Norwich City's Carrow Road to host England U21
Carrow Road will host England Under-21's European Championship play-off first leg against Romania next month.Stuart Pearce's men qualified from their group last week after wins over Portugal and Lithuania secured their place as one of the four best placed runners-up, and the were drawn with Romania in Friday's draw in Denmark.
Carrow Road will host England Under-21's UEFA European Championship play-off first leg against Romania next month.
Stuart Pearce's men qualified from their group last week after wins over Portugal and Lithuania secured their place as one of the four best placed runners-up, and the were drawn with Romania in Friday's draw in Denmark.
The Three Lions will host their opponents at the home of Norwich City on Friday, October 8 (kick-off: 7.30pm) before travelling to Romanian for the decider on the following Tuesday.
“The game is massive for England and massive for our young players to give them some cutting edge experience of big international football matches at a great venue,” said Pearce.
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“We've had some decent results at Norwich before and we've always been helped by a very passionate support. The atmosphere they create at Carrow Road, where the fans are really tight in to the pitch, generates some great noise and we'll want to recreate that with a big crowd there.”
Carrow Road has seen plenty of international football over the years, having hosted England matches at Under-23, Under-21, Youth, Amateur and Women's levels.
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A crowd of 38,000 saw an Under-23 team including legends Bobby Charlton and Jimmy Greaves play Czechoslovakia in the 1950s, while the Under-21s have been to Norwich three times and won all three matches.
They include a 4-1 against Denmark in a European Championship qualifier in 1983, and 4-2 against Greece in the second leg of a play-off in 1997, as well as a 5-0 friendly win over Slovakia on their last visit three years ago.
Next month's meeting with be England's sixth with Romania at Under-21 level, with the Three Lions having won twice, drawn twice and lost once - but the only defeat came in the Romanian town of Ploesti, 30 years ago.
Since then England have won Euro qualifiers 3-0 at Swindon Town's County Ground in 1981 and Ipswich Town's Portman Road in 1985.
Most recently, a friendly at Bristol City's Ashton Gate three years ago saw Matt Derbyshire give England an early lead before the visitors scored a freakish goal on 25 minutes to earn a 1-1 draw.
“We're looking forward to the game but we know it's going to be tough,” added Pearce. “The Romanians have qualified strongly against some good opposition so we'll need to be really well supported on the night, so I'd urge everyone to come along and see us in action.”
Next summer's European Championship finals will be held in Denmark.
t Tickets for the Carrow Road fixture are on sale, priced �10 adults and �5 for those under-16 or over-60s. Visit www.canarystore.co.uk or call 0844 826 1902.