Norwich City's Rudd stars for England

Norwich City goalkeeper Declan Rudd made a string of important saves to help England to victory over Austria in their opening match in the European Under-19 Championships in France.

Norwich City goalkeeper Declan Rudd made a string of important saves to help England to victory over Austria in their opening match in the European Under-19 Championships in France.

West Ham's Frank Nouble scored twice in the 3-2 win over Austria in Flers.

The 18-year-old striker, who played against the Canaries last season while on loan at Swindon, scored twice in the first half before Austria pulled a goal back through a David Alaba free-kick, but Arsenal defender Thomas Cruise extended the lead.

Austria's Gernot Trauner scored to make it a nervous end to the game but coach Noel Blake's side held on and now face the Netherlands on Wednesday and France on Friday.


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Rudd distinguished himself with a save from Christian Klem's 25-yard shot and, after he was beaten by Alaba's free-kick, he made a fine stop in a one-on-one against Marco Djuricin, then denied Austria a late equaliser when he spectacularly tipped over a powerful shot from Alaba.

Blake said afterwards: “There's a lot more to come from us I feel. It's a tricky one in the first game because you're semi-cautious that you don't want to lose the first game as it's then hard to pick up again.

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“I thought it was a good game though, with two teams trying to score goals and play the right way as well.

“We've scored three goals, but I'm disappointed with the ones we've conceded because this team doesn't generally concede many.”

Speaking ahead of last night's game on FA.com, Rudd said: “It's massive and not many people get to play in a competition this big. It's the biggest occasion that I will ever have been involved in and I will learn a lot from it and it can help me progress forward.

“It's in everyone's mind that we reached the final last year and I think we would all like to go one better and win it this time.

“As a group, we have high expectations and we're not in it just to take part. We're in it to go all of the way so we're looking to do the best we can.”

England will be hoping to book a semi-final berth by beating the Dutch on Wednesday.

The semi-finals are on July 27, with the final three days later.

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