Valiant Knight not enough

Wednesday 22 May 2002

England went out of the European Under-21 Championships in Switzerland on Wednesday evening after losing 3-1 to Portugal.

Zat Knight continued to hold down his place in the centre of England's defence as he hardly put a foot wrong against a typically skilful Portuguese side.

Sean Davis missed the encounter after picking up his second yellow card of the tournament in the defeat against Italy. And it certainly looked like England were missing his steadying influence in the middle of the park.

Portugal took the lead in the 8th minute through Teixeira, and doubled their lead shortly after through Makakula.

England staged a brief resurgence and managed to get a goal back through Smith. But Portugal put the match beyond David Platt's team in the 69th minute after a goal from the impressive Hugo Viana. The Sporting Lisbon star, who was called up to Portugal's World Cup squad on Wednesday, looks set to be the subject of interest from a host of European sides this summer.

The result means that both Zat Knight and Sean Davis will return home having carried the flag well for Fulham's players in the Championships. However, Davis' tournament will no doubt have a tinge of disappointment after his two yellow cards effectively reduced his total playing time to just over a match and a half.

Yet Fulham's interest in the Championships hasn't ended with Steed Malbranque's France through to the semi-finals.