Semi-finalists at the tournament in Stemwede two years ago, we were unable to find the same level of performance this time around and, after consecutive 1-1 draws against Werder Bremen and FC Copenhagen on Thursday, we slipped to back-to-back defeats against Red Bull Brazil and Mühlenkreis Team on Friday, ending our hopes of qualifying out of the group.
We did, however, taste victory when paired with Galatasaray in a play-off game to end the campaign, with Anthony Georgiou’s first-half goal being added to by midfielder Jack Roles – our top scorer in the Under-18 Premier League this season – after the break to secure a 2-0 win.
Shayon Harrison had been among the goals on day one. Playing games of two 20-minute halves, the striker gave us an early lead against Werder Bremen, only to see us concede an equaliser 11 minutes from time.
He also gave us the lead against Copenhagen, this time from the penalty spot, but again we let our lead slip after the break.
Two second-half goals consigned us to a 2-0 defeat against Red Bull Brazil in Friday’s first outing and despite striker Ryan Loft giving us a 10th-minute lead against Mühlenkreis Team later in the day, we conceded twice more, the second one a penalty, to lose 2-1.
Spurs (v Werder Bremen): Whiteman, Lock, Brown, Tsaroulla, Marsh, Omolabi, Edwards, Shashoua, Loft (Griffiths 26), Harrison, Georgiou.
Spurs (v FC Copenhagen): Freeman, Tsaroulla, Brown, Shashoua, Omolabi, Marsh, Reynolds (Edwards 28), Roles, Griffiths (Loft 28), Harrison, Bennetts (Gonzalez-Velasco 31).
Spurs (v Red Bull Brazil): Whiteman, Lock, Brown, Tsaroulla, Omolabi, Marsh (Griffiths 23), Shashoua, Roles, Harrison, Edwards, Georgiou (Bennetts 20).
Spurs (v Mühlenkreis Team): Freeman, Lock, Bennetts, Reynolds (Roles 27), Omolabi, Brown, Gonzalez-Velasco (Edwards 27), Tsaroulla, Loft (Shashoua 27), Harrison, Griffiths.
Spurs (v Galatasaray): Whiteman, Lock (Gonzalez-Velasco 38), Bennetts, P Maghoma, Tsaroulla, Brown, Edwards (Griffiths 20), Roles (Reynolds 38), Harrison, Shashoua (Loft 30), Georgiou.
There were better fortunes for Josh Onomah, Kyle Walker-Peters and Cameron Carter-Vickers at the FIFA Under-20 World Cup in South Korea this week, however.
Midfielder Josh and full-back Kyle both played 90 minutes as England beat the host nation 1-0 to secure top spot in their group and advance to the last 16 on Friday. The pair were unused substitutes in Tuesday’s 1-1 draw with Guinea while Josh started and played 84 minutes in last Saturday’s 3-0 victory over Argentina. The Young Lions still await the identity of their opponents in their last 16 tie, scheduled for Wednesday, May 31, kick-off 12pm.
Centre-back Cameron, who has been sidelined through injury of late, was on the bench for the United States’ tournament opener against Ecuador (3-3 draw) on Monday but returned to put on a Man of the Match display in Thursday’s 1-0 win over Senegal. The States now need just a point from Sunday’s clash with Saudi Arabia to guarantee a spot in the knockout stages.
Last week, there was heartbreak for our lads involved with England Under-17s as they lost the European Under-17 Championship final to Spain on penalties in Croatia. Leading 2-1 with seconds to go, Spain equalised before winning 4-1 on spot kicks. Unfortunately, defender TJ Eyoma picked up an injury and was unable to feature and, with midfielder Tashan Oakley-Boothe having also been forced to withdraw from the squad due to injury prior to the game, it was striker Reo Griffiths who was left to fly the flag for us. He remained an unused substitute, though.