Youth Teams
Youth Teams

Young Lions' UEFA European U19 Championship defence comes to an end

Monday 23 Jul 2018
England U19 head coach Paul Simpson

England relinquished their UEFA European U19 Championship crown after being humbled by a Nabil Alioui-inspired France.

A heavy defeat in their final Group B game in Vaasa, Finland, meant that the Young Lions’ chances of defending the title they won in Georgia in 2017 came to an end, with focus now switching to an U20 World Cup qualification play-off against Norway in Seinäjoki on Thursday.

France showed intent by the bucketload early on, with Ellery Balcombe forced to acrobatically deny midfielder Mickael Cuisance after he had been expertly picked out inside the England box. 

However, with 27 minutes gone, the Brentford stopper was left powerless to prevent Les Bleuets from making good on their early promise, Moussa Diaby allowed to power his way to the byline before cutting the ball back for Alioui to tap home and make it 1-0.

England 0-5 France
  • UEFA European U19 Championship
  • The Finals
  • Monday 23 July 2018
  • Vaasa, Finland
  • By Dan Barnes

Paul Simpson’s charges very nearly found themselves staring down the barrel of a two-goal deficit as the lively Diaby arrowed an effort across the face of goal while Myziane Maolida shot into the side netting from a tight angle.

Before the break, though, France would indeed go 2-0 up.

The Young Lions were undone by a sublime long ball from Boubacar Kamara, with Diaby beating the offside trap and gleefully teeing up Maolida for a simple tap-in.

England did come agonisingly close to halving the deficit in added time, Elliot Embleton rattling the crossbar from just outside the French area.

The Young Lions exploded out of the blocks in the second half, with both Japhet Tanganga and Marcus Tavernier threatening but France struck a hammer blow in the 56th minute when Alioui seized on a misplaced pass and, with Balcombe having been forced off his line, the Monaco forward turned the ball home from an unlikely angle.

Les Bleuets rubbed further salt in the wound with 63 minutes gone, substitute Amine Gouiri seeing failing to beat Balcome one-on-one but cracking home a thumping strike at the second attempt.

Gouiri also shot just wide moments later as France continued to pour forward, goalie Balcome also saving well from the Lyon striker and Maolida.

However, he was powerless to prevent Gouiri bagging his second of the match as he followed up Cuisance’s attempt.

Simpson’s side did construct their finest passing move of the match as the clock wound down to go but Tavernier was denied a consolation goal by the offside flag.

England: 1 Ellery Balcombe (Brentford), 2 Dujon Sterling (Coventry City, loan from Chelsea), 3 Adam Lewis (Liverpool), 5 Japhet Tanganga (Tottenham Hotspur), 6 Trevoh Chalobah (Ipswich Town, loan from Chelsea), 7 Elliot Embleton (Sunderland), 8 Marcus Tavernier (Middlesbrough), 9 George Hirst (OH Leuven), 17 Conor Gallagher (Chelsea), 19 Nya Kirby (Crystal Palace), 20 Nathan Ferguson (West Bromwich Albion)

Substitutes: 4 Max Sanders (Brighton & Hove Albion) for Ferguson 46, 10 Ben Brereton (Nottingham Forest), for Hirst 63, 15 Thomas Bayliss (Coventry City) for Gallagher 84

Substitutes not used: 13 Jamie Cumming (Chelsea), 11 Ben Morris (Ipswich Town), 12 Tariq Lamptey (Chelsea), 14 Ed Francis (Almere City, loan from Manchester City), 16 Niall Ennis (Wolverhampton Wanderers), 18 Kelland Watts (Newcastle United)

Head coach: Paul Simpson

Cautions: Tavernier 31, Brereton 81

By FA Staff