England Under-19s leave it late to beat Bulgaria in Wycombe

Monday 10 Oct 2016
Marcus Edwards

Dujon Sterling struck with the final kick of the game to earn England Under-19s a deserved 2-1 victory over Bulgaria.

On an evening where players were out to impress head coach Keith Downing ahead of next month’s European Championship qualifiers, England were utterly dominant in the first half and took the lead through Marcus Edwards.

England 2-1 Bulgaria

U19 International Match
Monday 10 October 2016
Adams Park, Wycombe Wanderers
By Daniel Blackham

They were pegged back after the break when Stanislav Ivanov equalised, but Sterling headed in a late winner as England carried on the momentum from last week’s 3-1 win in Croatia.

Downing said: "The biggest thing we talked about this week was a winning mentality and sometimes when you don’t play as well, to still get the result was really important they kept going and showed that winning mentality right until the end.

"They’ve done really well, we’ve had nine days, we went away to Croatia they played really well and beat a very difficult tough team and this was a different challenge.

"This was a challenge when we had a lot of the ball and had to break down a very stubborn defence and credit to them, they were very good in the box and our final quality was probably missing a little bit, but I was just pleased with the boys to keep going and that winning mentality shone through."

It took just nine minutes for Edwards – who made his first-team debut for Tottenham Hotspur in the EFL Cup last month – to break the deadlock.

A slick passing move saw captain Tom Davies square the ball to Edwards from the right, who hammered home with his weaker right foot in the ninth minute.

Bulgaria should have equalised on 23 minutes after capitalising on a lapse from keeper Aynsley Pears, however Valentin Yoskov’s shot was too weak and went straight at defender Cameron Humphreys, who was covering on the goal-line.

England Under-19s defender Trent Alexander-Arnold advances forward against Bulgaria

England Under-19s defender Trent Alexander-Arnold advances forward against Bulgaria

The visitors levelled the game on 70 minutes though, after a superb through ball by Petar Genchev found the feet of Ivanov inside the area with only half-time substitute Will Mannion in the England goal to beat, and the Bulgaria forward slotted the ball in the bottom right hand corner.

But Chelsea’s Sterling won the game for England with the last kick of the match, meeting a superb lofted free-kick into the box from the right side by Sam Field with a powerful header below the body of Slavi Petrov.  

Downing added: "I’m pleased with the result. The performance was a little bit sticky at times, credit to Bulgaria I thought they defended the box exceptionally well.

"We had a lot of possession and we couldn’t quite break down the low block but that was credit to some very good defending from Bulgaria.

"I’m delighted. The boys were really pleased at the end and it was a quality ball in from the free-kick and a quality header from Dujon."

England Under-19s: 1 Aynsley Pears (Middlesbrough); 2 Trent Alexander-Arnold (Liverpool), 3 Jay DaSilva (Chelsea), 5 Cameron Humphreys (Manchester City), 6 Easah Suliman (Cheltenham Town on loan from Aston Villa); 4 Tom Davies (Everton) (c), 7 Isaac Buckley-Ricketts (Manchester City), 8 Sam Field (West Bromwich Albion), 10 Marcus Edwards (Tottenham Hotspur); 9 Stephy Mavididi (Arsenal) 11, Andre Green (Aston Villa). 

Substitutes: 14 Dujon Sterling (Chelsea) for Buckle-Ricketts 40, 13 Will Mannion (Hull City) for Pears H/T, 16 Ryan Sessegnon (Fulham) for Green 60, 17 Adetayo Edun (Fulham) for Davies 60, 12 Trevor Chalobah (Chelsea) for Alexander-Arnold 71, 15 Darnell Johnson (Leicester City) for Edwards 85, 18 Chris Willock (Arsenal) for Humphreys 85.

Substitutes not used: 22 Aaron Ramsdale (Sheffield United) 

Head Coach: Keith Downing

Goal: Edwards 9, Sterling 93

Bulgaria Under-19s: 1 Daniel Naumov, 4 Angel Lyaskov, 5 Alex Petkov, 7 Ivaylo Naydenov, 8 Ivaylo Klimentov, 9 Valentin Yoskov, 10 Iliyan Stefanov, 11 Svetoslav Kovachev, 14 Petar Genchev, 15 Petko Hristov, 18 Mariyan Dimitrov

Substitutes: 3 Andrea Hristov for Dimitrov 45, 12 Slavi Petrov for Naumov 45, 16 Ivan Tilev for Stefanov 45, 13 Ivan Kirev for Yoskov 58, 17 Stanislav Ivanov for Klimentov 58, 6 Ilia Djamov for Kovachev 78, 2 Vladislav Zhikov for Petkov 88.

Head coach: Angel Stoykov

Goal: Ivanov 70

Attendance: 676

By FA Staff