England U19 manager Keith Downing started Tottenham Hotspur’s Marcus Edwards on the bench for their U19 European Championship semifinal match against the Czech Republic. Big mistake.
Edwards, a late impact substitute, torched a defender, fired in a great cross, and got a key assist for Manchester City product Lukas Nmecha, who put a slick backheel goal past the Czech keeper to win the match 1-0 for England. The goal came in the 93rd minute with practically the last touch of the ball.
Here’s the play. Marcus Edwards is wearing shirt #14.
Edwards was a 70th minute impact substitute for England and came in as a central midfielder in an attacking 4-3-3 formation. His overall game was fairly quiet, but he had a number of touches on the ball during his stint, passed the ball well, and provided the key assist that sent England to the finals. The match was very even overall with both sides getting good looks on goal.
Let’s not also discount that awesome touch from Nmecha for the goal. That was sick.
England now head to their second underage major tournament final this summer against Portugal, who beat the Netherlands 1-0 earlier in the day. The tournament is taking place in the Republic of Georgia. The final will take place on Saturday, July 15 at 6 pm Georgia time, and will be carried on Eurosport in the UK.
Memo to Downing: START. EDWARDS. IN. THE. FINAL.