in attack, whilst Anastasios Papazogolou flashed a header wide.
With ten minutes remaining, Pearce’s side did pull a goal back, Nathan Delfouneso well positioned to tap a parried ball home.
It was, though, in vain as Greece held on for the win and Pearce’s men go back to the drawing board in order to get their campaign back on track.