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World Youth Festival Toulon

  • 22 May 2014
  • • 18:30
  • • Stade Léo-Lagrange, Toulon
  • Referee: J. Peñaloza Soto
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England U21 3-0 Qatar U21: Southgate's men seal opening win in Toulon

England U21 3-0 Qatar U21: Southgate's men seal opening win in Toulon

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An experimental Three Lions outfit struggled to break down their inexperienced opposition, but eventually some quality finishing and poor goalkeeping proved the difference

England Under-21s began their first Toulon tournament for nine years with victory, though they struggled for much of the game to break down a stubborn Qatar outfit.

After a frustrating opening half hour, Reading winger Jordan Obita found the net with a fine finish before Jake Forster-Caskey doubled the lead after the break with a powerful strike.

And substitute Jordan Cousins put the icing on the cake after a goalkeeping error from Yousef Hassan allowed him to stroke the ball into an empty net.

Gareth Southgate caused some surprises in his team selection with captain Jack Butland and Nathan Redmond, who scored a hat-trick against Wales earlier in the week, among a number of players rested on the bench.

There was a place, though, for Luke Garbutt, who impressed on debut at the Liberty Stadium, and the Everton left-back was soon showing his attacking potency as a number of crosses into the box caused goalkeeper Hassan problems.

Southgate would have been frustrated, though, that his side failed to utilise their wide men during the first half, with a number of misplaced passes leading to attacks breaking down.

Qatar were more than happy to soak up the pressure, with all 11 men finding themselves behind the ball on a number of occasions, and England were left frustrated for the opening 30 minutes.

Eventually the deadlock was broken after stand-in skipper James Ward-Prowse's shot from the edge of the box was blocked, and Obita fired a superb angled drive from the left-hand side of the box across Hassan and into the bottom corner.

That finally sprung Southgate's men into life, and Josh McEachran almost doubled the lead before the break as his effort from the edge of the area was half-parried by Hassan before Fahad Abdulrahman got back to complete the clearance inside his own six-yard box.

The second half followed much of the same pattern of the first, though Saido Berahino created something for himself when he curled an effort from the edge of the area just wide of Hassan's post.

Eventually England did double their advantage as Solly March found his Brighton and Hove Albion team-mate Forster-Caskey on the edge of the area, and the midfielder powered an effort into the top corner.

The Seagulls' playmaker almost doubled his tally just moments later as Hassan saved a shot from 18 yards while the goalkeeper twice had to be on his toes to deny Cauley Woodrow late on.

In fact it was Woodrow's fellow replacement Cousins who found the net with the final kick of the match as a poor clearance from Hassan found him on the edge of the area and he swept into the empty net.

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