England Defeat Portugal to Win 2017 European U-19 Championship
England defeated Portugal 2-1 in the final of the Under-19 European Championship in Georgia on Saturday.
Easah Suliman had given the Young Lions the lead as he reacted first to head home after a free-kick from Mason Mount hit the woodwork shortly after half-time.
Dujon Sterling’s own goal gave Portugal a route back into the game, with the defender volleying the ball into his own net.
Lukas Nmecha reclaimed the lead for England after 68 minutes just as the Portuguese began to dominate territory.
England were reduced to 10 men in the final moments as Tayo Edun was shown a second yellow, but the dismissal couldn’t spoil the new champions’ success.
Eurosport UK shared the moment as England were crowned winners:
England were the busier of the two teams in the first half, spurning two rare opportunities to claim the lead.
Both teams struggled to break down their opponents, but Fulham sensation Ryan Sessegnon twice attacked from the left wing to pressurise the goal.
The highly rated 17-year-old missed the target when he was expected to beat the goalkeeper.
Portugal lacked pace through midfield, and they were satisfied with a goalless first half.
England exploded out of the blocks after the restart, and Mount’s expertise from the dead ball paid dividends.
The Chelsea starlet watched his direct free-kick smash the post, but the rebound was headed in by Suliman as he reacted quicker than the Portuguese defenders.
Eurosport UK shared the opening effort:
England’s advantage lasted only minutes as the Young Lions shot themselves in the foot with an own goal.
Sterling was unbalanced as he attempted to clear a cross, and the Chelsea academy defender buried his volley into the corner.
The London-born talent collapsed to his knees, clearly distressed by the moment, allowing Portugal back into the game.
Portugal took the opportunity to turn the screw on England, experiencing their best period in the contest as they pushed forward.
However, they could not turn their possession into a strike, and England played on the counter to reclaim the lead.
Manchester City striker Nmecha was the hero as he smashed his shot home with a confident finish after 68 minutes.
Eurosport UK once again shared the action:
The goal knocked the stuffing out of Portugal, and the Young Lions hunted a third with renewed confidence.
However, Edun saw red in the final stages, giving Portugal a numerical advantage in the last seconds of the final.
Portugal pumped the ball into the box as they hunted a very late equaliser, but England stood firm to win the tournament.
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