Thorpe and Keane help England to Montaigu glory
Posted by nickogs20 on April 14, 2009
United schoolboys Tom Thorpe and Will Keane were both key members of the England U16 side as the Three Lions successfully defended their Montaigu Tournament title this Easter weekend.
Centre-back Thorpe and midfielder-cum-forward Keane were both named in Kenny Swain’s starting lineup for Monday’s final against Germany, a cagey affair that ended 0-0 after the eighty minutes and had to be decided with kicks from the penalty spot. In what it is probably fair to say wasn’t one of the most impressive shootouts in football history, England eventually defeated their old rivals 2-1, Keane one of the two young Englishmen to convert their effort (Chelsea’s Nathaniel Chalobah the other).
(Yes, you did read that right – England beat Germany in a penalty shoot-out…)
Both young Reds played a big part in England’s progress to the final in the first place. Swain’s side topped their group with maximum points after wins over Russia, the United Arab Emirates and Cote d’Ivoire, scoring three goals against each.
Russia were dispatched 3-1 in the opening game last Wednesday thanks to two goals from West Brom forward Saido Berahino and another strike for U16 debutant Jake Bidwell, a defender from Everton. Thorpe started the game, while Keane replaced Berahino in the second half. Next up the following day were the UAE, and Keane – starting this time – opened the scoring just after half-time. Berahino and another Everton youngster, Ross Barkley, bagged further goals as the Three Lions won 3-0.
Saturday’s final group game saw another dominant England display, goals from West Ham’s Robert Hall, Jordan Cousins of Charlton and another for Bidwell (this time from the spot) securing another 3-0 win against the Ivory Coast. No official team news was released for that game, although it’s believed Thorpe again started at the heart of the defence.
United’s Ravel Morrison and John Cofie were also named in the original squad for the tournament. Morrison instead spent the weekend with the Reds’ U18 side in Italy as they won the Torneo Claudio Sassi, while the unfortunate Cofie was withdrawn from the squad after suffering a knee injury that has ended his season.