For the third time in recent memory, Canada has gone out and gotten a result against England at the youth level.
Canada’s Under-20 team notched a surprising 2-1 win over England’s U-20s in a friendly in Doncaster on Sunday, thanks to goals from 17-year-old Vancouver Whitecaps 2 fullback Kadin Chung and 19-year-old Whitecaps midfielder Marco Bustos.
In another U-20 friendly in November 2014, Canada earned an unexpected 2-2 draw on English soil thanks to a stoppage-time equalizer from Toronto FC striker Jordan Hamilton, while back at the 2011 FIFA Under-17 World Cup, Canada earned its first-ever point at the competition in the unlikeliest of ways.
Sunday’s win over England was the second game between the two teams as part of Canada’s England-based training camp. On Thursday, in a closed-door exhibition match, Canada lost 4-1, with Hamilton being the lone goal-scorer for head coach Rob Gale’s side.
But on Sunday, against an England squad highlighted by Manchester United starlet Marcus Rashford, the team stepped it up.
“We worked on creating a culture within the camp,” Gale said in a release. “These boys faced quality this week and they have been first class—that's what led to the result.”
The camp was part of the team’s preparations for next year’s Under-20 FIFA World Cup, to be held in May/June 2017 in South Korea. The qualifying tournament to determine CONCACAF’s entrants in that competition will take place in early 2017.
And while Chung, who was named 2015 Canadian U-17 Player of the Year, would be eligible to play in that tournament, the 1996-born players in the current camp—Bustos, Hamilton, Whitecaps goalkeeper Marco Carducci and FC Edmonton defender Marko Aleksic—are not.
Gale included those more experienced youngsters in this camp to help provide guidance to some of the newcomers, including 15-year-old Whitecaps 2 striker Alphonso Davies and 16-year-old FC Montreal midfielder Jean-Yves Ballou Tabla, who had a hand in Chung’s goal on Sunday.
Canada’s starting XI on Sunday also featured 18-year-old Chelsea prospect Fikayo Tomori—best known for inadvertently breaking teammate Diego Costa’s nose during a training session last month—and 18-year-old winger Dario Zanatta, who recently signed a new three-year deal with Hearts in Scotland.
Josh Doughty, an 18-year-old Manchester United prospect who was called to a USA U-20 camp in January but didn’t attend it, was also on Canada’s roster on Sunday.