Debut for Knight

Tuesday 12 February 2002

Fulham defender Zat Knight made his debut for England under 21's in Nova Gorica Slovenia this afternoon as England beat Slovenia 1-0.

Knight came on in the 60th minute along with the scorer of the only goal, Shola Ameob of Newcastle, replacing right back Stephen Wright

The Newcastle forward pounced after 65 minutes to hit the only goal of the game, and to give David Platt yet another win at the Under-21 helm.

England gave an encouraging display, with the likes of David Dunn and Stephen Wright outstanding.

Platt's side made an assured start, though Slovenia almost opened the scoring after a ludicrous backpass from Gareth Barry sailed just over Paul Robinson's crossbar.

Jermaine Pennant and Jermaine Jenas combined well but the linesman's flag denied the visitors, as the duo tried to create an opening midway through the first-half.

Captain Dunn showed what a talent he is with another impressive display in midfield, and was England's best player for much of the first period.

His industry caused Slovenia no end of problems, and the Blackburn Rovers man went close to scoring on the half-hour mark with a fierce long-range effort.

Slovenia were reduced to 10 men after 35 minutes after West Ham's Jermain Defoe was cynically fouled by Lunder when on a one-on-one with keeper Fornezzi.

England continued to push, and eventually opened the scoring through substitute Ameobi.

Derby's Malcolm Christie did the hard work to set up the goal and Ameobi could not miss from his precision cross.

England managed to hold on and this win will further lift confidence ahead of this summer's European Championships.

Starting Line-up;

1 Paul Robinson, 2 Stephen Wright, 3 Paul Konchesky, 4 Jermaine Jenas
5 Chris Riggott, 6 Gareth Barry, 7 Jermaine Pennant, 8 Scott Parker
9 Malcolm Christie, 10 Jermain Defoe, 11 David Dunn (c)

12 David Prutton on for 8 Scott Parker (45 mins)
13 Nick Weaver on for 1 Paul Robinson (64 mins)
14 Zat Knight on for 2 Stephen Wright (60 mins)
15 Shola Ameobi on for 10 Jermain Defoe (60 mins)
16 Matthew Etherington of for 11 David Dunn (45 mins)