England finally have a football title again. The “Young Lions” narrowly defeated Spain 1-0 (1-0) in the final of the U21 European Championship on Saturday evening (July 8th, 2023). The special thing: England managed this without conceding a goal in the entire tournament. It was England’s first European Championship title since 1984.
Curtis Jones deflected a free kick from Cole Palmer into the goal (45. +4 minutes). Immediately after the English goal celebration, there was a pack formation on the field, whereupon one staff member from each of the coaching benches of the two teams was shown the red card by the referee. In stoppage time, Abel Ruiz missed a penalty (90+9). After the penalty kick, there were two yellow and red cards for players on the substitute benches.
Final of the U21 European Championship – Ticker for reading right arrow
Lots of toughness in the game
The first few minutes belonged to the English, but after about 15 minutes the Spaniards got into the game better and pressed early. Spain could have taken an early lead through Álex Baena (13′). Just before the break, the “Young Lions” increased the pressure and Colwill’s header hit the bar (44′). Then the hit came.
At this point, the referee had already given out five yellow cards because the game was characterized by many minor and major fouls. The number increased to ten by the end of the game, and Spain coach Santi Denia was also cautioned.
Trafford saves penalty
Spain pressed for an equalizer after the break, but James Trafford in particular did an excellent job in the Brits’ box. England also pushed for the second goal, but Arnau Tenas in the Spanish goal also showed a class game. When Colwill caught Ruiz’s foot in the penalty area in added time, the VAR had to step in – penalty.
Abel Ruiz went for the penalty himself, but Trafford crowned his superb performance with two saves, including from a margin shot. He managed the feat of ending all six games of the U21 European Championship without conceding a goal.