Euro U21 - Pearce's England crush nine-man Austria

England U21s continued their record-breaking winning streak with a 4-0 triumph, but overcoming nine-man Austria was hardly the test Stuart Pearce will have hoped for in the last scheduled match ahead of this summer's European Championships.

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Euro U21 - Pearce's England crush nine-man Austria

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Stuart Pearce (PA Sport)

The Young Lions' ninth consecutive victory without conceding was an easy one in the end and will put them in confident mood for the trip to Israel in June.

However, it was hardly the competitive fare Pearce will have craved as he looks to whittle down his options to a 23-man squad for the tournament.

Austria impressed in the first half and had threatened to breach the England backline for the first time in 16 months on more than one occasion.

However, the red cards handed out to Richard Strebinger and Patrick Farkas either side of half-time killed the game as a contest, with Jonjo Shelvey and substitute Josh McEachran netting from the resulting set-pieces.

Fellow substitute Marvin Sordell and man of the match Connor Wickham also got in on the act as England ran riot, although how much Pearce will take from the result is questionable.

The Republic of Ireland were edged out of a close game against Portugal, going down 2-1 at Oriel Park.

Noel King's men put up a spirited show but were not able to get a positive result, with Matthew Doherty's 70th-minute goal their solitary response to Francisco Junior's opener and Miguel Lourenco's header.

There was little home keeper Sean McDermott could have done about Junior's goal, with the Everton man drilling in a vicious right-foot shot from just inside the area after club team-mate Shane Duffy's clearance fell to him.

Sean Murray twice went close to pulling Ireland level but Portugal returned to the front foot after the break, with Luis Gustavo working McDermott.

One goal turned into two with 57 minutes gone, with Lourenco nodding in a Gustavo corner, although replays suggested it could have been an own goal off Aiden O'Brien.

Wolves' Doherty would give Ireland hope with a header from a Murray corner but the closest they went was a snap-shot from Graham Burke which went wide.

Scotland got their qualifying campaign off to the perfect start as a professional display helped see off Luxembourg 3-0.

While the Scots senior side have failed to record a win from five attempts in their quest to reach next summer's World Cup in Brazil, Billy Stark's youngsters opened their bid to earn a slot at the 2015 finals in the Czech Republic with three points.

The visitors were stuffy but debutant Hearts winger Jamie Walker finally broke their resolve with a strike in first-half stoppage time.

Tony Watt - who rejoined the squad on Friday after initially pulling out with an ankle knock - added a second just after the hour mark after the visitors got themselves in a mess with a pass back to keeper Steve Pfeiffer.

And a third goal was added seven minutes from time when Pfieffer again blundered by dropping the ball at the feet of Lewis Toshney to ram home into an empty net.

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