Simon Rusk’s England U19 team gained a second win in as many matches when then narrowly beat Japan in Marbella on Saturday. They had recorded an emphatic 6-0 victory over Romania three days earlier but it was a much tighter affair this time out as they beat the Japanese youngsters by the odd goal in five.
It was a strong England line-up featuring Manchester United’s highly rated central midfielder Kobbie Mainoo wearing the number ten shirt, and his United team mate Elyh Harrison was on the bench.
England opened the scoring in the 13th minute with a penalty converted by Manchester City’s Jacob Wright after Millwall winger Romain Esse had been brought down. The lead was doubled just after the half hour mark with a goal from Tottenham forward Will Lankshear.
England had had much the better of the first period but Japan came out for the second half with renewed vigour and stormed back into the match with a quickfire pair of strikes from Shiogai Kento not long after the restart.
Mainoo was substituted for Jamie Donley in the 76th minute and it was the newly introduced Spurs forward who eventually grabbed the winner, firing home in the last minute of normal time to seal a 3-2 victory.
England U19 conclude their mini tour with a match against Mexico on Tuesday (21st November), which kicks off at 17:00 GMT.