This summer football didn’t quite make it home, as hard as Gareth Southgate’s team tried, but as ever in this current generation there’s still a chance for one of the young England sides to win their World Cup and with this luck on their side they might.
England haven’t won the World Cup since 1966, as you’ve probably been reminded often enough during this wonderful summer, but of course that’s very specifically the men’s team. When Gareth Southgate’s men reached the semi-final, the first time the men have done so since 1990, many were ready to remind everyone that the women’s side managed it in 2015. They, of course, were right but the women aren’t the only ones with recent success as the under 21s, 20s, 19s and 17s all having their own successes in the last year and a half with Toulon Tournament, Euros and World Cup wins. We thought, for a short time, this summer that Southgate, Harry Kane, Harry Maguire et al might finally bring us some success but it didn’t happen of course.
However, we could still have some more silverware in 2018 as the u20 Women’s World Cup is currently going on and the Three Lionesses (presumably) topped their group after smashing Mexico 6-1 on Sunday. They were helped by possibly the flukiest goal going: England actually went 1-0 down in the game against Mexico with Jacqueline Ovalle giving the central American’s a half-times lead in the 37th minute. They then hit back with six goals in just over half an hour of the second period to top the group ahead of Korea, despite the Koreans win over Brazil in the other group game. Alessia Russo scored the equaliser for England on 49 minutes before Chloe Kelly gave them the lead just four minutes later. Lauren Hemp made it 3-1 just past the hour mark before Georgia Stanway scored two minutes later. Hemp wrapped he hat-trick, including forcing the ball into the net by falling onto it, with goals in the 68th and 80th minutes.
England’s quarter final match is against Netherlands on Friday. If winning the World Cup comes down to luck then the young England side might well have it.