It was a proud night for Harvey Elliott as he followed up an impressive display last week with another on Monday night on international duty.
The 20-year-old was on target twice and created a late assist in England U21s’ 9-1 win over Serbia U21s last Thursday and took his good form into the meeting with Ukraine U21s.
It was a dramatic but disappointing end to proceedings as Illya Kvasnytsya scored a last-gasp winner for Ukraine U21s, but not before Elliott supplied a late goal for the England youngsters of their own.
Sporting the captain’s armband for his country, the midfielder swung in a left-footed cross for Charlie Cresswell to head home from close range and get the Young Lions back on terms having fallen 2-0 behind in the first half.
Kvasnytsya’s winner was an unfortunate end to the tale after a valiant fightback, but Elliott described the occasion as a “dream come true” nonetheless.
Taking to Instagram after the game, Elliott said: “Dream come true to captain the side. Not the result we wanted but couldn’t be prouder of the boys. Back to the reds and back to work!”
The 20-year-old ended the Serbia game last week as skipper after taking the duties from the substituted Cole Palmer in the first half.
Monday night was the first time he has led out his country at U21s level and he will be keen to keep progressing up the ranks by impressing on both club and international stages.
It was an exceptional all-round showing from Elliott, who initially started wide right in a 4-2-3-1 before moving into a two-man midfield alongside Rico Lewis.
Meanwhile, Jarell Quansah was an unused substitute in the clash having made his debut for the U21s during the Serbia thrashing four days earlier.
It wasn’t the result the two would have wanted, particularly after bravely battling back into the game, but Elliott will take great pride in being handed the captaincy by manager Lee Carsley.
He made 46 appearances in all competitions for the Reds last season in what was comfortably his busiest campaign with the club so far.
The midfielder faces stiff competition for places following the summer arrivals of Alexis Mac Allister, Dominik Szoboszlai, Wataru Endo and Ryan Gravenberch, but has managed to be involved nine times already in 2023/24.