England’s U19’s could not emulate the achievements of their U17 counterparts after falling 3-1 to Spain in the semi-finals of the European U19 Championships.
The U19’s had hoped to go one better than last year when they reached the final only to fall at the final hurdle to a strong Ukraine side.
Unfortunately for Blake and an England team containing Declan Rudd (Norwich City) and Nathaniel Clyne (Crystal Palace) the Young Lions were unable to overcome an impressive Spanish team who to watch were almost a clone of their World Champion senior squad.
In a game which the Spanish dominated possession England were always up against it especially after the Spaniards took an early lead on 12 minutes.
The goal ironically coming from a player based in England, Liverpool’s Daniel Pacheco.
And despite responding at 2-0 via a John Bostock strike, the Spanish closed out the game early in the second-half with a decisive third goal from Real Madrid new boy Sergio Canales.
But despite the defeat Head Coach Noel Blake insisted he was happy with his players, he said:
“We came here with a couple of objectives, firstly to get to the World Cup Finals and we’ve achieved that and then to get out of the group stages and we’ve achieved that.”
“Another one was to go all the way, we’ve just fallen a bit short but to finish in the last four of any major tournament is credible.”
“When this campaign began, there were 52 nations involved and we made the last four, so that’s something to be celebrating.”