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England U18s win Costa Calida Supercup

Neil Ryan’s England U18s were crowned champions of the Costa Calida Supercup over the international break after winning all three of their games.

The Young Lions earned narrow wins over the Netherlands, the Faroe Islands and Belgium to win the four-team mini-tournament in Pinatar.

Ryan’s side started their season with a 1-0 victory over the Netherlands courtesy of a stoppage-time winner from substitute Leo Castledine.

The Chelsea forward turned home from Jacob Wright’s cross after some good play down the right-hand side from Joel Ndala.

The Young Lions followed up with a second victory by beating the Faroe Islands 2-1 from a Dominic Ballard brace including another late winner.

Ballard opened the scoring early in the first half capitalising from a mix-up at the back leading to pinball in the penalty area which allowed the striker to fire home.

The Faroe Islands equalised midway through the first half when Aki Samuelson got on the end of a loose ball and slotted it into the bottom corner.

England finally grabbed a winner in the 85th minute from the penalty spot when Ballard was pulled back in the box and smashed the penalty into the top corner for his second.

The Young Lions made it three wins from three when they came from behind to beat Belgium 2-1 with a heavily changed side, only Ndala keeping his place from the previous match.

Belgium took the lead in the second half when a miscommunication between True Grant and Josh Feeney led to the latter heading into his own net.

England equalised three minutes later when Amario Cozier-Duberry broke into the box after some smart play with Jimmy Donley and fired in from a tight angle.

They completed the turnaround when substitute Ballard intercepted a weak back pass and poked home his third of the tournament.

Ryan’s side had Grant to thank for the three points as the keeper produced a stunning performance making multiple important saves to keep Belgium at bay.

Birmingham City midfielder Jobe Bellingham, brother of England starlet Jude, won player of the tournament fresh from signing his first pro deal a matter of days ago.

Overall the Costa Calida Supercup was a huge success for Neil Ryan and his squad as they showed great patience and fight to grind out results in all three games including a late winner in all.

Lino Sousa and Amario Cozier-Duberry celebrating winning the Costa Calida Supercup

[Photo via Meta 2022]

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