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The FA

Portugal 1-2 England U19s

More glory for Young Lions as Under-19s win European Championship title

Saturday 15 Jul 2017

England Under-19s are the champions of Europe.

Keith Downing’s Young Lions made history by beating Portugal 2-1 in Gori to become the first England side to win the UEFA U19 European Championship.

Second-half goals from Aston Villa defender Easah Suliman and Manchester City striker Lukas Nmecha – either side of Dujon Sterling’s own goal – were enough to secure a hard-fought victory.

It means a third trophy of the summer will now have pride of place at St. George’s Park after last month’s triumphs at the Toulon Tournament and the FIFA U20 World Cup.

It also caps a sensational 2017 tournament record for the men’s development teams after 23 victories from the 27 games played from the U17s upwards.

With both nations aiming to make it third time lucky in the final of this tournament, it proved to be a tight, cagey first-half in front of a 4,100 capacity crowd at the scenic Tengiz Burjanadze Stadium.

England did seem to build in confidence once they had registered their first real chance of the match in the 27th minute. From a swift counter attack, Isaac Buckley-Ricketts skipped past Diogo Dalot down the right to cut back for Mount seven yards out but the Portugal full-back recovered well to make a vital block.

From there, the Young Lions started to look more purposeful in possession and Ryan Sessegnon went close in the 38th minute when he dragged a low effort from the left across the face of goal.

Sessegnon then put Dalot under pressure at the far post in an attempt to reach Dujon Sterling’s well-worked cross from the right.

Any nerves creeping in at that stage were alleviated just five minutes after the break. Mount’s free-kick from 25 yards beat Diogo Costa but not the right post, however Suliman reacted quicker than his Portuguese counterparts to head home and wheel away in delight.

The FA ;

Unfortunately that lead only lasted six minutes. Moments after Mesaque Dju had missed a glorious chance from close range,  Abdu Conte’s cross from the right put Sterling under pressure from substitute Rafael Leao at the far post and the Chelsea man sliced his attempted clearance beyond Aaron Ramsdale.

Just as Portugal looked to be in the ascendency, England struck back in the 68th minute. Mount broke free down the right and selflessly played it inside for Nmecha, the late matchwinner against the Czech Republic in the semi-final, to side foot home.

Ramsdale, who had a fine tournament conceding only two goals, was forced into action on several occasions, notably to palm Rui Pedro’s low, goal-bound effort around his right hand post.

Fulham midfielder Tayo Edun, another consistent performer throughout this tournament, received his marching orders for a second bookable offence in the 86th minute but England held firm throughout a nervy period of additional time to get their hands on the trophy.

The FA ;

England: 1 Aaron Ramsdale (AFC Bournemouth), 2 Dujon Sterling (Chelsea), 3 Jay Dasilva (capt; Chelsea), 4 Tayo Edun (Fulham), 6 Easah Suliman (Aston Villa), 7 Isaac Buckley-Ricketts (Manchester City), 8 Andre Dozzell (Ipswich Town), 10 Mason Mount (Chelsea), 11 Ryan Sessegnon (Fulham), 12 Lukas Nmecha (Manchester City),  16 Darnell Johnson (Leicester City).

Substitutes: 9 Ben Brereton (Nottingham Forest) for Nmecha 72, 15 Josh Dasilva (Arsenal) for Dozzell 77, 14 Marcus Edwards (Tottenham Hotspur), for Buckley-Ricketts 84.

Substitutes not used: 13 Nathan Trott (West Ham United), 17 Jacob Maddox (Chelsea), 18 Reece James (Chelsea).

Goals: England:  Suliman 50, Nmecha 68. Portugal: Sterling own goal 56.

Head coach: Keith Downing

By Andy Walker Senior Communications Manager in Gori, Georgia