Youth Teams
Youth Teams

Adam Armstrong's second-half winner seals victory for England U20s over hosts France

Saturday 25 Mar 2017
Adam Armstrong is congratulated by his team-mates following his winner over France U20s

Adam Armstrong fired England Under-20s to their first victory at the Four Nations Tournament as they beat the hosts France by 1-0 on Saturday.

With boss Paul Simpson making ten changes to the starting line-up which drew with Portugal 48 hours earlier, the Young Lions made another strong start to the game in Saint-Brieuc.

France 0-1 England
  • Four Nations Tournament
  • Saturday 25 March 2017
  • Stade Fred Aubert, Saint-Brieuc, France
  • By Michael Brown

And Armstrong fashioned the first chance of the game, as his curling free-kick from the edge of the box was on target, after Ainsley Maitland-Niles had been fouled.

The next real chance came on the half-hour mark, when a quick one-two between Armstrong and Maitland-Niles sent the latter free on the left, only for his cross to be blocked at the far post before Southampton’s Josh Sims could get on the end of it.

France’s main threat came from Allan Saint-Maximin in the opening stages and he had a great chance to put them ahead after 36 minutes, but Dean Henderson in the England goal did well to block the attempt from close range.

And a tame first half for both sides was brought to an end when Armstrong pulled his shot wide of the upright after finding some space.

Jean Kevin Augustin nearly put the hosts ahead on the hour mark after he stretched a leg out in the six-yard box from a cross on the left. However, his effort was blocked by the resolute Young Lions defence.

England's Ainsley Maitland-Niles holds off France's Joris Grangnon

Both sides made a number of changes to try and get that all important opening goal, but it was a starter who put England in front as Ryan Ledson played an exquisite through-ball to Armstrong and the on-loan Barnsley striker made the most of the chance by tucking it into the bottom right of the goal in the 71st minute.

France came closest to an equaliser five minutes from time, when a free-kick was nodded on to the bar, much to the despair of the home crowd.

The result means Simpson’s side top the table going into the final match with four points after Senegal beat Portugal by 3-0 in the day's other game.

England will play Senegal in the third and final game on Tuesday afternoon, knowing that a win will be enough to crown them as tournament winners as Simpson's World Cup preparations continue to intensify.

France Under-20s: 16 Alban Lafont, 2 Enok Kwateng, 20 Nordi Mukiele, 4 Jerome Onguene, 19 Joris Gnagnon, 8 Lucas Tousart C, 14 Amine Harit, 18 Maxime Lopez, 7 Jean Kevin Augustin, 10 Allan Saint Maximin, 9 Irvin Cardona

Substitutes: 1 Paul Bernardoni, 5 Yoanin Severin, 3 Oliver Boscagli, 6 Jeremy Gelin, 12 Ludovic Blas, 15 Romain Perraud, 13, Marcus Thuram, 11 Christopher Nkunku

England Under-20s: 13 Dean Henderson (Manchester United), 20 Axel Tuanzebe (Manchester United), 5 Fikayo Tomori (Brighton & Hove Albion, on loan from Chelsea), 9 Adam Armstrong (Barnsley, on loan from Newcastle United), 3 Callum Connolly (Wigan Athletic, on loan from Everton), 4 Lewis Cook (AFC Bournemouth) (c), 15 Josh Sims (Southampton), 16 Ryan Ledson (Oxford United), 17 Max Lowe (Derby County), 18 Ainsley Maitland-Niles (Arsenal), 12 Dominic Calvert-Lewin (Everton)

Substitutes: 11 Ademola Lookman (Everton) for Cook 46, 10 Dominc Solanke (Chelsea) for 12 Calvert-Lewin 58, 21 Rico Henry (Brentford) for Lowe 67, 7 Patrick Roberts (Celtic, on loan from Manchester City) for Sims 67, 19 Kieran Dowell (Everton) for Armstrong 88

Substitutes not used: 1 Freddie Woodman (Kilmarnock, on loan from Newcastle United), 22 Luke Southwood (Reading), 2 Jonjoe Kenny (Everton), 6 Dael Fry (Middlesbrough), 14 Jake Clarke-Salter (Chelsea), 8 Joshua Onomah (Tottenham Hotspur)

Head Coach: Paul Simpson

Goals: Adam Armstrong 71

Cautions: Josh Sims (55), Axel Tuanzebe (56), Dominic Solanke (76), Patrick Roberts (85)

By FA Staff