England finish top; Scotland out

  • Last Updated: September 10 2012, 22:24 BST

A review of Tuesday night's Under-21 European Championship qualifiers involving British sides and the Republic of Ireland.

  • Connor Wickham scored the only goal of the game for England Under-21s against Norway.
  • Scotland's hopes ended with defeat against Austria. 
  • The Republic of Ireland beat Italy 4-2. 

Connor Wickham's first goal for the Under-21s saw England finish top of Group Eight as nearest rivals Norway were beaten 1-0 at Chesterfield's Proact Stadium.

Results earlier in the day meant both sides had already booked their places in next month's knock-out double-headers.

But the group - and in theory a more favourable draw as one of the seeded teams in Friday's draw - was up for grabs in Derbyshire, and Stuart Pearce's side won it courtesy of Wickham's strike two minutes before half-time.

It was one of few chances England created in a lacklustre contest and in the end the Young Lions made hard work of the victory, with Norway having the better of the second half and unlucky not to equalise when Havard Nielsen's effort struck the underside of the crossbar and rebounded to safety.

Scotland Under-21s lost 3-2 to Austria as their hopes ended with their first defeat of the campaign.

Johnny Russell had put Scotland ahead in the 74th minute after Tony Watt cancelled out Michael Gregoritsch's early opener but Billy Stark's side could only hold on to their lead for 90 seconds before Andreas Weimann equalised.

Raphael Holzhauser scored on the counter-attack as Scotland threw men forward in a bid to secure a last-gasp winner at the Cashback Arena in Altach.

Inverness midfielder Aaron Doran scored twice as the Republic of Ireland rounded off their qualifying campaign with a superb 4-2 win over Italy in Casarano.

Defeat to Hungary on Thursday had ended hopes of nudging into a play-off place in Group Seven but Noel King's men finished with a flourish despite finishing the game with nine men after two red cards.

Sean Murray put Ireland in front in the 23rd minute but Luca Caldirola equalised on 35 for the Italians, who were already guaranteed qualification as group winners.

Another Italian victory seemed certain when Derrick Williams was sent off in the 37th minute for a professional foul, but Aaron McCarey saved the resulting penalty and instead it was the visitors who took control.

Two goals in as many minutes just before the hour from Doran and Conor Henderson gave the Irish a 3-1 lead and they made it four eight minutes from time when Doran added his second of the game.

Anthony Forde was the second Republic player to see red for two bookable offences in the final minutes, and Stephan El Shaarawy grabbed a consolation goal for the home side in injury time.

Wales' qualification campaign ended on a disappointing note as they were hammered 5-0 by Group Three winners Czech Republic in Jablonec nad Nisou.

Geraint Williams' side could no longer advance from the group after their home defeat to Armenia last month, but had been looking to end the campaign with a good performance.

But, after a bright start, those hopes were firmly dashed as Filip Novak, Tomas Wagner, Ondrej Vanek and Stanislav Tecl (2) helped the hosts to an emphatic win.

Northern Ireland ended their qualifying campaign with a 3-0 defeat against Denmark in Aalborg.

The home side scored all three goals before half-time as they secured second place in Group Four, with Northern Ireland second bottom with just four points.

Emil Larsen, Mads Albaek and Andreas Laudrup scored the Denmark goals.