Aidy Boothroyd pleased with U19s' opening Euro Finals win

Wednesday 13 Jul 2016
Aidy Boothroyd watches on as England Under-19s make a winning start at the Euro Finals

England Under-19s coach Aidy Boothroyd was pleased to see his side open their Euro Finals campaign with a win, despite a second-half fightback from opponents France.

The Young Lions roared into a two-goal lead inside nine minutes thanks to an own-goal from Jerome Onguene and an excellent finish from Dominic Solanke.

But, after halving the deficit through Jean-Kevin Augustin before the break, France were on top for much of the second period.

England 2-1 France

2016 UEFA European Under-19 Championship Finals
6.30pm (BST), Tuesday 12 July
Albstadion, Heidenheim, Germany


England held out, though, securing victory in the German town of Heidenheim – much to Boothroyd’s relief.

“I thought the French were excellent in the second half,” the coach said after the game.

“It was a very, very difficult game. We started much better than them and fortunately, because of that, we managed to get the win.

“It’s the first game in the tournament, where everybody's trying to find their feet, so we're very, very pleased.

“My heart can't take our goalkeeper keeping us in games,” continued Boothroyd, “but that's what he's there to do – and he's very, very good.

“We need to make sure that we keep the first 20 or 30 minutes all the way through the game. If we can do that then I'll be a very happy coach. If we don’t, I will get a lot greyer and a lot more wrinkles!”


Dominic Solanke celebrates after doubling England Under-19s

Dominic Solanke celebrates after making it 2-0 after only nine minutes

Next up for the Young Lions is a table-topping clash with the Netherlands, who sit in first place after a 3-1 victory over Croatia earlier in the day.

And Boothroyd says he’s expecting a good game: “I think it's very important because both teams will want to win.

“There's pride at stake. Both teams will want to get into the semi-finals and win the group, but it's only one game.

“I saw the Croatian team do very well in the second half – I was at the game – and I saw the Dutch team play very, very well in the first half. Each team can say they've had a good half.

“Anything can happen, and we have to make sure that we take the lessons from this game, because there are many, but also relief that we've got ourselves our first win.

“We've got to come up with a different game-plan now to play the Dutch, who I think are a very good team.”

By Jim Lucas