England’s Under-19s are two-time European Championship champions after pulling off an extra-time comeback to beat Israel 3-1 in Slovakia.
The Young Lions came roaring back after a poor first half that saw them fall behind with a brilliant solo shot from Israeli midfielder Oscar Gloukh (40).
But Callum Doyle (52) equalized for England in the second half before extra-time goals from Carney Chukwuemeka (108) – his third of the tournament – and Aaron Ramsey (116) ensured Ian Foster’s team name was on the trophy.
With the 2020 and 2021 editions canceled due to the Covid-19 pandemic, England have now won two of the previous four competitions after last tasting success in 2017.
England U19 Player Ratings
England: Cox (7), Oyegoke (7), Quansah (7), Edwards (8), Doyle (8), Chukwuemeka (7), Scott (7), Bynoe-Gittens (7), Devine (7), Vale (7 ) ), Scarlett (7).
Substitutes: Ramsey (7), Norton-Cuffy (7), Iroegbunam (7), Chambers (7), Delap (7).
Man of the match: Callum Doyle.
Young Lions win again
England were heavy favorites heading into the final at Trnava’s Anton Malatinsky Stadium after beating Israel 1-0 in the tournament’s group stage.
But it was their opponents who deservedly led at halftime and might have been further ahead had it not been for a tough defence.
The Young Lions struggled to cope with Israeli midfielder Gloukh for long stretches and it was the 18-year-old who put his team ahead with a fantastic individual finish five minutes before half-time.
The teenager picked up a pass inside the box and, despite being surrounded by white shirts, produced exquisite skill to lose his marker before firing a searing shot past England goalkeeper Matthew Cox for his third goal of the tournament.
Israel U19 head coach Ofir Haim named an unchanged starting XI following his team’s 2-1 victory over France in the semi-finals.
Attacking midfielder Oscar Gloukh started in 10th place once again, with striker Ahmad Ebraheim leading the way.
England Under-19 boss Ian Foster made three changes following Tuesday’s 2-1 win over Italy in the quarter-finals.
Daniel Oyegoke, Alex Scott and Jamie Bynoe-Gittens replaced Brooke Norton-Cuffy, Timothy Iroegbunam and Aaron Ramsey in the starting lineup.
Israel dominated for long stretches, but England could have equalized in first-half injury time with their only shot on target.
Israel number 1 Tomer Tzarfati loosed a cross to allow Tottenham striker Dane Scarlett to turn and shoot, but the goalkeeper redeemed himself to avoid it.
English manager Foster’s words at half-time seemed to inspire his players and it wasn’t long before they were back in the final.
Borussia Dortmund’s Jamie Bynoe-Gittens forced a corner when his ferocious shot was deflected behind at the near post by Tzarfati. Jarell Quansah headed in a cross from Alfie Devine, and Doyle converted the ball at the far post.
Chukwuemeka could have won it in normal time, but his long-range shot bounced off the post with Tzarfati beaten, while Israel also had their chances with the impressive Gloukh at the center of most of their attacks.
But it was England who seemed fitter and stronger as the game headed into extra time and their persistence paid off as the final looked headed for a penalty shootout.
Captain Harvey Vale’s left-footed cross from outside found Chukwuemeka to put England ahead before Ramsey put the result out of question when he tapped on some fine work from Liam Delap.
Southgate will be watching
Dan Sansom of Sky Sports:
The last time the U19s tasted success at the European Championships five years ago, the team that beat Portugal in the final included Mason Mount, Reece James and Aaron Ramsdale, all of whom have become full internationals under the Directed by Gareth Southgate.
It has been a convincing campaign in Slovakia for the Young Lions in general. They topped their group with wins over Austria, Serbia and Israel before beating Italy in the semi-final to maintain their perfect record en route to the final, conceding just one goal en route.
Despite a difficult opening 45 minutes in which the Young Lions conceded for the first time since open play, Foster’s side have impressed throughout this summer’s competition. It may be too late to earn a call-up to this year’s World Cup in Qatar, but there are sure to be some in this squad who can set a realistic goal of being on the plane for the 2026 tournament in Canada, Mexico and the United States. Joined. USA. England’s future is bright.