Senior internationals aren't the only one having their fair share of FIFA-mandated, albeit corruption-less in this case, fun. On Thursday, Nathaniel Chalobah and Patrick Bamford made substitute appearances as England U21 beat Portugal U21 3-1, while the day before, Lewis Baker and John Swift started as England U20 drew with Canada U20. Oh, Canada?
Considering that he trained with the senior team in the build-up to this match, It was perhaps a bit surprising that Bamford did not start for Gareth Southgate's U21 squad. Or perhaps not; especially with Burnley striker Danny Ings (who trained, presumably, with the rest of the U21 squad) grabbing a couple goals, Southgate's decision was easily justified. Bamford did come on for the final 10 minutes, and managed at least one decent shot while also winning a penalty. Though I guess if it's not given, it doesn't actually go down as winning one. Thanks, ref! Chalobah, who played a little over 30 minutes got an easy secondary assist on England's third and Ings' second, though most of the work was done by young Tom Ince, once of Liverpool like his famous father, Paul.
On Wednesday, England U20 were held to a perhaps surprising draw with Canada U20, though as we know, strange things can happen on cold Wednesday nights in wherever exactly Bournemouth may be located. Oh, it's on the South Coast? Well, maybe that's not so narrative-friendly. But the important part is that Aidy Boothroyd picked both Lewis Baker (captain) and John Swift in his starting lineup, giving them each 60 minutes before ringing mass changes.
England led twice in the game, first through a well-taken Chuba Akpom finish from a sumptuous Baker cross (Swift with the secondary assist). That highlight and a few others can be seen in the video below:
Meanwhile, Mario Pašalić scored for Croatia U21s in their 3-0 win over Noway U21 (Delač and Perica did not play), while Charly Musonda, Jr. had himself a fantastic performance for Belgium U21 who beat Spain U21 4-1 on Wednesday.