England U16s beat host nation France to win the Montaigu Tournament
Last Updated: 07/04/15 10:51am
England U16s won the Montaigu Tournament on Sunday after a 3-1 victory over France in the final.
Steve Cooper’s side qualified for the final after beating Mexico and Turkey, and drawing 1-1 with Ivory Coast.
They overcame an early scare after the host nation were awarded a penalty, but Chelsea goalkeeper Jared Thompson made a fine save to keep England on level terms.
And they took the lead on the half-hour mark when Arsenal youngster Reiss Nelson ran at the French defence and beat two players before unleashing an unstoppable shot from the edge of the area.
Tottenham’s Keanan Bennetts added a second three minutes after the interval before Martell Taylor-Crossdale scored the third to put the game beyond France’s reach.
France snatched a late consolation in stoppage time but it was England who claimed the title in style, giving head coach Cooper plenty to be optimistic about moving forward.
“We’ve looked creative and expressive and we’ve really looked like an England side which had the identity and the DNA that we now want our teams to play with,” the former Liverpool U18s manager told TheFA.com.
"The players have played in the way that we wanted them to play, which isn’t just good for now but promising for the future as well.
"That’s been the most important thing – they have gained a really good understanding of the non-negotiables involved when it comes to our playing style."