England U 19’s 2 Portugal U 19’s 0
Chesterfield Technique Stadium kick off 7.30 p.m.
UEFA Under 19’s Qualifier
6005 turned up for this England qualifier and filled two sides of the 12000 all seater stadium.
After a few glorious days fans were pleased to have dressed for a wind that was quickly reducing the temperature. Chesterfield’s pitch is perfectly flat and against local reports I was pleased to find that only the immediate goal areas were sanded on what looked a green thick turf.
A win for England would ensure them a place in the finals in Slovakia from the 18th June to 1st July.
The game started fast with Portugal pressing with two quick forewords in Diago Trevasson and Joleson testing the England back line. It was England however who took an early lead when Brooke Norton Cuffey of Arsenal made a great overlap on the right to cut the ball back for Dave Scarlett to place the ball along the ground between a defenders legs.
The pace kept up and just before half time on 40 minutes Devine was brought down by the Portugal goalkeeper and Dave Scarlett stepped forward to take the penalty. Scarlett placed the ball to the keepers right to give England a comfortable lead at the break.
England only had one scare in the second half when a Portugal defender was free at the far post after a great cross from the left. How he ballooned the ball over the bar when almost on the goal line baffled everyone in the stadium. Portugal made numerous changes to try and gain a foothold in the game and were shown 6 yellow cards to England’s 1 mainly due to their frustration at the home sides controlled play. England ran our competent winners to progress to the summer finals. In a fast and furious game the two Aston Villa players of Charney Chuckwuemeka and Tim Iroegbunam stood out as they were effective but seemed to have time on the ball that appeared almost casual.
There are no pictures of the match as UEFA asked that there should be no autographs, selfies or pictures taken of the players.