Football: Flitcroft's flash of inspiration
Wednesday 16 June 1993
England Under-21. 1
ENGLAND'S troubled international game regained some self-respect here last night when the Under-21 side under the management of Lawrie McMenemy won the Toulon Tournament for the third time in four years, defeating the host nation with a goal by Manchester City's Garry Flitcroft that was good enough to have won an even better tournament than this.
Whatever fate awaits England's senior side, the long-term future seems in safe enough hands.
Flitcroft's goal will live long in the memory of those who saw it: a 30- yard strike which swerved viciously past Frederic Cado, in the French goal, in the 54th minute.
Both teams had arrived at the tournament's climax unbeaten and were obviously respectful of one another because of it, England all the more so after a second-minute jolt to their confidence, when Paul Gerrard, the Oldham goalkeeper, not for the first time in this tournament, was required to save their neck. Florin Maurice appeared to have judged his chip at a free-kick, following a foul by Neil Ardley on Steve Marlet, to perfection, but Gerrard pushed it on to the bar.
England never even went close to mounting a serious assault on the French goal as the opposition dominated the first half with their superior passing game. The second half started with another near thing, when Bernard Diomede sliced a shot wide, but after Flitcroft's goal in the 54th minute there was only one more fright for the English and then Gerrard stood firm to make a superb reaction save to a shot from Maurice from six yards.
FRANCE UNDER-21: Cado (Stade Rennais); Marlet (AS Red-Star), Thiam (Montpiellier), Moreau (St Etienne), Gauvin (Chamois Niort), Marquet (Marseille), Dieng (Caen), Terrier (Metz), Abou (Lyon), Maurice (Lyon), Diomede (Auxerr). Substitutes: Huard (Stade Rennais) for Terrier, 67; Brando (Toulon) for Abou, 61.
ENGLAND UNDER-21: Gerrard (Oldham Athletic); Ardley (Wimbledon), Small (Aston Villa), Awford (Portsmouth), Hall (Southampton), Sutton (Norwich City), Flitcroft (Manchester City), Sheron (Manchester City), Summerbee (Swindon Town), Redknapp (Liverpool), Anderton (Tottenham Hotspur). Substitutes: Whelan (Ipswich Town), Allen (QPR), Watson (Barnsley), Stuart (Bristol Rovers), Oakes (Luton Town).
Referee: H Dallas (Scotland).
Latest in Sport
Paul Scholes: Manchester United vs Liverpool - I don't understand why Brendan Rodgers was not more attacking against Basel
Jesus Christ plays for Chelsea - that's what one in five children thinks
Transfer Talk: Nemanja Vidic to return to Manchester United; Hazard to leave Chelsea; Sunderland want Radamel Falcao
Frank Warren column: Don't bet on Amir Khan landing pay day against Floyd Mayweather
Manchester United transfer news: Kevin Strootman move edges closer
- 2 Harry Potter fans can apply to the Hogwarts-inspired College of Wizardry
- 3 Jessica Chambers: 19-year-old woman 'doused with lighter fluid and burned alive' in the US
- 4 Russell Brand calls Nigel Farage 'poundshop Enoch Powell' in BBC Question Time debate
- 5 Orange Wednesdays are no more
Disgruntled RBS worker writes hilarious open letter to Russell Brand after anti-capitalist publicity stunt leaves him hungry
Shock poll shows voters believe Ukip is to the left of the Tories
Nigel Farage's approval rating hits 'record low' as popularity suffers in wake of Ukip sex scandal
Ukip candidate jokes about 'shooting peasants' in racist and homophobic rant
Pakistan school attack live: Taliban kill at least 132 children in 'horrifying' massacre
Germany sees 'visible rise' in support for far-right extremism in response to perceived 'Islamisation' of the West
£28000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: This company is a major supplier of buil...
£28000 - £40000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: This is an exciting opportunity...
£28000 per annum: Ashdown Group: A highly reputable business is looking to rec...
£40k - 45k per year + Benefits: Opilio Recruitment: We are currently recruit...