Men's Under 21s
Men's Under 21s

Mexican stand-off keeps Young Lions in the hunt for Toulon Tournament semi-finals

Tuesday 29 May 2018
The Young Lions line-up ahead of their second game in Toulon against Mexico

Aidy Boothroyd’s England remain on course to challenge for a third straight Maurice Revello Toulon Tournament title after battling to a goalless draw with Mexico.

The Young Lions, who beat China 2-1 in their tournament-opener last Saturday, remain unbeaten as they bid to defend their title and hot on the heels of the Mexicans, who currently boast a superior goal difference, ahead of their final Group A match against Qatar on Friday.

England were crowned champions in both 2017 and 2016 under Neil Dewsnip and current Three Lions boss Gareth Southgate respectively, and are bidding to go all the way once again in Provence.

Mexico 0-0 England U21s
  • Toulon Tournament
  • Stade d'Honneur Marcel Roustan
  • Dan Barnes

Boothroyd’s charges came out of the blocks with plenty of early endeavour, the lively Eddie Nketiah drawing a save from keeper Jose Hernandez just eight minutes in.

Mexico carried plenty of threat themselves, however, with Uriel Antuna failing to connect properly when he was picked out at the far post by opposite winger Diego Lainez and with 20 minutes on the clock, Young Lions goalie Freddie Woodman was called into action to spectacularly tip away a looping header from Roberto Alvarado.

Soon afterwards, Cesar Montes rose highest to get his head to an inswinging corner but was unable to trouble Woodman, the defender thumping wide of the mark.

The two sides went into the break level and as they attempted to up the intensity early in the second half, Lukas Nmecha nodded goalwards from a Kieran Dowell delivery in the 43rd minute but Hernandez saved comfortably.

Eddie Nketiah takes a run at the Mexican defence on Tuesday night

Goalscoring chances arrived at a premium from there on out, though, with the England back-three of Jonjoe Kenny, Dael Fry and Ezri Konsa all defending manfully to keep the Mexicans at bay.

In a bid to fashion a breakthrough, Boothroyd shuffled his side’s offensive make-up by introducing both Adam Armstrong and Tammy Abraham from the bench, and the latter almost had an instant impact but Lukas Nmecha’s back-heeled flick flew agonisingly over the Chelsea youngster’s head in the 66th minute.

Shortly afterwards, Mexico wideman Lainez carved out the game’s most obvious goalscoring opportunities when he cut in from the left flank with intent and let fly but, with goalie Woodman stranded, his right-footed effort skewed wide of the target.

England’s attentions turn towards Qatar on Friday, with Boothroyd’s side looking to better Mexico’s result against China to secure a guaranteed semi-final berth.

England: 1 Freddie Woodman (Newcastle United), 2 Jonjoe Kenny (Everton), 4 Lewis Cook (capt; AFC Bournemouth), 5 Dael Fry (Middlesbrough), 7 Kieran Dowell (Everton), 14 Jay Da Silva (Chelsea), 15 Ezri Konsa (Charlton Athletic), 16 Hamza Choudhury (Leicester City), 17 Callum Connolly (Everton), 19 Edward Nketiah (Arsenal), 20 Lukas Nmecha (Manchester City).

Substitutes: 11 Adam Armstrong (Newcastle United) for Dowell 61, 9 Tammy Abraham (Chelsea) for Nketiah 67

Yellow cards: Dowell 27, Nmecha 48, Choudhury 76

Substitutes not used: 13 Aaron Ramsdale (AFC Bournemouth), 6 Fikayo Tomori (Chelsea), 8 Tom Davies (Everton), 10 Ronaldo Vieria (Leeds United), 12 Jake Clarke-Salter (Chelsea), 18 Tom Pearce (Leeds United).

Goals: None

Head coach: Aidy Boothroyd

By FA Staff