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'Under 19 focus' England 3 France 1

By Carly Goodwill
July 31 2009

England are now a step closer to winning the UEFA European U19 Championship when Thursday night they saw off France in Donetsk to secure their place in the competitionís Final. The game went to extra time but the Young Lions victory was well deserved and they would no doubt have won the game in the 90 minutes had it not been for the heroics of French goalkeeper Remi Pillot who made a number of lovely saves to keep England at bay.

England were easily the better team throughout the game, France actually made the better start and forced the first real effort on goal just after the six minute mark, when Emmanuel Riviere, hit down Ryad Boudebouz’s ball through for Magaye Gueye, but his low shot was well saved by Jason Steele.

Steele had no chance in the eighth minute though as Yacine Brahimi made his way down the left with ease before pulling a ball back for Gueye, who swept it home from eight yards with his left foot.

For the first 30 minutes, England struggled to move the ball as well as they had done against Slovenia previously with Danny Welbeck, Rhys Murphy and Delfouneso largely starved of possession in the crucial final third.

When they did receive the ball though, England’s three pronged attack looked dangerous. Delfouneso almost made the most of that when he received the ball on the left, making a run past Sebastien Corchia and Mathieu Peybemes but he was just out-muscled in the area by Abdel El Kaoutari and the chance had gone.

England had a great opportunity to equalize in the 33rd minute, when Joe Bennett’s free-kick into the box picked out Matthew Briggs at the far post but he didn’t fully connect with the ball and it went wide.

An equalizer arrived in the 38th minute. Danny Drinkwater took a free-kick from the edge of the area hit the France defensive wall, but when the ball landed at the feet of Henri Lansbury. He made no mistake and smashed a low shot into the goal, giving Pillot no chance and ending the first half on level terms.

No changes were made by either side at half time, England looked ready to finish the job but it was France who came closest when Joshua Guilavogui struck a powerful shot narrowly wide in the 47th minute.

France then had another chance in the 54th minute when Riviere did well to collect a long ball and play it into the path of substitute Damien Le Tallec. He was in a good position to shoot but tried to pass it on again and Kieran Trippier was well positioned to intercept.

England were still comfortable though and from then on looked the only side likely to win the game. It took a save from Pillot to keep France level just off the hour mark, when Drinkwater played a one-two with Welbeck to breach their defense. He hit a hard left-footer, but Pillot managed to get a touch to it and the ball went wide.

Pillot again denied the Young Lions in the 64th minute when Welbeck tricked his way into some space in the area and when his low cross was only half cleared by France, Lansbury’s follow-up was straight at the French keeper.

Welbeck then broke through on goal and when he clashed with Corchia just as he was about to shoot, the ball fell in place for Delfouneso who brought it back into the danger zone, but a well played combination of Pillot and Peybemes cleared his effort off the line.

France were reduced to ten men after that incident, with Corchia receiving his second booking for the foul on Welbeck although he was bizarrely allowed the sit the rest of the game out from the bench.

After receiving treatment, Welbeck was back on the pitch although it was only for a short while as he was then clattered in the area by Pillot after the whistle had gone for an English free-kick on the edge of the area following a foul on Dan Gosling in the build-up. Nile Ranger replaced the striker.

Ranger then had the ball in the net in the 82nd minute when he headed home Lansbury’s cross after a flick-on by Delfouneso, but an offside flag was raised and any celebrations were cut short.

The game went to extra-time and it was less than two minutes before the Young Lions finally took the lead they deserved. Ranger did superbly on the left to keep Alfred N’Diaye at bay, before picking out fellow substitute Joe Mattock. He traded passes with Bennett and when Pillot could only parry his shot, Delfouneso was there to tap home from close range.

Drinkwater fired a low shot wide of the post after making his way into the area from the right as England looked to make their extra man count.

With the first period of extra time nearly over, England got the third goal, when Bennett ran at the defense before playing a pass into the area for Delfouneso. The Aston Villa man cut inside one defender before rounding Pillot to give his country a firm lead with his fourth goal of the competition.

France weren’t happy with things and with just a few minutes left, El Kaoutari received a second booking for a cynical foul on Gosling and Boudebouz followed him down the tunnel after receiving a straight red card for his reaction.

England slowed down their tempo for the final 15 minutes of the game and also saw El Kaoutari sent off for a cynical foul on Gosling, before rightfully lauding the applause from the crowd at the final whistle.
 Full Time score: England 3                France 1                        Lansbury 37'         Gueye 8'                        Delfouneso 92', 105' Official: Bas Nijhuis Att 

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'Under 19 focus' England 3 France 1
Discussion started by Three Lions (IP Logged), 31/07/2009 10:10
Three Lions
Three Lions
31/07/2009 10:10
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