England secure third successive Toulon Tournament triumph

Joe Williams

England Under-21s came from behind to beat Mexico and secure their third successive Toulon Tournament title.

After a successful summer for the England age groups in 2017, the Young Lions continued to show their ability in tournament football with a 2-1 win in Martigues.

Aidy Boothroyd’s side came from behind to beat Scotland in the semi-final and did the same here after Roberto Alvarado put Mexico in front inside 80 seconds.

Dael Fry drew them level and Kieran Dowell completed the turnaround before the interval as England completed a hat-trick of Toulon successes.

The two nations shared a goalless draw before both progressing to the last four from Group A – but there would be goals in the second meeting of the sides.

Alvarado had Mexico ahead with a little over a minute on the clock, turning home Eduardo Aguirre’s cross with a scuffed finish.

The Young Lions were lucky that Uriel Antuna also failed to make telling contact when played through, the Manchester City youngster unable to double Mexico’s lead with less than 12 minutes on the clock.

Freddie Woodman then kept out Francisco Cordova’s drive, with England starting to enjoy more of the ball as the first-half wore on.

The equaliser came through fortuitous circumstances as Mexico goalkeeper Jose Hernandez failed to catch Jake Clarke-Salter’s long throw-in, leaving Fry to finish into an empty goal.

England went in front when Eddie Nketiah crossed low for Everton’s Dowell to coolly convert.

The second half did not start as lively as the first, the heat in southern France leading to drinks breaks in both halves as the players dealt with high temperatures even as the sun began to set towards the end of the game.

Mexico failed to rally in the closing stages as England saw out the final few minutes in mature fashion to continue their recent successes in international football.