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 Posted by PA Sport
Nov 14, 2013

Berahino brace as England cruise

Saido Berahino paid tribute to his father on a night in which his brace helped England Under-21s to a comprehensive 3-0 win against Finland.

Saido Berahino scores his second against Finland.
Saido Berahino scores his second against Finland.

The 20-year-old's father was one of the estimated 300,000 killed in the civil war that plagued Burundi, leading to him leave the capital of Bujumbura for Birmingham a decade ago.

Berahino has since become an important member of the England youth setup and this evening netted a brace for Gareth Southgate's side as they won their Euro 2015 qualifier in front of senior manager Roy Hodgson.

Michael Keane opened the scoring from an excellent James Ward-Prowse free-kick after 21 minutes, but the 20-year-old West Brom striker was soon on the scoresheet.

After the impressive Luke Shaw saw a shot parried, Berahino slotted home simply from close range and showed a shirt with 'RIP Love U Dad' scrawled on it.

Berahino was rather harshly booked for the gesture following his 37th-minute strike, which he came close to adding to after Finland's Patrick O'Shaughnessy was sent off for a second bookable offence.

The striker saw that shot rattle the bar but he soon had the second he craved, netting his sixth goal in four appearances for Southgate's unbeaten side.

Berahino was in action from the start, getting his first shot away inside two minutes. The in-form West Brom striker netted when the countries drew 1-1 in Tampere two months ago, levelling after Moshtagh Yaghoubi's early strike.

The winger embarrassed Jack Butland that day with a long-range free-kick and attempted to beat him from another set piece after five minutes, only for his threatening effort from an acute angle to be blocked behind.

It was the closest Finland came despite an impressive start to the match, which began to unravel in the 22nd minute. Having waved away Wilfried Zaha's penalty appeals shortly before, Italian referee Paolo Valeri gave the hosts a free-kick after Raheem Sterling was fouled by O'Shaughnessy.

Ward-Prowse swung in the resulting set piece from the left flank and Keane headed home his second goal for the Under-21s.

Southampton team-mate Shaw was soon in on the act, hitting a fierce drive that Jesse Joronen could only parry, allowing Berahino to score from close range.

There were to be no more chances of note as the first half petered out, although Shaw was soon back in action with a dangerous cross that Joronen did well to sweep up.

England were playing with composure if not creating many chances, although they began to push on after Ward-Prowse came close with a fierce strike following good work by Ravel Morrison.

Zaha showed quick feet to beat his man but was unable to find a way past Joronen as the hosts continued to push, with substitute Thomas Ince unable to strike home shortly after coming on.

Finland's frustrations were epitomised by O'Shaughnessy, who was sent off after collecting a second yellow card in the space of 13 minutes after fouling Shaw.

Berahino struck the crossbar as England looked to capitalise on their man advantage, with Ward-Prowse and former Finland Under-21s international Carl Jenkinson coming close, before Berahino classily slotted home from sub Jesse Lingard's through-ball in stoppage time.

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