Two impressive wins for England U20s ensured they bounced back from disappointing results against Italy and the Czech Republic in the last international break. The first of those wins came against Portugal as two goals from Stoke City striker Tyrese Campbell helped the Young Lions to a 4-0 win. Manchester City striker Ian Poveda-Ocampo got England’s third before Emile Smith-Rowe of Arsenal rounded off the victory.
Their second game was contested with Iceland’s U21 side, against whom England managed to keep another clean sheet and ran out 3-0 winners after another impressive display from Poveda-Ocampo. Reading striker Danny Loader – who has recently been linked with Manchester United and Wolves – put England 1-0 up and then turned provider for Poveda-Ocampo, who only joined the game in the 61st minute. The City player then got his second of the game soon after, making it three from two for him during this November window.
England U19s made it into the Elite Round of qualifying for the European Championships after they won all three of their group games, scoring 13 goals in the process. Captain Tommy Doyle set up Manchester City team-mate Taylor Harwood-Bellis for England’s first goal in their 4-0 defeat of Luxembourg. Arsenal’s Bukayo Saka then set up the first of Bobby Duncan’s quick-fire double, with the Fiorentina player’s second laid on by Xavier Amaechi, who got England’s fourth. Their second game was a 5-0 rout of North Macedonia, with goals coming from Doyle, Anthony Gordon of Everton, Saka and two goals in quick succession for Manchester United’s James Garner. Another United player got on the scoresheet in England’s third game. Ethan Laird doubled England’s lead after Chelsea’s Faustino Anjorin had opened the scoring, with further goals from Gordon and Harwood-Bellis rounding off a 4-1 win against Bosnia.
Spain was the setting for England U18s as they competed in a three-game mini-tournament against Russia, Norway and the Czech Republic. Manchester City duo Cole Palmer and Morgan Rogers both scored in the Young Lions 5-2 victory against Russia, as did Arsenal’s Sam Greenwood. Debutants James McAtee and Jay Stansfield got off to a good start, combining well to set up substitute Alex Mighten, all after Noni Madueke (PSV) had scored England’s first.
McAtee then got his first start in the U18s second game, a 4-4 draw with Norway, and took full advantage by scoring a brace. Greenwood got one from the penalty spot but the pick of England’s goals was their 95th minute equaliser, a stunning 25-yard strike from Arsenal’s Miguel Azeez. In their last game against the Czech Republic, Madueke’s curler was the only goal in a 1-0 win, though it could have been more had Stansfield not missed two penalties in the first 15 minutes of the game, something Fulham fans certainly aren’t used to seeing from their exciting young forward. With these two victories and the draw against Norway, England U18s are now unbeaten in nine games.
There were two friendlies for England’s representatives one age group below, the first of which was a 3-1 defeat to Denmark. After going 1-0 down in the first half, the U17s responded well and had chances to level through Everton’s Lewis Dobbin and Luke Badley of Chelsea, with goalkeeper Coniah Boyce-Clarke making some good saves to keep England in the game. Dobbin eventually scored after reacting quickest to James Norris‘ rebounded shot, but it proved to be insufficient. They were a lot more successful in their second game however, as Manchester City’s Alex Robertson got both goals in their 2-0 win over the Czech Republic. His first was a cool left-footed finish to round off a slick team move in midfield, and he added a second with his head after a good cross from West Brom’s Rico Richards, who was unfortunate not to score a couple himself in the second half.
In action for Ireland’s U21 side was Derby County’s Jason Knight, who put in an impressive display in their 1-0 victory over Armenia. After winning the ball back high up the pitch he played in Norwich’s Adam Idah, who duly crossed for Zack Elbouzedi to get the only goal of the game. Idah was then heavily involved in their second game against Sweden, assisting Lee O’Connor for Ireland’s first before getting one for himself. Elbouzedi then made it two in two games and Tottenham Hotspur’s Troy Parrott finished off the scoring in their 4-1 win.
Ireland U19s failed to make it through to the next round of qualifying for the European Championships, despite a 13-0 win over Gibraltar that was book-ended by defeats to Switzerland and Austria. Newcastle’s Oisin McEntee got Ireland’s only goal in their 2-1 defeat to the Swiss, though Tom Cannon’s audacious, late overhead-kick was probably deserving of more, if not for effort more than execution. The drubbing of minnows Gibraltar brought four goals for Aston Villa’s Tyreik Wright, as well as first international goals for Jamie Bowden (2), Everton’s Cannon and Lewis Richards of Wolves. The U19s then lost 2-0 to Austria in a dramatic game that saw three sending-offs, two for themselves and one for the Austrians in a fiery encounter that condemned the Irish to miss out on the next round of qualifying.
Their U17s however, fared much better in their quest for qualification into Europe’s major tournament. Evan Ferguson scored two as they beat Andorra 6-0, with further goals from Colin Conroy and substitute Calum Kavanagh. Ben McCormack also bagged himself a brace in Ireland U17s second game against Montenegro, which ended 3-1 after an Anselmo Garcia McNulty header, and they rounded off their trio of fixtures with a 4-2 defeat of Israel. Fulham’s Oliver O’Neill got Ireland’s first, before Ferguson made it three in three.
Neco Williams helped Wales U19 secure their passage to the next round of qualifying as they won two of their three group games. The Liverpool player scored two penalties in Wales’ 2-2 draw with Russia after they had won their first fixture 3-0 against Poland. Williams then got another in their third game, bagging Wales’ second goal in a 2-0 win over Kosovo.
Fulham’s Terry Ablade scored for his native Finland as they drew 1-1 with the Faroe Islands, though he could not save them from falling to defeat to France. He did much better in their third and final game though, helping them to a 3-1 win over Denmark.