posted on Oct, 12 2004 @ 08:14 PM
Midfielder Nigel Reo-Coker was sent off as England Under-21s surrendered their 100% record in a scrappy goalless encounter with Azerbaijan in Baku.
The West Ham midfielder and Azerbaijan counterpart Elnur Abdullayev were red-carded after 77 minutes following a flare-up in the middle of the pitch
which preceded a 15-man brawl.
England had won their opening three group matches in the battle to reach the 2006 UEFA Under-21 Championship finals but they struggled to come to
terms with a bobbly pitch which made it difficult to play flowing football.
Jonathan Stead worked hard throughout the 90 minutes for the away side, who were deprived of strikers Carlton Cole and Darren Bent in a game of
But in injury time England almost snatched victory, with Stead hitting the crossbar and then James Milner and Glen Johnson having efforts cleared off
Coach Peter Taylor will be disappointed with the outcome but his side are still well placed with 10 points from their opening four games, before they
resume competitive action in March.
[Edited on 12/10/04 by TRD]