U-21 European Championship

England U21 1-0 Spain U21: James Trafford saves last minute spot kick, leads England to a dream title in 39 years

England colts have sealed the deal for them as they have defeated strong rivals Spain by 1-0 as Liverpool star Curtis Jones scored the winner in the first half. Goalkeeper James Trafford was the hero of the game as he saved a last minute spot-kick to clinch the silverware for the English after a hefty hiatus of 39 years.

A tight game

In a game with respect and emotions at stake, both teams have fielded their best eleven in order to clinch the title. Spain, though their senior team has recently made their mark in the European circuit by winning the UEFA Nations League, England was looking for an opportunity to get hold of the silverware as it has been almost four decades they have won any tournament, despite reaching several finals.

With this victory, the Young Lions have achieved the best defensive record in the tournament as Trafford’s last minute double penalty save from Abel Ruiz has stamped on their authority. With this victory, they become the champions for the third time after winning it in 1984, thus restoring their pride as the English colts have “taken that home”.

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Although it was Spain who had dominated the possession stats with 65% ball retention, it was England who had the last laugh as Liverpool young gun Curtis Jones hit the deflected shot from Cole Palmer’s free-kick just minutes before half time whistle. Spain had more than 20 shots on target in response to England’s 8, but that did not seem to dampen the spirit of the youngsters as both the teams toiled till the last minute.

Tense final few minutes

England was minutes away from a glorious victory when referee stopped the game to point to the penalty spot as defender Levi Colwill was deemed responsible for fouling striker Abel Ruiz, which increased eyebrows of the spectators. But, English keeper James Trafford was prepared to take on the onslaught. Just when extra time was appearing inevitable, Trafford lived up to his expectations as he saved the effort from Ruiz, putting his ability to the rescue once again when the rebound was hit by Aimar Oroz, to see the third effort fly over the bar, thus helping England to win in a dramatic style imaginable.

English future No.1?

By winning the European Championship, English people most probably found their future number 1 in James Trafford. He led his side to a impressive title glory without conceding a single goal in the entire tournament, thus his exploits will be remembered for a long time in the English football circuit. Burnley’s decision to go big on James Trafford did rise some speculations but the youngster has justified his signing with his efforts in the tournament.

“It went our way”

Anthony Gordon, the player of the tournament, has expressed his emotions while playing for this champion side, as he was heard mentioning, “I’m absolutely delighted. I feel I have had a good tournament, but me with the individual trophy is down to my team-mates and the staff. The squad is really unselfish. Six or seven of us might have won it, that shows how good we’ve been. It was a very intense game, but we knew that coming into it. Spain have a particular style of football that’s very difficult to play against. I thought we dug in and stuck together well at times, and sometimes you just need a little bit of luck, and it went our way.”

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