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Such teams win tournaments. England, one step away from the Eurocup final

Date: June 25, 2024 Time: 16:15:34

Such teams win tournaments. England, one step away from the Eurocup final

Mikhail Rozhdestvensky July 2, 2023, 21:25 Moscow time

Portugal fought until the end, but could not do anything.

The Junior European Championship has reached a decisive stage. The day before we recognized two semifinalists, and on July 2 it was the turn of two more matches. In the first they faced England and Portugal.

The first minutes were for the British. The team had a clear advantage, combined and already in the 4th minute created a deadly moment, but Curtis Jones missed the goal. The main characteristic of England was speed: the ball moved rapidly along the flanks (mainly on the right, where Noni Madueke dressed), and then moved to the center. At the same time, the Portuguese practically did not have the ball and were forced to remain on the defensive.

Portugal took 12 minutes to wake up. And it immediately became clear that this team is fine with speed. Pedro Neto was especially active: the winger tormented the right flank of the British defense above all, but he did not hesitate to move to other positions. It was he who had the best moment in the first half, when James Garner missed the ball and goalkeeper James Trafford had to drag.

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Portugal’s activity also manifested itself in extremely high and aggressive pressure. True, the British managed – frozen went ahead through a short pass and dribbling. Those moments characterized the game well and changed the difference in attacking actions. While the British tried to deploy to the right, the Portuguese acted more directly, relying on long-range hits and serves.

Half an hour into the game, the advantage returned to the British, and in the 34th minute it logically materialized into a goal. The team was still able to draw up some elegant and productive play: Morgan Gibbs-White opened up front in the penalty area and fired, and Anthony Gordon closed out.

England 1-0 Portugal, Euro 2023 U21 match

Photo: Alex Caparrós – UEFA/UEFA via Getty Images

There were few events at the end of the first half, but the second started brightly. The Portuguese immediately went on the attack, but the attack tactics did not help, there were not enough obvious moments yet. After that, it looked like the British regained control of the game, but around the 65th minute Portugal added noticeably to the details.

The activity of Portugal overlapped with the injury of the British – they had to change Jacob Ramsey. Everything you need to know about the composition of England: instead of one extremely promising midfielder, another appeared in the person of Emil Smith-Roe.

The Portuguese, for his part, continued to press, taking advantage of the passivity of his rival, who apparently decided to take the matter to victory by the minimum. Finally, Portugal began to receive dangerous approaches through a pass from below inside the penalty area, scoring chances began to emerge. After one of the shots, the ball even flew over the crossbar; at that moment the feeling was set that he was going for a return goal.

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But time passed, but there was still no goal. The British were still unwilling to attack and squeezed into their own penalty area, while the Portuguese, clearly getting nervous about the time on the scoreboard, went back down into the sheds. Only that these canopies were already different from those that existed in the first half. Here it was already much more dangerous and promising, and Trafford did not act with much confidence.

But in the end, when the Portuguese needed a saving grace, the forces ended abruptly. Instead of dangerous shots, there were turnovers and inaccurate passes. The British perfectly felt this moment and began to kill time, having even managed to get close to the opponent’s goal a couple of times. And they kept it up until the final whistle.

This victory of the English youth team is very reminiscent of the style of the main team. The advantage of such a strategy is the result. The semifinal of the Eurocup (and with it a ticket to the Olympic Games) is already in your pocket, and there is only one step left before the final. And in general, it is these teams that win the tournaments, whether we like it or not. Minus – the incredible attacking potential is not fully revealed, because after the goal the team begins to play for the score. But does it make sense to criticize after the victory?

Follow the last quarterfinal matches online:

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How England has recovered! Portugal disappointingly through to the semifinals of the Eurocup. LIVE

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Puck Henry
Puck Henry
Puck Henry is an editor for ePrimefeed covering all types of news.
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