Jordan Pickford produced a late penalty save as England Under 21's secured a hard-fought goalless draw in their Group A opener with reigning European Champions Sweden.
Everton's new £30 million keeper had little to do for long spells but earned his side a share of the spoils when he stood up well to keep out Linus Wahlqvist's dinked spot kick nine minutes from time.
The Young Lions had started brightly but faded as the Scandinavians bossed the second period. Malmo forward Pawel Cibicki was a growing menace and hit the crossbar with the best strike of the match just before the hour.
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England rarely threatened but also struck the woodwork when Leicester's Ben Chilwell's speculative effort took a big deflection off a defender.
Aidy Boothroyd's side will now turn their attention to their next Group A clash, against Slovakia on Monday June 19.

Ben Chilwell of England tackles Linus Wahlqvist of Sweden and causes a penalty shot during the UEFA European Under-21 Championship match between Sweden and England at Arena Kielce on June 16, 2017 in Kielce, Poland.

Image credit: Getty Images

TALKING POINT

Pickford keeps England on track. It's been a whirlwind couple of days for Pickford and he'll have done his reputation no harm at all by keeping out that penalty. The stats show that only 23% of teams qualify for the knockout stage after losing their opening match at this tournament, and England owe their goalkeeper a real debt of gratitude for a vital late save. The Young Lions will have been happy with the pool they were drawn into and will only have themselves to blame if they don't progress with Slovakia and hosts Poland still to come.

Jordan Pickford of England saves a penalty shot from Linus Wahlqvist of Sweden during the UEFA European Under-21 Championship match between Sweden and England at Arena Kielce on June 16, 2017 in Kielce, Poland.

Image credit: Getty Images

MAN OF THE MATCH

Pawel Cibicki (Sweden). The Malmo starlet was behind Sweden's best moments and his influence grew as they dominated the second period. Unlucky to hit the crossbar with a shot Pickford got nowhere near.

PLAYER RATINGS
ENGLAND U21: Pickford 8, Holgate 6, Mawson 7, Chambers 7, Chilwell 6, Murphy 6, Ward-Prowse 6, Chalobah 6, Baker 6, Redmond 5, Abraham 6. Sub: Gray 6.
SWEDEN U21: Cajtoft 6, Wahlqvist 7, Larsson 7, Dagerstal 7, Lundqvist 7, Hallberg 7, Tibbling 7, Fransson 6, Olsson 7, Engvall 6, Cibicki 8. Subs: Strandberg 6, Mrabti 5, Tankovic n/a.
Matchcast: Full match stats and commentary
KEY MOMENTS
28' - SWEDEN CHANCE. Cibicki jinks in from the right and plays a delightful one-two with Gustav Engvall, but his shot flies way over the top.
34' - ENGLAND CHANCE. Murphy lets rip from 25 yards but sees his effort flash inches over the bar.
44' - ENGLAND CHANCE. A long throw from the right is flicked on towards Abraham who flashes over an improvised volley with his back to goal.
57' - SWEDEN HIT THE BAR! Pawel Cibicki wastes little time with a sublime curving shot from the left edge of the box that cannons back off the woodwork!

Simon Tibbling of Sweden and Nathan Redmond of England during the UEFA European Under-21 Championship match between Sweden and England at Arena Kielce on June 16, 2017

Image credit: Getty Images

66' - SWEDEN CHANCE. Strandberg rampages into the left side of the area but flashes into the side netting after a lovely through ball had sent him galloping through.
67' - ENGLAND HIT THE BAR. Another long throw from England causes problems. Chilwell has a speculative effort from 30 yards that hits a defender and clips the bar on the way over. Close!
72' - ENGLAND CHANCE. Ward-Prowse curves the 25-yard free kick towards the keeper's bottom right-hand corner, but is thwarted by a smart save from Sweden's No.1.
81' - PENALTY SAVE! Pickford stays big and sticks up an arm to keep out Linus Wahlqvist's dink down the middle.The Sweden defender had won the spot kick after Chilwell was penalised for a lugning tackle.
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