England Under-20s booked their place in the semi-finals of the Toulon Tournament with a dominant 7-1 victory over Cuba.
Japan and Angola drew in the day's early game, meaning a win for the Young Lions would have secured top spot in Group A and progression to the next stage with a game to spare. This was achieved in style, with George Hirst bagging a hat-trick.
Head coach Neil Dewsnip made four changes to the side that beat Angola three days ago, giving Harvey Barnes and David Brooks their first starts in a Three Lions shirt. Both made an instant impact.
- Toulon Tournament
- Group A
- Thursday 1 June 2017
- Stade D’Honneur, France
The lively Brooks was involved once again as England broke the deadlock on the 19th minute. He provided the assist for Barnes who comfortably slotted the ball home.
It was 2-0 just 10 minutes later as Reece James broke free on the right wing and crossed the ball low for the oncoming Hirst who duly doubled the lead.
England controlled the first half but Cuba halved the deficit on 37 minutes when Puga Saucedo received the ball on the left and rifled a shot into the corner of the net.
The last piece of action before the break was a late challenge by Sando Herve on Ronaldo Vieira, for which the Cuban was given a straight red card.
The Young Lions continued where they left off after the break. Barnes won a loose ball and got his second of the game early in the second half with an easy finish.
Brooks nearly added his name to the scoresheet on the 50th minute, but Cuba keeper Echevarria Diaz clawed the effort out away from close range. But he did provide another assist for Hirst soon after.
Brooks was the star of the show and finally got the goal his performance deserved with a sweet strike on the hour mark.
A sixth was added four minutes later when Brooks was brought down in the box. Hirst stepped up to seal his hat-trick from the penalty spot.
Substitute Martell Taylor-Crossdale got in on the action just before the end with a penalty down the middle to make it seven. The Chelsea youngster was tripped in the box after making a jinking run.
The Young Lions finish their group campaign against Japan on Sunday.
England: 1 Ryan Schofield (Huddersfield Town), 2 Reece James (Chelsea), 3 Josh Grant (Chelsea), 4 Joshua Tymon (Hull City), 5 Joseph Worrall (capt; Nottingham Forest), 7 Japhet Tanganga (Tottenham Hotspur), 8 Harvey Barnes (Leicester City), 11 Ronaldo Vieira (Leeds United), 14 Elliot Embleton (Sunderland), 17 George Hirst (Sheffield Wednesday), 18 David Brooks (Sheffield United).
Substitutes: 10 Callum Slattery (Southampton) for Ronaldo Vieira 48, 16 Luke Bolton (Manchester City) for Reece James 55, 19 Martell Taylor-Crossdale (Chelsea) for Harvey Barnes 59, 6 Elliott Moore (Leicester City) for Josh Grant 62.
Substitutes not used: 13 Ellery Balcombe (Brentford), 9 Demetri Mitchell (Manchester United), 12 Tariq Uwakwe (Chelsea), 15 Daniel Kemp (West Ham United), 20 Ike Ugbo (Chelsea).
Head coach: Neil Dewsnip
Goals: Barnes 19 & 44, Hirst 34, 54 & 65 (pen), Brooks 61, Taylor-Crossdale 77 (pen).