England are through to the semi-finals of the Toulon Tournament after a comfortable win over South Korea.
England 3-0 South Korea
Stade Scaglia, La Seyne
06 June 2005
England U20s are through to the semi-finals of the Toulon Tournament after a comfortable 3-0 win over South Korea.
Liam Rosenior got Peter Taylor's side off to the perfect start when he finished from close range after five minutes following good work from Bradley Wright-Phillips.
Twenty minutes later Colchester United striker Greg Halford struck his first England goal with a magnificent right-footed drive and Nigel Reo-Coker scored England's third after the break.
With a demanding match schedule and high temperatures, Taylor again rotated his squad and it was a confident England who opened the scoring in the game's opening moments.
Hull City defender Scott Wiseman played a lovely controlled pass through to Wright-Phillips who poked the ball under the body of the Korean keeper.
The Manchester City man's shot came back off the foot of the right-hand post but Rosenior was there to roll the back into the net from six yards out.
England were playing with confidence and they looked like they wanted to make amends for unluckily losing to Portugal at the weekend.
Reo-Coker, playing an excellent game in the centre of the park, was captaining the side and he delivered a perfect pass for Halford to shoot at goal.
The Colchester United forward was denied by a good save from Korean captain You Gaul Song and that seemed to spark some life into his side.
Kwang Hee Choi tested England debutant Scott Flinders with a 25-yard effort and then a minute later his another superb strike at goal only for Flinders to stretch out an arm and push the ball out for a corner.
England stood firm and then launched a quick break which saw them nearly double their lead. Crystal Palace's Tom Soares played the ball out to Rosenior on the right and his centre found Wright-Phillips in the six-yard box.
He did well to outstretch a boot to get to the ball ahead of the 'keeper but his shot lacked control and flew high over the bar.
England still came forward and when Darren Ambrose knocked the ball down for Halford, the tall youngster took the ball past his man with his first touch and then rifled a powerful shot past Song.
Taylor's side could have gone further in front before the half-time interval but as it was it took them until the 57th minute to safety secure their passage through to the last four.
Norwich City substitute Ian Henderson won the ball high up the pitch and passed on to Scott Wiseman, making his full England debut.
He saw Reo-Coker making an excellent run to his left and pushed the ball into the path of the West Ham United midfielder who then slipped the ball under the Korean goalkeeper.
England did create some more chances, most notably Ambrose who shot narrowly wide after a mazy dribble through the centre of the Korean defence, but they couldn't find an elusive fourth goal.
After Portugal's 2-0 win over Tunisia, England will have to settle for second place in the group and will have to face France in the semis on Wednesday after the French won all three of their Group A matches.
England v South Korea, Toulon Tournament, Toulon, 06 June 2005
England: Scott Flinders - Barnsley; Scott Wiseman - Hull City, Anton Ferdinand - West Ham United, Andrew Davies - Middlesbrough, Liam Ridgewell - Aston Villa; Liam Rosenior - Fulham, Nigel Reo-Coker - West Ham United (capt) (John Welsh - Liverpool, 64), Tom Soares - Crystal Palace (David Nugent - Preston North End, 59), Darren Ambrose - Newcastle United; Greg Halford - Colchester United, Bradley Wright-Phillips - Manchester City (Ian Henderson, Norwich City, 40)
Goals: Rosenior 5, Halford 25, Reo-Coker 56