Sunderland striker gutted by ban for Euro opener

Jordan Pickford's England Under-21 side will come up against Sweden in the opening game of the European Under-21 Championships.

Saturday, 10th June 2017, 10:00 am
Updated Tuesday, 13th June 2017, 2:58 pm
Joel Asoro. Picture by Frank Reid.

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.

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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.