England completed a dramatic comeback in extra time to deny Israel at the final hurdle and claim their second U19 EURO crown.
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England's "belief and togetherness" got them over the line in a thrilling final against tournament surprise package Israel as Ian Foster's resilient Young Lions fought back once again on Slovakian soil to capture the 2022 UEFA European Under-19 Championship trophy.
Victory brought England their second title in the competition, and their first since 2017, as they had the final say in a tournament that entertained throughout.
The action began with an industrious France side sinking hosts Slovakia 5-0 in the opening match in Trnava, thanks largely to their lethal front three of Ange-Yoan Bonny, Alan Virginius and Loum Tchaouna.
Tommaso Baldanzi's stunning strike then kick-started the next match between Italy and Romania. However, when Luca Andronache restored parity shortly after, Cristian Volpato was required from the bench to hit Italy's winner.
France coach Landry Chauvin's "win, win, win" mentality continued into Les Bleuets' next test against Romania. Despite taking an early two-goal advantage, Andrei Coubis' late strike made for a nervy final ten minutes, but France clung on to book the first semi-final slot from Group A.
The Azzurrini were next to secure their last-four berth with a game to spare, as they scraped past Slovakia on Matchday 2.
Over in Group B, England got off to a promising start. Foster's well-drilled outfit wore down Austria, before impressing further in an assured 4-0 victory against Serbia to guarantee their qualification.
Elsewhere, Ahmad Ibrahim looked to have won Israel's opening match, but a last-gasp Stefan Leković equaliser snatched Serbia their share of spoils in Žiar nad Hronom.
Israel coach Ofir Haim wanted to see his players "having fun and enjoying themselves", and on Matchday 2 they did exactly that, logging a dynamic 4-2 win against Austria.
Volpato gave Italy a surprise lead when they faced France on Matchday 3 to decide the Group A winners. However, a swift tactical shuffle by Chauvin rebalanced the contest, and inspired by eventual competition top scorer Tchaouna, Les Bleuets recovered to win 4-1.
Liam Delap's sixth-minute strike settled the contest when England and Israel met the following day. At the final whistle, courtesy of Austria's victory against Serbia, both England and Israel had booked their place in the semi-finals; England as Group B winners, Israel runners-up.
In the first semi-final, England fell behind to Fabio Miretti's 12th-minute penalty but battled back to eliminate Italy on a sweltering afternoon in Senec. Alex Scott levelled, before Jarell Quansah headed in the winner.
Foster had wanted to see his men "more ruthless" in front of goal, and perhaps they fell short on that front, but the Young Lions revealed a "belief and togetherness" much lauded by captain Harvey Vale.
Israel's shock 2-1 victory against France in the second semi-final earned Haim a congratulatory call from the nation's prime minister and president.
His well-prepared side were fearless as they "brought their soul" onto the pitch at the DAC Arena. Despite Souleymane Toure's early own goal, France commanded. El Yam Kancepolsky doubled Israel's advantage just before the hour mark, but a solo Virginius effort reduced the deficit. French advances came thick and fast, but a courageous Israel weathered the storm to reach their first U19 EURO showpiece.
"I'll see you in the final" was the light-hearted exchange between managers Foster and Haim before the tournament had even kicked off – and now they were both there, a game away from making their own pieces of history.
Foster knew that he couldn't "underestimate the power, strength and technique" of Haim's side, and 40 minutes into an inspired Israel display, they took the lead. Surging towards the England goal in a three-man wave, Oscar Gloukh combined with Ariel Lugassy to thump in the opener.
Haim was witnessing "the best football this team had ever played", but their lead only lasted 12 minutes as Callum Doyle's header from a corner levelled the scoreline – eventually forcing the game into extra time.
Still end to end, both sides mounted attack after attack, and in the 108th minute the Young Lions finally grasped the reins as Vale picked out Carney Chukwuemeka to bundle over the line. Israel piled forward as the full-time whistle loomed; however, when Delap engineered an opportunity in the dying stages, Aaron Ramsey hammered in to confirm England's victory.
Haim "couldn't believe it was his team" that had just matched England stride for stride in the showpiece. Nevertheless, it was the valiant Young Lions who emerged as the champions at Trnava Stadium.