Cameron Archer of England celebrates with James Hill after scoring their side's third goal during the UEFA European Under-21 Championship Qualifier between Kosovo U21 and England MU21 at Stadium Fadil Vokrri on June 1

Kosovo U21 0-5 England U21: Cameron Archer at the double as England U21s thump Kosovo U21s | Soccer News

Cameron Archer’s double inspired England Under-21s to a 5-0 rout of Kosovo.

Keane Lewis-Potter’s first Young Lions goal and Anthony Gordon’s strike put Lee Carsley’s side in command before Archer’s second-half double.

Ilir Krasniqi’s late own goal compounded Kosovo’s woes and saw England extend their lead at the top of Group G to six points.

They had already reached Euro 2023 after Tuesday’s 3-0 win over Albania in Chesterfield and wrap up their campaign in Huddersfield against Slovenia on Monday.

How Archer inspired England U21s to resounding win

Head coach Carsley made eight changes following the Albania victory, with just Manchester City pair Taylor Harwood-Bellis and Tommy Doyle and Everton winger Gordon keeping their places.

The Young Lions made a flying start in Pristina to lead 2-0 inside 13 minutes.

Lewis-Potter nodded in Harvey Elliott’s cross in the second minute of his full debut and Gordon doubled their lead with another header after being set up by Max Aarons.

England goalkeeper James Trafford, making his U21s debut, was forced into action in the 32nd minute when he kept out Qendrim Zyba’s long-range effort.

The Young Lions went straight on the offensive at the start of the second half and were rewarded with a third goal in the 52nd minute.

Elliott was again the provider, finding Archer with a short pass into the box and the Aston Villa forward curled a neat finish into the bottom corner.

Archer, also making his first U21s start, had come off the bench to net against Albania on Tuesday.

The Young Lions were denied a fourth soon after when Kosovo goalkeeper David Nreca-Bisinger made a flying save to tip Jacob Ramsey’s 20-yard shot onto the crossbar.

But the fourth arrived with 18 minutes left when Ramsey’s neat pass carved open Kosovo’s defense and Villa team-mate Archer despatched a low left-footed finish.

Krasniqi’s own goal after some calamitous defending from the hosts wrapped up victory with five minutes remaining.

Carlsley wants England U21 players to keep improving

Carsley urged his England U21s to keep raising the bar after they thumped Kosovo.

Carsley said: “The bar is constantly getting raised and it’s important you keep up, the players who played tonight and on camp are more than capable of representing their country and improving the team.

“The guys back home need to keep improving themselves. We have got the depth, but they all want to play, it’s important their club form and form they have when they are with us is consistent.

“I definitely wanted to win the game but it was important we saw as many players as we could. If you think about the players who came in, they are outstanding.

“I thought they did all the things you’d expect an U21s player to do. They played with a mentality to make a good impression.

“They are never easy wins, though with 5-0 you would say it was comfortable.

“To have a start like that is a dream, brilliant for Keane. There are a lot of positives, there are things we can improve. If we want to keep improving as a squad we need to make sure we are more difficult to play against .

What’s next?

England U21s take on Slovenia at the John Smith’s Stadium on Monday at 7.45pm.

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