Report: England MU18s 3-3 Denmark
England men’s under-18s produced a superb second-half fightback to draw 3-3 with Denmark in Spain.
The Young Lions found themselves 3-0 down early in the second half at the Marbella Football Center.
But then strikes from Sonny Perkins and Dan Gore, plus an own-goal, meant England managed to get themselves level and almost secured the victory.
Head coach Ryan Garry made 11 changes to the starting XI which beat Sweden 3-2 on Friday for the second and final of their international matches as part of this camp.
Denmark enjoyed the most possession early on but it was West Ham United forward Perkins who had the first shot of the game, firing over the bar from the edge of the box.
Borussia Dortmund’s Jamie Bynoe-Gittens had a chance two minutes later when he had an effort from a tight angle saved by the legs of Magnus Worsoe Nielsen.
England grew into the game but were almost punished when Max Thompson’s goal-kick was pounced upon 25 yards from goal and captain-for-the-day Sammy Braybrooke needed to put in a crucial sliding challenge to block the shot, with the goalkeeper scrambling.
Denmark improved as the half went on and Thompson saved superbly when one-on-one to keep the scores level.
England had spells of good possession but were struggling to progress the ball up the pitch and Denmark took the lead in the 36th minute when the Danes broke through the midfield and a shot took a big deflection off Elijah Campbell.
They then doubled their advantage two minutes later after when Filip B. Kristensen’s shot squirmed through the arms of Thompson, shortly before the break.
The Young Lions then endured a terrible start to the second period when the ball was given away in midfield and Gustav Christensen was released inside the full-back and he lifted the ball over Thompson to make it 3-0.
This seemed to be the wake-up call England needed and a number of chances followed in quick succession.
Firstly, Rico Lewis bombed forward from right back to slide the ball across to Bynoe-Gittens but his lift over the keeper when one-on-one went just wide.
Bynoe-Gittens then crossed for Perkins to head wide before the Young Lions did pull a goal back ten minutes after the restart. Left back Zak Sturge surged forward and his cut-back was swept in by Perkins.
England were really pressurising Denmark at this stage and not long after Bynoe-Gittens had hit the post, Gore broke from midfield, went past two players and drilled in a low shot from 25 yards to make it 3-2 with a quarter of an hour remaining.
And four minutes later England’s pressure resulted in an equaliser, as a back-pass to the Denmark goalkeeper rolled under his foot and into the net.
The Young Lions were pushing for a winner but a rare Danish attack almost led to them snatching a winner, only for substitute goalkeeper Tommy Simkin to save superbly down to his left.
England had late corners and a free-kick during injury-time as they searched for a winner but it was Denmark who almost snatched it, as they fired over from close range right at the end.
England: 1 Max Thompson, 2 Rico Lewis (Manchester City), 3 Zak Sturge (Brighton & Hove Albion), 4 Sammy Braybrooke (Leicester City) (c), 5 Ben Nelson (Leicester City), 6 Elijah Campbell (Everton), 7 Sam Mather (Manchester United), 8 George Hall (Birmingham City), 9 Sonny Perkins (West Ham United), 10 Daniel Gore (Manchester United), 11 Jamie Bynoe-Gittens (Borussia Dortmund)
Substitutes: 13 Tommy Simkin (Stoke City) for Thompson 72, 19 Oakley Cannonier (Liverpool) for Perkins 72, 20 Jack Wells-Morrison (Crystal Palace) for Mather 87
Substitutes not used: 12 Reuell Walters (Arsenal), 14 Charlie Webster (Chelsea), 15 Terence Miles (Liverpool), 16 Lee Jonas (Liverpool), 17 Isaac Mabaya (Liverpool), 18 Darko Gyabi (Manchester City), 21 Divin Mubama (West Ham United), 22 James Beadle (Brighton & Hove Albion), 23 Lewis Hall (Chelsea)
Goals: Sonny Perkins 55, Dan Gore 75, own-goal 79
Bookings: George Hall 58
Head coach: Ryan Garry