Sunderland striker gutted by ban for Euro opener

Joel Asoro. Picture by Frank Reid.
Joel Asoro. Picture by Frank Reid.
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Jordan Pickford’s England Under-21 side will come up against Sweden in the opening game of the European Under-21 Championships.

But 18-year-old Sunderland and Sweden striker Joel Asoro won’t be able to face his club-mate as he is suspended for the opening game of the tournament on Friday.

Asoro was sent off in Sweden’s final qualifying game, a 4-2 win over Croatia, after receiving two yellow cards.

Asoro, though, is looking forward to testing himself against the cream of the European football scene.

Sweden qualified as winners of Group Six, a point clear of Spain.

Asoro told the Echo: “We have England first in the group, but I won’t be able to play against England because I got a red card – it wasn’t a red card though!

“I will miss the one game, the game against England, which is a shame, of course.

“International football is a good experience and it is great to be involved, but it isn’t too dissimilar to club football. We are a good side and we are looking forward to the tournament.

“We have beaten some big teams and we go into the tournament with confidence.”

England and Sweden are in Group A in Poland, along with the host nation and Slovakia.