International

Young Blues savour international success

  • 09 Jun 2018

Three Chelsea players started for England as the young Three Lions came from behind against Mexico to become only the second side to win the Toulon Tournament three years on the bounce.

Tammy Abraham (pictured), Jake Clarke-Salter and Jay Dasilva were in the starting line-up for Aidy Boothroyd's Under-21 side, with Fikayo Tomori named among the substitutes, as they followed up their victory over Scotland in the semi-finals with a match against a side who had previously held them to a goalless draw in the group stage.

This time around less than two minutes had elapsed when the deadlock was broken, and for the second game in succession England would need to overcome a one-goal deficit. Roberto Alvarado was the scorer, slotting home after being teed up by the tournament's leading scorer, Lara Aguirre.
It was another sweltering evening in Martigues, just west of Marseilles, where the final was held, which meant a drinks break midway through the first half – and it certainly benefited England, who looked a different side after the restart.

After Abraham, a scorer of two goals in this year's competition, narrowly failed to meet an inviting cross into the six-yard box, there was no such luck for the Mexicans when keeper Jose Hernandez inexplicably dropped Clarke-Salter's long throw at the feet of Dael Fry, who made no mistake with his finish.
Four minutes later and the game had completely turned on its head, with England taking the lead through Kieran Dowell's side-footed effort from inside the box.

Having perhaps been a tad fortunate to lead, Boothroyd's side controlled much of the second half. Indeed, Abraham had a golden opportunity to put the game out of Mexico's reach with a little over 15 minutes remaining. Dowell intercepted a sloppy pass out of defence and surged past one player before leaving two more on their backsides, sliding the ball across to the Blues striker, who hit the post.

There were few major scares for England in the remaining minutes, though, and Tomori came on in the closing stages, making one particularly vital interception to help see out a victory which adds yet another youth tournament success for the country – with this coming almost a year to the day after the Under-20 World Cup was won by a side featuring many of these players.

Earlier in the day it was a mixed third/fourth play-off for two of our Scottish contingent, as they fell to a penalty shoot-out defeat against Turkey following a 0-0 draw.

Harvey St Clair started for Scot Gemmill's side, winning a penalty in the 60th minute after being clipped in the box, but the winger's spot-kick was saved. Billy Gilmour, meanwhile, came on as a second-half substitute, taking on the captain's armband midway through the half and also confidently scoring from the spot in the shoot-out. Gilmour's evening wasn't finished there, as he returned to the pitch after the final to receive the Young Player of the Tournament award.
 

MORE FROM CHELSEA