England U21s beat Qatar U21s 4-0 to finish Group A of the Toulon Tournament in second behind Mexico, but must wait for the Group B results to see if they will qualify for the semi-finals.
An Ahmed Suhail own goal (38) put England ahead in the first half before Ronaldo Vieira’s driven strike (53) made it two. Tammy Abraham tapped in England’s third (56) and Adam Armstrong further extended the lead with a curled effort (67).
Even with the emphatic victory, England now face a nervous wait to see if they will finish as the best second-placed side to qualify for the semi-finals.
Togo and Scotland play on Saturday and could overtake England should either team win their matches, which would give them seven points, and achieve a greater goal difference than Aidy Boothroyd’s side to take the fourth and final knock-out spot.
England started the game strongly as Eddie Nketiah tested Qatar early on. In the eighth minute, the Arsenal striker turned Bahaa Ellethy before his close-range shot on goal was blocked by goalkeeper Shehab Mamdouh. Abraham then kneed the ball into the side netting from the following corner.
The Chelsea striker came close again six minutes later as he acrobatically latched onto Jake Clarke-Salter’s header, but his scissor kick glided narrowly wide. The 20-year-old came very close to breaking the deadlock again five minutes from half-time as he blocked Mamdouh’s clearance, but Suhail got in just in time to intercept and clear.
However, the game took a turn for the worse for Qatar defender Suhail as he clumsily turned in Lukas Nmecha’s close-range header to hand England the lead.
Mamdouh was called into action early in the second half. First, he parried away a dangerous drilled cross before denying Armstrong’s dangerous low strike and Abraham’s guided header.
But England responded by scoring two in quick succession. In the 53rd minute, Vieira doubled England’s lead with a ferocious effort from distance before Abraham tapped in Armstrong’s simple cross three minutes later.
Armstrong got on the scoresheet himself in the 67th minute as he picked up a loose ball in the box and curled his right-footed strike into the top corner.
England continued to push for another goal, which would have been enough to top the group ahead of Mexico, but a string of late saves from Mamdouh to deny Armstrong and Callum Connolly means England’s Toulon fate is now out of their hands.