Tottenham youngster Danny Rose's first-half goal gave England Under-21s a 1-0 victory over Portugal in Saturday afternoon's European Championship qualifier at Wembley.
The 19-year-old, just recalled to White Hart Lane following a loan spell at Peterborough, opened his account for Stuart Pearce's side when he slotted home from close range following a knockdown by Andy Carroll on 40 minutes.
It proved enough to see off a talented Portugal team and extend the under-21s' unbeaten run to four qualifying matches, building on their 6-3 win over Macedonia at the Ricoh Arena last month.
England are now three points behind Group Nine leaders Greece, on whom they have a game in hand, ahead of next week's trip to Lithuania, with eventual winners and four best runners up making it through automatically to Denmark in 2011.
Meanwhile, Republic of Ireland were denied victory at the death once again as they were held to a 1-1 draw in Georgia.
Don Givens' men were leading 1-0, courtesy of substitute Graham Carey's 48th-minute strike, with just six minutes to go at the Mikheil Meskhi stadium in Tbilisi.
However, a first victory in their fifth qualifying game was wrenched from their grasp when Georgia substitute Vakhtang Kvaratskelia levelled.
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