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Published 10 September 2023 4 min read
Men's U18

Report: Portugal 2-1 England MU18s

Written by:

Nicholas Veevers

Ryan Garry's Young Lions finished their trip to France with defeat after last-minute drama in Limoges


England men’s under-18s ended their week with a narrow 2-1 defeat against Portugal at the Tournoi International in France.

Ryan Garry’s team looked worthy of a draw in their third and final game of the tournament, only for Portugal to score in second-half stoppage time and claim victory in Limoges.

The result follows on from their defeats to France and Japan last week, but the Young Lions could certainly consider themselves unfortunate not to have got a result this time.

They could've taken the lead too, with an early opportunity for Myles Lewis-Skelly who took advantage of a short pass across the back by a Portuguese defender and saw his shot roll inches wide after just four minutes.

But Portugal also had a good chance two minutes later, when Guilherme Beatriz was sent clear only to clip his shot wide when he should’ve done better.

Seconds later, they took the lead when a slide-rule pass into the England half saw Goncalo Sousa nip in ahead of a fully-stretched Ishé Samuels-Smith before he skipped into the box past Travis Akomeah and rounded Tommy Setford to finish the move in the eighth minute.

The Young Lions’ best chance of the first half came just after the 30-minute mark when Samuel Amo-Ameyaw’s run down the left ended with a chipped cross into the middle for Jayden Danns, but the Liverpool youngster’s point-blank header was straight at a relieved Jose Ribeiro in goal.

England drew level after the break though, when Michael Golding’s corner from the left was met firmly by the head of captain Lakyle Samuel with Ribeiro having no chance.

They almost had a second too, as Danns was denied with a close ranger header by Ribeiro after Golding’s free-kick had been knocked back across goal.

The Young Lions were in the ascendancy as Lewis-Skelly went close again, after jinking his way into the area and placing a shot towards the top corner only to narrowly miss the target.

But while England were on the front foot, it was Portugal who almost edged ahead again when substitute Joao Teixeira crashed a volley against the crossbar following an earlier save from Setford and an ensuing scramble in the area.

And just as it looked as though the teams were all set for a draw, it was Portugal who nicked it in the dying minutes when Teixeira played through fellow sub Rodrigo Duarte and he arrowed a shot past Setford and into the far corner.

There was more drama to follow, as following a cynical foul to break Lewis-Skelly’s attack both Portugal’s Joao Infante and England’s Jimmy-Jay Morgan were sent off for an off-the-ball incident.

England: 1 Tommy Setford (Ajax), 2 Lakyle Samuel (Manchester City), 3 Jayden Meghoma (Southampton), 5 Travis Akomeah (Chelsea), 6 Ishé Samuels-Smith (Chelsea), 7 Michael Golding (Chelsea), 8 Myles Lewis-Skelly (Arsenal), 10 Archie Stevens (Glasgow Rangers), 11 Justin Oboavwoduo (Manchester City), 18 Samuel Amo-Ameyaw (Southampton), 19 Jayden Danns (Liverpool)

Substitutes: 14 Harrison Murray-Campbell (Chelsea) for Samuels-Smith 46, 9 Jimmy Jay Morgan (Chelsea) for Danns 73, 21 Tyrique George (Chelsea) for Oboavwoduo 74, 20 Lewis Orford (West Ham United) for Lewis-Skelly 87

Substitutes not used: 4 Finley McAllister (Manchester United), 12 Triston Rowe (Aston Villa), 13 Finlay Herrick (West Ham United), 15 Somto Boniface (Chelsea), 17 Tyler Dibling, 22 Sam Proctor (Aston Villa), 23 Law McCabe (Middlesbrough)

Head coach: Ryan Garry

Goals: Lakyle Samuel