The England U20 side drew their first two games in their Group E of the U20 World Cup that is taking place in Turkey.
Gael Bigirimana – got on in one game after 89 minutes
England drew their first game 2-2 against Iraq, after being 2-0 up after 52 minutes, and then drew their second game 1-1 against Chile.
So a win against Egypt (who had lost their first two games) on Saturday would have seen England qualify for the knockout stages of the competition, and since Gael Bigirimana of Newcastle had only made a fleeting appearance for England after 89 minutes in the first game, he was expected to start.
But Gael didn’t start, and England should have been 1-0 up in the first minute when England started their game at the Atatürk Stadium in Bursa.
The culprit was Harry Kane of Tottenham, who missed a fairly easy header in the first minute, and he then went on to miss another four good chances, and his strike partner Larnell Cole of Manchester United, wasn’t much better missing at least two good chances.
The truth of this game is that England should have been well ahead, but when you don’t take you chances it;s always dangerous, and sure enough after 79 minutes Trezeget showed England how to do it with a wonderful opportunist goal.
And then to rub it in, as England tried to salvage the tournament, Hassan Ahmed scored a second goal after three minutes of added time and England lost 2-0.
The England U20 side at least drew a couple of games, but still finished bottom of their group with a measly 2 points – much like the England U21 side, who lost all their three games in the European U21 tournament in Israel last month, that finally led to manager Stuart Peace being fired.
The England U20 coach Peter Taylor didn’t do much better – but as long as England have mediocre coaches in charge, we will not win anything – and by the way, that 2-0 loss by the England U20 side was the 17th game running in a finals that that we haven’t won – a truly terrible record.
The news coming through is that former England manager Steve McClaren could become the new England U21 coach – but why does that seem like the same old thing from England – another mediocre coach in charge of an England side.
And I almost forgot, we didn’t see Gael play in that game at all, even though with 25 appearances for Newcastle last season, he was one of the most experienced players in the England squad – but you’ll have to ask Peter Taylor why he didn’t play Gael – we have no idea what he was thinking.
Spain won the U21 European Championship by beating Italy 4-2 in the final – but there could be a shift in power taking place at the senior level, as we watched a reborn Brazil side take Spain apart 3-0 last night in the final of the Confederations Cup.
It seems good somehow to have Brazil emerging again, just in time to do well when they host next year’s World Cup.
And Brazil’s FIFA ranking of 22 was made to look nonsense last night as they were easily the better side, and harried and hassled the World Champions out of their game in Rio de Janeiro, and that was the third time in a row Brazil have won the Confederations Cup.
We just hope that England can make the finals of the competition next summer.
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