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Loader and England fall to narrow Portugal defeat

Young Lions face uphill task to reach knockout stages in Toulon

5 June 2019

Danny Loader was brought on as a second-half substitute for England U20s on Tuesday evening, but couldn't stop the Young Lions from falling to a 3-2 defeat against Portugal's U19s in the Toulon Tournament.

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Following their opening defeat against Japan, it is now unfortunately highly unlikely that Paul Simpson's side will reach the semi-finals of the mixed-age-group competition.

The game started perfectly for the youngsters, however, as Arsenal striker, Eddie Nketiah fired England ahead in the opening 10 minutes in Toulon.

But Portugal quickly began to look imposing on the counter - England were dominant in possession, but their opponents levelled midway through the first half via Marcos Paulo, before striking twice in three minutes prior to the interval, handing them a 3-1 advantage at the break.

With England pressing to get back in the game, Loader was introduced 15 minutes from time to add another attacking threat for the Young Lions.

Hopes of a late comeback were sparked as young Arsenal playmaker, Joe Willock bundled in from close range after a low cross by Kyle Edwards on the right flank.

With the result on a knife-edge, Portugal had the chance to make sure of the result in stoppage time from the spot, but Umbaro Embalo could not convert from 12 yards as Ellery Balcombe got down well to parry.

A disappointing result for Loader and England, but another valuable experience for the Royals teenager as he steps up an age group with his national side.

Plenty of the squad have experienced senior football in the Championship this season, with Loader in the setp alongside the likes of QPR's Ebere Eze, Leeds United's Jamie Shackleton, Reece James (on loan at Wigan from Chelsea), and former Royals loanee, Josh Sims, among others.

Full-time | Portugal U19 3-2 England U20

England U20: Schofield (Balcombe HT), Shackleton (Loader 76), James, Chalobah, Lowe, Eze, Gallagher, Sims (Edwards 69), Willock, McNeil (Tavernier 58), Nketiah. 

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