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England win European Under-19 Championship as youth shines again

• U19s beat Portugal 2-1 in final to end successful summer
• Suliman and Nmecha on target for Keith Downing’s team

Gori is the birthplace of Joseph Stalin but it was the sense of revolution around England’s youth teams that hung in the Georgian air on Saturday night. A 2-1 win over Portugal, courtesy of goals from Easah Suliman and Lukas Nmecha, brought a first Uefa Under-19 Championship title and – in a summer that had already yielded two trophies, a final and a semi-final for other age groups– added to the impression that nothing about this unprecedented run of achievement is a mere happy accident.

Keith Downing has overseen a well-drilled side with more than a healthy dose of imagination; it was a balance that managed to absorb a sliced own goal by Dujon Sterling and a late red card for Tayo Edun and one that, critically, has paid rich dividends for the teams coached by Downing’s Football Association colleagues too.

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