Connor Wickham

Wickham goal secures England win

by Stuart Vose

Striker’s winner sparks ugly scenes.

Connor Wickham scored the winning goal as England’s under-21s sealed their place at next summer’s Euro 2013 tournament in Israel with a 1-0 victory in Serbia.

Holding a one-goal lead from the first leg, England only needed a draw to qualify but notched an away win when Wickham, on as a substitute, struck in injury time after home keeper Branimir Aleksic was caught upfield.

However, the win in Krusevac was marred by ugly scenes as players and backroom staff clashed at the final whistle.

Wickham’s Sunderland colleague, Danny Rose, was dismissed and indicated he was racially abused by members of the crowd.

An FA statement released afterwards read: “The FA condemns both the scenes of racism and the confrontation at the final whistle during which time our players and staff were under extreme provocation. 

“The FA has reported a number of incidents of racism to UEFA following the fixture. These were seemingly aimed at a number of England's black players by the crowd. The matter is now with UEFA.”

Sunderland’s chief executive, Margaret Byrne, added: “As a club we strongly believe that the power of football should be used to promote inclusion and celebrate diversity and there is no place for any form of racism within the game of football and society as a whole.

“The scenes in Serbia last night shocked everyone and Sunderland Football Club wholeheartedly backs the Football Association’s stance on the matter.”