England Beat Mexico to Win 2018 Toulon Tournament Final, 3rd Straight Title

Christopher Simpson@@CJSimpsonBRFeatured ColumnistJune 9, 2018

England's Ronaldo Vieira, left, challenges for the ball with Mexico's Alan Jhosue Cervantes Martin Del Campo, during the Under-21 Toulon soccer tournament final match, between England and Mexico, in Martigues, southern France, Saturday, June 9, 2018. (AP Photo/Claude Paris)
Claude Paris/Associated Press

England came from behind to beat Mexico 2-1 in the final of the Toulon Tournament on Saturday to seal their third title in a row.

Roberto Alvarado had given El Tri the early lead at the Stade Francis Turcan in Martigues, France, but Dael Fry and Kieran Dowell struck in the space of four minutes to hand England the win.

The Young Lions have now won the tournament three years running following their victories over France in 2016 and the Ivory Coast last year, and seven times overall.

England were caught unawares from the outset as Mexico took the lead with barely a minute on the clock. Eduardo Aguirre picked out Alvarado after a surging run down the left, and his team-mate converted with a scuffed effort that trickled in off the post.

The Young Lions had plenty of joy down their left flank as they sought out an equaliser, with a pair of promising runs from Tammy Abraham. Eddie Nketiah then flashed a ball across the front of goal from the same area, but Abraham was unable to reach it.

Mexico's best chance to double their lead came through Francisco Cordova, who stung the palms of Freddie Woodman from 20 yards, but two quick-fire goals saw England pull level and move ahead soon after.

Fry bundled in after 32 minutes when goalkeeper Jose Hernandez dropped Jake Clarke-Salter's throw-in at his feet, and four minutes later England's threat down the left finally paid off.

The lively Nketiah escaped Jorge Sanchez's attentions to fire another dangerous cross into the area, and this time Dowell was on hand to sweep home.

Sports journalist Benjamin Wills was full of praise for Arsenal man Nketiah:

As in the first half, Mexico flew out of the traps in the second and could have equalised within a minute, only for Aguirre to fire a tame effort at Woodman.

El Tri controlled much of the possession in the second half and forced England to play on the counter, but clear-cut chances were at a premium.

Abraham had the opportunity to seal the win when Dowell picked him out after Mexico lost possession in their own half, but the striker hit the post with the goal begging.

It mattered little, though, as England held on to take the trophy.

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