England Under-21's hopes of reaching the semi-final of the European Under-21 Championship are hanging in the balance after they fell to a 4-2 defeat to Romania in dramatic fashion.
After suffering defeat at the hands of France in the first game, England needed a win to remain in control of their own destiny, but they are now staring elimination in the face.
Romania began brightly and arguably should have taken the lead in the first half, only for England to grow into the game as the half-time break approached. However, the real fun began after the interval.
Phil Foden and James Maddison came close to putting the Young Lions ahead, but it was Romania who took the lead. Everton youngster Jonjoe Kenny, who replaced Aaron Wan-Bissaka in the lineup, sent Florinel Coman crashing to the ground in the penalty area, allowing George Puscas to fire Romania ahead after 76 minutes.
AWB put in one of the worst displays I’ve seen against France. Jonjoe Kenny thought he could do one better and actually put in an even worse performance. My word he’s diabolical— Lou (@louorns) June 21, 2019
After that, it was madness.
Just minutes later, England were level in spectacular fashion. Leicester City's Demarai Gray sent a curling effort through a crowd of players and into the back of the net, giving England a lifeline in the competition.
Aidy Boothroyd's side pushed on, but were undone late on after a Fikayo Tomori error gifted Ianis Hagi what looked to be the winning goal but, believe it or not, the fun was just getting started.
Interesting to see Ianis Hagi score for the Romanian under 21 team against England today. His father Gheorghe was one of the very best players I have ever seen.— Wayne Connolly (@KeeperOfPybus) June 21, 2019
Ianis Hagi is a 10 and baller just like his dad— 🏁 (@1MisterH) June 21, 2019
With 87 minutes on the clock, Chelsea's Tammy Abraham gave England yet another chance to save themselves when he poked home to make the score 2-2. Unfortunately, another individual error gifted Romania another sloppy goal as Coman's long-range effort somehow found a way through Manchester United goalkeeper Dean Henderson and into the back of the net.
Yet again, England pushed on. Abraham headed against the bar and Gray came close to finding his second, but it was Coman who would have the last laugh.
If there was an air of good fortune about his first, there certainly was not for his second. The forward chested the ball down before unleashing a thunderous volley past Henderson, who had absolutely no chance of stopping such a ferocious effort.
The referee brought an end to the excitement shortly after, and the 4-2 defeat leaves England on the brink of elimination. If France avoid defeat against Croatia on Friday evening, the Young Lions will live to fight another day, but it's a big if.