The opening fixtures of Group C in the European Under-21 Championship saw some impressive performances, as well as some surprising results.

The most shocking was Romania's 4-1 thrashing of the supposedly promising Croatia side, who displayed their attacking prowess but weren't able to hide their defensive frailties.


The latter of the two matches saw England take on France in an action-packed encounter, which the French eventually won.

A couple of mistakes leave England winless along with Croatia, as France and Romania battle it out for top spot at this very early stage in the competition.

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Romania 4-1 Croatia 

This young Croatia side couldn't have marked their return to the Euros with a more disappointing result, following a 15-year absence from the competition.

Things started very poorly as they found themselves 1-0 down after 11 minutes when Palermo forward George Puscas opened the scoring from the penalty spot.

Things got even worse for Croatia just three minutes later when the tricky Ianis Hagi - renowned for his ability to use both feet - added a second leaving Croatia with a mountain to climb.

They attempted to do this, showing fight of their own and getting on the scoreline just four minutes after Romania's second goal in what was an exhilarating beginning to the match.

They continued to display their attacking prowess, but were unable to get back on level terms.

A 66th minute goal from Romania's Tudor Baluta put the game well out of Croatia's reach, before Adrian Petre added a fourth late on.

This 4-1 defeat leaves Croatia bottom of the group, and now face an uphill battle to progress further in the competition. 

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England 1-2 France


With 0-0 on the board going into half-time, it might have appeared that this highly anticipated encounter was not living up to expectation, but that wasn't the case.

England arguably had the best of the chances but weren't clinical enough in front of goal, only to suffer a sucker punch when France were awarded a soft penalty for handball. There was a sense of justice in the outcome though, as Dean Henderson saved a strike from highly-rated Lyon striker Moussa Dembele.

At the start of the second half, England continued their dominance and took the lead through the mercurial Man City starlet Phil Foden, as he skipped past a handful of French defenders before cooly slotting the ball into the bottom corner from the edge of the box.


England's hopes of holding onto their slender lead however were dealt a bitter blow as Leicester City man Hamza Choudhury's reckless challenge handed France their second penalty of the game, as well as a red card to the England man. 

This time it was Hassem Aouar who stepped up, but the result remained the same. His attempt cannoned off the post; England took a sigh of relief but there was plenty of work still to do.

Some heroic defending put England's 10-men so close to securing a hard-fought win, were it not for Lille forward Jonathan Ikone. He had been a thorn in England's side the entire match before finally putting France level in the 89th minute.

Then, in the 95th minute a mistake from Crystal Palace starlet Aaron Wan-Bissaka saw him divert an effort into his own net to gift France all three points. 

A late French comeback leaves England - like Croatia - requiring victories in their remaining matches.