Eddie Nketiah became England Under-21s’ leading goalscorer as they beat Turkey at Molineux

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Eddie Nketiah became England Under-21s’ leading goalscorer as they beat Turkey at Molineux to book their place at next year’s European Championship.

Nketiah missed an 84th-minute penalty but coolly clipped in a record 14th goal at this level four minutes later.

England went ahead through Huseyin Turkmen’s own goal, deflecting Ryan Sessegnon’s cross into his net.

Aaron Ramsdale kept out Halil Dervisoglu’s penalty, but the Turkey striker netted a consolation late on.

Unbeaten England’s qualifying campaign has been exceptional, as they have won seven of their eight games, with their only blemish coming in a surprise 3-3 draw at minnows Andorra last time out.

But Aidy Boothroyd’s side finish top of Group Three with two games to spare and reach their eighth consecutive European Championship.

Borussia Dortmund teenager Jude Bellingham bossed the midfield but it was fellow Bundesliga player Sessegnon, on loan at Hoffenheim from Tottenham, who created the opener with his burst from the left – with Turkmen sticking a foot out to turn the ball into his own net.

But despite seeing a goal disallowed for offside and missing a penalty, Nketiah broke through to score a minute from time and take his goals tally past those of former England captain Alan Shearer and Francis Jeffers.

Captain Nketiah told BT Sport: “It is amazing. It is nice to get the three points but to beat the record is a dream come true and a proud moment for me and my family. There are still games left to add to that.

“I was disappointed with the penalty but I made sure I stayed cool when the chance fell to me and it was a nice finish.”

Boothroyd added: “Eddie Nketiah is in esteemed company with Alan Shearer. He is a terrific player and I genuinely think if he can have the career Alan has had, he will have done really well.”

Amid a busy fixture calendar, next year’s tournament – which is to be hosted in Hungary and Slovakia – has been split over two periods.

The group stages will take place in March and the knockout stage – featuring the quarter-finals, semi-finals and final – will be played from 31 May to 6 June.


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