England successfully defended their Toulon Tournament title with a nail-biting penalty shootout triumph having had their early lead cancelled it out in the final minute of play.
Ending the new-look 12-team edition in the south of France as top scorers, this is the third occasion the Young Lions have retained the trophy, having won the tournament four times in five years in the 1990s.
Head coach Neil Dewsnip chose to make only one change to the starting XI that beat Scotland comfortably in the semi-final two days ago, George Hirst replacing Ike Ugbo in the England attack.
- Toulon Tournament
- Saturday 10 June 2017
- Stade de Lattre, Aubagne, France
- By Michael Brown
The first threatening chance fell to the Ivorians as Ake Arnaud Loba put his overhead kick over the bar from a corner in the tenth minute. Seconds later David Brooks had a half-volley that went just an inch wide.
Brooks, voted Player of the Tournament, made his next effort count, firing in superbly as England countered through Harvey Barnes.
The Young Lions had a great opportunity to double their lead just before the break. Brooks was once again pivotal, winning the ball after pressing the defence high up the field and was then fouled in the box. Hirst stepped up to take the penalty, but his low effort was saved.
Ivory Coast nearly equalised in the first minute of the second half, Jean Thiery Lazare Amani curling his effort just wide of Ryan Schofield’s far post.
Just before the hour mark and Schofield pulled off a great save to keep out Jean Philippe Krasso’s powerful shot.
England looked set to hold out for victory until substitute Juvenal Junior Agnero was fouled in the box by Josh Grant. Loba stepped up and slotted the penalty away to give the tie another twist – a penalty shootout would decide the winner.
England scored all five spot-kicks through Ugbo, Elliott Embleton, Barnes, Callum Slattery and Ronaldo Vieira to secure the win, as Amani had Ivory Coast’s fourth penalty saved.
After the game the England side were presented with the Fair Play award amongst other personal accolades that included; Best Player: Brooks, Second-Best Player: Joe Worrall and Best Young Player: Reece James, while Barnes and Hirst were joint top-scorers with four goals apiece.
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), 8 Harvey Barnes (Leicester City), 9 Demetri Mitchell (Manchester United), 11 Ronaldo Vieira (Leeds United), 14 Elliot Embleton (Sunderland), 17 George Hirst (Sheffield Wednesday), 18 David Brooks (Sheffield United)
Substitutes: 7 Japhet Tanganga (Tottenham Hotspur) for Tymon 52, 20 Ike Ugbo (Chelsea) for Hirst 58, 12 Tariq Uwakwe (Chelsea) for Brooks 65, 10 Callum Slattery (Southampton) for Mitchell 77
Substitutes not used: 13 Ellery Balcombe (Brentford), 6 Elliott Moore (Leicester City), 15 Daniel Kemp (West Ham United), 16 Luke Bolton (Manchester City), 19 Martell Taylor-Crossdale (Chelsea)
Head Coach: Neil Dewsnip
Goal: Brooks 14