Two second-half goals from Edward Nketiah and one from Callum Connolly propelled England U21s to the final of the Maurice RevelloTournament after downing Scotland by 3-1 in Aubagne.
Connolly’s close-range strike and Nketiah’s wonderful angled drive just after half time turned the tables on Scotland, who went ahead on the half-hour through Michael Johnston’s sensational solo effort.
And Arsenal forward Nketiah ensured the game was safe when he netted his second 11 minutes from time - his curling shot too strong for Scotland stopper Robby McCrorie to keep out.
- Toulon Tournament
- Wednesday 6 June 2018
- By Jimmy Booker
A convincing 4-0 victory over Qatar had given England the semi-final spot, with Scot Gemmill’s Scotland overpowering South Korea in their last-eight clash.
England enjoyed early pressure in the opening exchanges but it was their Scottish counterparts who had the first meaningful chance – West Bromwich Albion’s Oliver Burke sprinted through on the angle but his near post shot cannoned back off the upright.
Nketiah was similarly unlucky at the other end when his cross took a deflection off Kerr and rebounded behind off the woodwork.
Good build-up play down the England left then saw Connolly nod Nketiah’s floated centre back towards Kieran Dowell six yards out, but it was just behind the Everton man before Scotland then took the lead through a moment of magic.
Celtic’s Johnston opened the scoring when his lung-busting run for half the length of the field saw him leave two England players in his wake before comprehensively firing past Freddie Woodman from 12 yards, a lead which Scotland held until the break.
England came out for the second period intent on equalising and the danger signs were there when Newcastle United’s Adam Armstrong headed Jay DaSilva’s cross over the bar two minutes after the restart.
And England drew level when Connolly slammed home from four yards just moments later after Nketiah rolled the ball across goal following another neat move.
England got into their groove and had more joy down the left four minutes later with another moment of supreme quality.
Nketiah, a constant thorn in Scotland’s side, then displayed a wonderful change of feet to cut inside from the flank and rifle into the far corner.
Ten minutes later, he sealed the triumph when he created space for himself on the edge of the box and his curling effort escaped the reach of McCrorie and rippled the net.
Scotland tried to find a way back into the game, but their early intensity and well-organised structure was patiently neutralised by Aidy Boothroyd’s England charges, who face Mexico in the final after their 3-1 win over Turkey earlier in the day.
England: 1 Freddie Woodman (Newcastle United), 2 Jonjoe Kenny (Everton), 4 Lewis Cook (AFC Bournemouth), 5 Dael Fry (Middlesbrough), 7 Kieran Dowell (Nottingham Forest), 10 Ronaldo Vieira (Leeds United), 11 Adam Armstrong (Newcastle United), 12 Jake Clarke-Salter (Chelsea), 14 Jay Da Silva (Chelsea), 17 Callum Connolly (Everton), 19 Edward Nketiah (Arsenal).
Substitutes: 16 Hamza Choudhury (Leicester City) for Vieira 68, 6 Fikayo Tomori (Chelsea) for Fry 74, 9 Tammy Abraham (Chelsea) for Armstrong 79, 15 Ezri Konsa (Charlton Athletic) for Connolly 80
Yellow cards: Vieira 53
Substitutes not used: 13 Aaron Ramsdale (AFC Bournemouth), 8 Tom Davies (Everton), 18 Tom Pearce (Leeds United), 20 Lukas Nmecha (Manchester City)
Goals: Connolly 46, Nketiah 50, 69
Head coach: Aidy Boothroyd