LIVERPOOL new-boy Jordan Henderson was left disappointed after England were eliminated from the European Under-21 Championships in Denmark.
Stuart Pearce’s side, needing a win to secure progression to the semi-finals, were beaten 2-1 by the Czech Republic in Viborg, having led the game as late as the 89th minute.
Danny Welbeck’s 78th minute header looked to have given England victory, but Pearce’s men capitulated within sight of glory, and late strikes from Jan Chramosta and former Tottenham striker Tomas Pekhart secured the Czechs a last-four meeting with Switzerland on Wednesday.
Group B winners Spain, who comfortably beat Ukraine 3-0, will play Belarus in the other semi-final.
For Henderson, the Reds’ new £16m signing, it was frustrating evening. The former Sunderland man struggled to find his best form in midfield, and was replaced by Arsenal’s Henri Lansbury after 64 minutes as Pearce’s side chased the game.
There was slightly better news for Liverpool’s England under-17 contingent, however, as they helped their side to a hard-fought 2-0 over Rwanda at the World Cup in Mexico.
Young winger Raheem Sterling was on target for John Peacock’s side, netting a stunning 25-yard strike to clinch victory in the tournament opener in Pachuca. Everton’s Hallam Hope, with his 11th goal in 14 under-17 internationals, was also on target, as England deserved their win.
Sterling’s fellow Reds Brad Smith, Matty Regan and Adam Morgan also featured for England, with Tyrell Belford and Jack Dunn unused substitutes.
Peacock’s side face Canada in Pachuca on Wednesday, knowing a win will ensure qualification for the knockout stages.
They complete their Group C schedule in Torreon against Uruguay next Saturday.
Meanwhile, reports that Liverpool have agreed a terms for the signing of Wigan star Charles N’Zogbia have been dismissed by both clubs.
Rumours surfaced yesterday that the French international winger would be on his way to Anfield, but the ECHO understands that these stories are wide of the mark.
Reds boss Kenny Dalglish remains in the hunt for a wide player, with Aston Villa’s Stewart Downing believed to be top of his wish-list.