Gareth Southgate disappointed to throw away victory chance

26 March 2016 09:23

England Under-21s boss Gareth Southgate was left to rue wasted chances after Switzerland fought back to claim a 1-1 draw in their Euro 2017 qualifier in Thun.

On-loan Hull striker Chuba Akpom opened the scoring for England just after the break and Southgate's side had numerous opportunities to seal three points.

James Ward-Prowse hit a post with a free-kick, while Akpom also saw an effort cleared off the line seconds before Florian Kamberi levelled for the Swiss with 15 minutes remaining.

England remain three points clear at the top of Group Nine, but, while Southgate was satisfied with a share of the spoils, the former Middlesbrough manager felt it could have been more.

"We had some really good chances to kill the game and we've let a poor goal in on the counter, but we should have put it to bed really," he told BT Sport Europe.

"Of course we are disappointed not to win, but we said before the game to the players that a draw away from home would not be a disaster.

"We've still got a bit to do, but we are in control of our own destiny and in a strong position."

England were ahead within three minutes of the restart through Akpom, but the goal owed much to the approach play from debutant Demarai Gray.

The Leicester winger jinked his way into the area after a neat turn and put the ball on a plate for Akpom to convert from 10 yards.

"The goal was created brilliantly by Demarai Gray and I thought he was outstanding all night, he was a real problem for the Swiss," added Southgate. "It was a super debut from him.

"I'm also pleased with Kortney Hause on his debut, it's not easy to come in on an artificial pitch as a centre-back and make your debut."

Liverpool winger Jordon Ibe, a first-half substitute for the injured John Swift, was sent off in added time for a second booking and Southgate felt it was a fair decision.

He said: "I don't think we can have any complaints that it is two yellow cards, that is what it is."

Source: PA

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