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Last Updated: Friday, 29 July 2005, 17:58 GMT 18:58 UK
France claim European U-19 glory
England's Grant Leadbitter and Yassin Moutaouakil of France
England's Grant Leadbitter comes up against Yassin Moutaouakil
France triumphed in the the European U-19 Championship final by defeating England 3-1 at a rain-lashed Windsor Park on Friday night.

France dominated the game although a deflected 43rd minute goal from Lee Holmes gave England a half-time lead.

Mohammed Chakouri headed in a 55th minute equaliser before Abdoulaye Balde fired home after 75 minutes.

Substitute Yohan Gourcuff sealed a deserved victory three minutes from time with a superb 25-yard strike.

France seized control from the start but could only create half chances against a solid English defence.

Midfielder Yohan Cabaye had a 25-yard effort pushed round the post by MK Dons keeper David Martin on 11 minutes.

Cabaye fired wide seven minutes later before Yohan Corcuff curled his 34th minute free-kick against the crossbar.

England were being outclassed but they took a surprise lead after 41 minutes.

Derby County midfielder Holmes cut inside and his 25-yard shot deflected off Chakouri's foot before flying over keeper Hugo Loris into the net.

France responded with Balde slicing wide from eight yards while Richard Jones just missed the target on the stroke of half-time.

The pattern continued after the break with France on top and they finally made the pressure count on 55 minutes.

Balde swung the ball to the far post and Chakouri was there to head in a deserved equaliser.

Mark Noble's 73rd minute header looped over after a rare England attack while France were continually dangerous going forward.

Balde put France ahead two minutes later with a low finish past Martin from Yassin Moutaouakil's smart cut-back.

The victory was sealed three minutes from time when substitute Yohan Gouffran fired a dipping 25-yard shot into the bottom corner.


England: Martin, McMahon, Taylor, Noble, Mills, Cranie (capt), Morrison, Leadbitter, Fryatt, Holmes, Jones.

France: Lloris, Moutaouakil, Diaby, Chakouri, Digard, kaboul(capt), Balde, Gourcuff, Cabaye, Marange, Djedje.

Referee: P Vink


SEE ALSO
England into European U-19 final
26 Jul 05 |  Internationals


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