Ghana and Branswaite reach Euro final
James Garner and Jarrad Branthwaite reached the final of the European Under-21 Championship after England beat Israel 3-0 in the semi-final on Wednesday night.
Garner played the entire game for Lee Carsley’s side in his sixth World Cup, with Branswaite sitting out as England secured their place in Saturday’s final.
Garner, who played right-back in a very successful World Cup campaign, was selected again tonight as England play in the semi-finals in Batumi, Georgia.
Garner was impressive again, completing 59 passes with a success rate of 95.2%, while also winning five of the seven ground duels.
Throughout the Cubs’ run to this stage, he’s started all but one game, showing his versatility and strength.
Against Israel, a surprise semi-finalist, England flew out of the box and Emile Smith-Rowe tested the opposition keeper early on.
His side had a great chance to break the deadlock 13 minutes later, but Morgan Gibbs-White missed a penalty after a lengthy VAR check.
Despite missing a penalty early on, England took the lead in the first half, controlling possession and playing fluid football.
Garner played a huge role in the build-up and after 38 minutes he delivered a provocative cross which was brilliantly intercepted by the Israeli defender.
The pressure mounted and Gibbs-White gave England a well-deserved lead at half-time.
Cole Palmer delivered a perfect cross and Gibbs-White made no mistake, heading the ball powerfully into the top of the net.
England continued to dominate after the break. Smith-Rowe and Gordon’s quick succession of efforts forced Tomel Chafati into action.
One of the keys to England’s success has been their excellence at all stages and another brilliant move saw them double their lead.
Smith-Rowe slid the ball across the net, where the rushing Palmer stretched and netted.
The goal was initially disallowed for offside, but after a VAR check, that decision was overturned and the Cubs had a cushion.
With England keeping a clean sheet throughout the game, Israel needed a miracle to come back and Ghana was again a key part of a strong defensive performance.
Cameron Archer gave the cherry on top of the cake with a three-pointer before the final whistle, calmly firing a kick into the top of the net.
The result means England face either Spain or Ukraine in Saturday night’s final (starting at 5pm BST).