• England Under 20s take on Morocco at the Toulon Tournament in France 
  • The Three Lions’s squad boast the likes of Lewis Baker and Chuba Akpom
  • Only the top side from their five-team group will advance to the final stage

Jack Bezants for MailOnline

England face Morocco in their opening fixture of the 2015 Toulon Tournament in France on Thursday evening, with the Under 20s hoping to add their names to a prestigious list of winners.

The Three Lions last came out on top in Toulon back in 1994 but with the likes of Chelsea’s Lewis Baker and Arsenal forward Chuba Akpom in the squad they could be in for a strong tournament.

They open up the campaign against Morocco at the Stade Leo Lagrange knowing that an early victory would be key with only the first-placed side in their five-team group will reach the final.

Follow Sportsmail’s live coverage of all the action here. 

  • Jack Bezants

    Host commentator

Morocco nearly won it! They should have won it! They worked the ball marvellously across the England defence in a sweeping move and the shot from the edge of the area brought an outstanding one-handed save from Christian Walton to keep the scores level with seconds left on the clock.

His presence has caused Morocco to sit back against 10-man England and now, Chuba Akpom has hauled England level. He weaved into the penalty area and seemed to take an age to unleash his shot but once he did, there was only one place it was going to go: the top corner. Magnificent strike from Akpom and with a couple of minutes left on the clock, can England sneak a winner?

James Wilson is replaced by Callum Robinson for England. The Manchester United attacker has had a quiet game. Can Robinson, of Aston Villa, make the most of his six minutes on the pitch?

The presence of Chuba Akpom has seen Morocco drop back a little bit in order to protect their lead. His presence has caused some cautiousness among their ranks. Can England get an equaliser with ten minutes remaining?

England are pushing forward, mainly through James Wilson, but Morocco look dangerous on the break with an extra man.

Boothroyd has made a couple of changes, Harrison Reed on for Jamie Hanson and Chuba Akpom replaces Duncan Watmore to bolster England’s hopes of getting level.

Dominic Iorfa has received his second yellow card and has been given his marching orders. England’s game has got worse, they are down to 10 men and still trail 3-2.

Demarai Gray has missed from about six yards and no matter what standard he is playing at, he should hit the back of the net here. Iorfa does excellently to not only outmuscle his man but to deliver the ball on a plate to Gray.

It is a golden chance to bring England level at the start of the second half, but he scuffs his shot and sends it the wrong side of the post.

Both sets of players are back out on the pitch. Bailey Cargill has, unsurprisingly, been substituted with Moses Odubajo replacing him for the second period. Can England overturn the one-gaol deficit and win their opening game of the Toulon Tournament?

England trail at half time, and deservedly so. Three slack pieces of play defensively has seen Morocco score three, two coming from the clinical Bencharki. Demarai Gray and the impressive Duncan Watmore have scored for England, who will need to regroup under Aidy Boothroyd’s guidance at the break.

The captain, Lewis Baker, tries his luck from range, but it sails wide.

England and Manchester United striker James Wilson has a shot against Tagnaouti, who fumbles his powerful effort around the near post. Morocco then won a free-kick on the edge of the area, but it does not get past the wall.

Five minutes left in the first half here. Each half is 40 minutes long at the Toulon Tournament.

A long ball dissects Morocco’s defence and Duncan Watmore sees an opening. He bursts into the penalty area and just beats the Morocco goalkeeper to the ball, and guides it across goal and into the far corner. After looking set to fall further behind, England are somehow level. Can they push on from here?

Now it is Baker caught in possession in midfield, but Morocco fail to take advantage of a three-on-three situation.

After starting so strongly, England are all at sea. Morocco smell blood by attacking down the right, where they are coming up against Bailey Cargill who is struggling to get a foothold in the game after his mistake which led to the second goal. 24 minutes have been played.

Astonishing stuff in Toulon. Seven minutes after England took the lead and they are now a goal behind. Christian Walton, the England goalkeeper handled the ball outside of his penalty area and Hajhouj of Morocco’s free kick took a huge deflection on its way into the net.

A minute later Baily Cargill was caught in possession and Morocco worked the ball across into Bencharki, who lashed home. And now England look stunned and Cargill is struggling every time the ball lands at his feet. Could Aidy Boothroyd make a switch to tighten the defence? Morocco are pouring forward and look dangerous.


It’s a brilliant start for England, who take the lead after seven minutes through Birmingham’s highly-rated Demarai Gray. He receives a brilliant pass from Lewis Baker, the Chelsea midfielder and the England captain, and finishes powerfully to give the Young Lions a dream start.

It’s a glorious late afternoon in the south of France. England are on the pitch, all in white, and Boothroyd leads the way by belting out the national anthem. Kick-off imminent.

Aidy Boothroyd is eager for his team to learn how to handle themselves in tournament play.

Speaking to the Football Association’s website, Boothroyd said: ‘We’re big on gaining tournament experience.

‘One of the things we’re trying to do is have cap accumulation for our younger players as they come through – they need to be playing in different tournaments and against different teams.

“We’re starting off against Morocco in our group so we have that exposure straight away.

“It’s not just about the playing, it’s about the downtime and how the players handle that too.’

Boothroyd has named his first team of the tournament.

ENGLAND: Walton (Brighton), Iorfa (Wolves), Stephens (Southampton), Cargill (Bournemouth), Grimes (Swansea), Baker (Chelsea, c), Wilson (Manchester United), Gray (Birmingham), Hause (Wolves), Hanson (Derby), Watmore (Sunderland). 

Hello and welcome along to coverage of England Under 20s opening game of the Toulon tournament against Morocco.

Aidy Boothroyd’s side have gone unbeaten all season and now the Young Lions are looking to develop tournament experience out in France at a competition England last won in 1994. 

Kick-off at the Stade Leo Lagrange is at 6pm.



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