Pompey starlet closes in on Euro final glory

Blues defender Sam Magri is impressing for England
Blues defender Sam Magri is impressing for England
Conor Chaplin and Brett Pitman. Picture: Shaun Boggust

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Sam Magri is one match away from the European Championships final after England under-17s defeated Serbia 3-0.

And they sealed qualification for next month’s World Cup in Mexico in the process.

The Pompey defender featured in the emphatic win over competition hosts Serbia on Monday.

They now face Holland in the semi-finals tomorrow at the Karadjordge Stadium in Novi Sad.

Kicking off at 10.30am, the clash will be screened live on Eurosport.

The winners will take on either Denmark or 2009 victors Germany in the final.

In the meantime, John Peacock’s side will have to focus on beating Holland, who topped Group B on the way to the semi-finals.

Magri has been an ever-present so far in the march to the semi-finals, starting all three group matches.

The Pompey Academy prospect has impressed in the centre of defence.

England needed to beat Serbia to remain in the competition – and also rely on Denmark defeating France in the other group match.

Peacock’s men had earlier drawn against France and lost to Denmark in a tightly-fought group.

Yet three early goals in Indjija from Brad Smith and Hallam Hope (two) put them on their way to victory over the hosts.

It was only midway through the second half, though, when news reached the camp that Denmark had opened the scoring against France.

That was how it remained, enabling England to maintain their bid to defend the title they won last year.

And coach Peacock has paid tribute to his side’s progress so far.

He said: ‘I’m delighted with them and we’re all looking forward to meeting Holland in the semi-final.

‘We do have some information on them already, so we will look at it and I’m sure it will be a fantastic game.

‘We performed particularly well against a good Serbia team.

‘We had to make sure we won, to secure qualification for the World Cup. That’s what we’ve done.

‘That was very important to us, first and foremost.’