England U19s are two-time European Championship winners after producing a fightback in extra time to beat Israel 3-1 in Slovakia.
The Young Lions roared after a lackluster first half that saw them fall behind a brilliant solo strike from Israeli midfielder Oscar Gloukh (40th).
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 that was the name of the team of Ian Foster on the trophy.
With the 2020 and 2021 editions canceled due to the Covid-19 pandemic, England – who lost the finals in 2005 and 2009 – have now won two of the previous four competitions after a final tasting success in 2017.
English player ratings
England: Cox (7), Oyegoke (7), Quansah (7), Edwards (8), Doyle (8), Chukwuemeka (7), Scott (7), Bynoe-Gittens (7), Devine (7), Vale (7) ), Scarlette (7).
Subtitles: Ramsey (8), Norton-Cuffy (7), Iroegbunam (7), Chambers (7), Delap (7).
Man of the match: Callum Doyle.
Young Lions victorious again
England were heavy favorites going into the final at the Anton Malatinsky Stadium in Trnava having already beaten Israel 1-0 in the group stage of the tournament.
But it was their opponents – appearing in the final for the first time – who deservedly led at half-time and could have been further ahead had it not been for a resilient defence.
The Young Lions struggled to cope with Israeli midfielder Gloukh for long stretches and it was the 18-year-old who put his side ahead with a fantastic individual finish five minutes before the break.
The teenager collected a pass inside the penalty area and, despite being surrounded by white shirts, produced exquisite skill to lose his marker before firing a blistering strike past England keeper Matthew Cox to his third goal of the tournament.
Israel U19 head coach Ofir Haim has named an unchanged starting XI after his side’s 2-1 victory over France in the semi-finals.
Attacking midfielder Oscar Gloukh took over the number 10 role, with striker Ahmad Ebraheim in the lead.
England U19 boss Ian Foster made three changes following Tuesday’s 2-1 win over Italy in the last four.
Daniel Oyegoke, Alex Scott and Jamie Bynoe-Gittens replaced Brooke Norton-Cuffy, Timothy Iroegbunam and Aaron Ramsey in the starting lineup.
Israel, whose only other appearance in the competition was in 2014, dominated for long periods but England nearly equalized in first-half stoppage time with their only shot on target.
Israeli number 1 Tomer Tzarfati fumbled a cross to allow Tottenham striker Dane Scarlett to spin and shoot, but the goalkeeper redeemed himself to keep it clear.
England boss Foster’s words at the break seemed to inspire his players and it wasn’t long before they found themselves in the final.
Borussia Dortmund’s Jamie Bynoe-Gittens forced a corner kick when his fierce shot was deflected at the near post by Tzarfati. Alfie Devine’s whipping cross was headed towards goal by Jarell Quansah, and Doyle returned the ball to the far post.
Chukwuemeka could have won in normal times but his long-range shot bounced off the post with Tzarfati beaten, while Israel also had their chances with the impressive Gloukh in the center of the majority of their attacks.
But it was England who looked fitter and stronger as the game headed into extra time and their perseverance paid off with a penalty shootout imminent.
Captain Harvey Vale’s left-footed cross found Chukwuemeka to put England ahead before Ramsey put the result beyond doubt when he capitalized on good work from Liam Delap.
Who is England U19 boss Ian Foster?
Ian Foster was part of Steve Cooper’s England U17 coaching staff in 2017 when they won the World Cup in India.
He was then given the role of England U18 manager during a period of schedule disruption due to Covid-19, but oversaw a record seven wins and two draws in nine games and was later promoted to U19 manager.
‘It means everything’ – what the England U19s said
England U19 Captain Harvey Val Told UEFA.com“We definitely didn’t make it easy for ourselves, especially in the first half. We never stopped believing in it. The unity in this group – the 21 players, all the staff, plays a part in that. “We never hide from the fact that we know we can win games regardless of the score. I think that really got us to this point and that’s what won us this tournament.
“It was extremely difficult tonight. Well done to Israel, they are a great team. Sometimes they kept the ball for very long periods of time and made it difficult for us. Like I said, that conviction and that unity of our team, it’s hard to fight.
“That means everything. We’ve all watched England teams in the past and dreamed of playing in an England team, never mind winning a trophy for your country. I don’t think there’s a better honor than that one in football. It means the world to all of us. To have family here, people here who have watched us and made sacrifices all our lives, it’s amazing. I’m so proud.
Carney Chukwuemeka: “I’m buzzing. I didn’t know what to do when I scored. The adrenaline kicked in and I just started running. We took the win and lifted the trophy. You can’t ask for much more. You dreaming of times like this and having it actually happen is a dream come true.”
Aaron Ramsey: “That means everything. I’ve been with the England team since I was 16, so all that hard work from there, going from training camp to winning now – I don’t think a lot many players can say that.”
After the match, England’s senior captain Harry Kane congratulated the U19s on Twitter.
“Brilliant guys. Well done and enjoy the celebrations,” he posted.
Southgate will monitor
Sky Sports’ Dan Sansom:
The last time the U19s enjoyed success at the Euros five years ago, the side that beat Portugal in the final included Mason Mount, Reece James and Aaron Ramsdale, all of whom became senior internationals under by Gareth Southgate.
It’s been a compelling campaign in Slovakia for the Young Lions as a whole. They topped their group with wins over Austria, Serbia and Israel before beating Italy in the semi-finals to maintain their perfect record en route to the final, conceding just one goal along the way.
Despite a tricky 45-minute opener that saw the Young Lions concede for the first time in open play, Foster’s side have impressed throughout this summer’s competition. It may be too late to be called up for 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. England’s future is bright.
England’s success at youth tournaments
- 2017 U20 World Cup winners (beating Venezuela 1-0 in the final)
- Winners of the U19 European Championship in 2017 (beating Portugal 2-1 in the final)
- Winners of the U17 World Cup in 2017 (beating Spain 5-2 in the final)
- Winners of the U19 European Championship in 2022 (beating Israel 3-1 in the final)
- England have won the U19 European Championship twice (2017 and 2022)
- England striker Dane Scarlett scored a total of eight goals during the competition (six in qualifying and two in the final)
- Reaching the final was Israel’s best result in the tournament. Their previous record was the group stage in 2014
- Oscar Gloukh and Carney Chukwuemeka both scored three goals in the final, one less than the tournament’s top scorer and French striker Loum Tchaouna.