England reach U21 final

Mark Noble is set to lead England into the final of the UEFA European Under-21 Championship on Monday after they survived a thrilling fightback from Sweden to win 5-4 on penalties after a 3-3 draw in Gothenburg on Friday night.

After both sides missed their first kicks through James Milner and Marcus Berg, each team found the net with their next four efforts - Joe Hart, Lee Cattermole, Adam Johnson and Theo Walcott doing the honours for the Young Lions. The latter conversion meant that Rasmus Bengtsson had to score to send the contest into sudden death which he duly did. Kieron Gibbs then stepped up to score and when Guillermo Molins hit the post, England were through.

England, skippered by the West Ham United midfielder, had needed to ride their luck in extra time, having gone down to ten men after the dismissal of Fraizer Campbell just before the turnaround and seeing Berg hit the crossbar.

Stuart Pearce's side had begun in vibrant form against the host nation in Gothenburg, underlined by Martin Craine's strike after just 54 seconds. Nedum Onuoha added a second just before the half-hour mark before an own goal by Mattias Bjarsmyr seemed to settle the contest seven minutes before the break. However, Sweden fought back through two goals from Berg either side of Ola Toivonen's free-kick inside the final 20 minutes to set up the additional 30 minutes.

Noble was recalled to the starting eleven after sitting out the academic group game against Germany on Monday, when James Tomkins impressed in a 1-1 draw. Tomkins was back on the bench for this contest at the Gamla Ullevi stadium in the Swedish capital as Pearce went for experience. England were bidding to go one better than the 2007 finals when they lost out to the Netherlands following a 13-12 defeat on penalties.

Things seemed to be going all England's way when a deep Milner corner found Craine on the edge of the penalty area inside the first minute. Gabriel Agbonlahor, who will miss the final after picking up his second yellow card of the competition in the first half, did just enough to put off the Sweden keeper as Craine's shot fizzed into the corner. Milner was the architect of the second goal as well, picking out Onuoha to rifle in before Bjarsmyr deflected Cattermole's cross into his own net seven minutes from the break.

The second half was all about the host nation though. Berg dispatched a low shot to pull one back on 68 minutes before his strike partner Toivonen gave the capacity crowd real hope with a stunning free-kick on 75 minutes, five minutes after Noble was replaced by Jack Rodwell. The incredible comeback was capped by a fine volley from Berg, his seventh goal of the tournament, to send England into a nervy extra time and then that penalties finish - during which Hart was booked to mean he will also miss the final. Unlike two years ago, this time they came out on top.