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Pearce delighted as Chelsea striker Sturridge nets England U21 winner

England U21 boss Stuart Pearce was delighted with his players after their 1-0 win over Portugal last night.

The pressure was on going into Friday night's European Championship qualifier in Barcelos with England, who were runners-up at the last tournament, knowing defeat would end their chances of qualifying for next summer's finals in Denmark.

But Chelsea striker Daniel Sturridge's goal in the 32nd minute proved enough to claim a precious three points as England closed to within two points of Group 9 leaders Greece.

Victory over Lithuania in Colchester on Tuesday should now be enough to book a play-off spot.

Pearce said: "I was very pleased and it keeps us in the mix for Tuesday evening as well.

"Going into Tuesday's game, when the fixtures for the group were decided, we felt as though, if we were going into the last game having to win it to go into the play-offs, then we'd take that probably, and that's the situation we're in."

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