Toulon triumph for Pompey fan
Dan Kemp was an unused substitute as England successfully defended their Toulon Tournament title with a penalty shootout triumph over the Ivory Coast on Saturday.
The Pompey supporter made three appearances for the Three Lions’ under-20 outfit in the prestigious competition in France.
However, the West Ham midfielder was not required in the final as England drew 1-1 with the African nation before winning the shootout 5-3 at the Stade de Lattre in Aubagne.
Head coach Neil Dewsnip chose to make only one change to the starting line-up that beat Scotland in the semi-final, with Sheffield Wednesday’s George Hirst replacing Chelsea’s Ike Ugbo in attack.
The first threatening chance fell to the Ivorians as Ake Arnaud Loba put his overhead-kick over the bar from a corner in the 10th minute.
Seconds later David Brooks, of Sheffield United, had a half-volley that went just an inch wide.
Brooks, who was voted player of the tournament, made his next effort count, firing in superbly as England countered through Harvey Barnes.
The Three Lions had a great chance to double their lead just before the break.
Brooks was once again pivotal, winning the ball before drawing a foul in the box.
Hirst stepped up to take the penalty but his low effort was saved.
Ivory Coast nearly equalised in the first minute of the second half, Jean Thiery Lazare Amani curling his effort just wide of Ryan Schofield’s far post.
Just before the hour mark and Huddersfield’s Schofield pulled off a great save to keep out Jean Philippe Krasso’s powerful shot.
England looked set to hold out for victory until substitute Juvenal Junior Agnero was fouled in the box by Josh Grant, of Chelsea.
Loba stepped up and slotted the penalty away to give the tie another twist – a shootout.
England scored all five spot-kicks through Ugbo, Sunderland’s Elliott Embleton, Barnes, Southampton’s Callum Slattery and Ronaldo Vieira, from Leeds, to secure the win, as Amani had Ivory Coast’s fourth penalty saved.
After the game the England side were presented with the fair play award among other personal accolades. Barnes and Hirst finished as the tournament’s joint top-scorers with four goals apiece.