Mexico U21s 0-0 England U21s: Aidy Boothroyd’s side held to cagey draw

England U21s were held to a goalless draw by Mexico U21s in their second game of the Toulon Tournament, but remain on course for the knockout rounds.

Both sides won their opening fixtures in Group A but cancelled each other out in this contest.

Mexico had the best chance of the game as Freddie Woodman put Roberto Alvarado’s strike over the crossbar in the first half, but neither side seriously threatened to break the deadlock.

It sees Mexico remain top of Group A heading into the final round of group games, with England in second on goal difference. Aidy Boothroyd’s side will play Qatar on Friday after Mexico have faced China.

England went close in the eighth minute but a powerful strike from Eddie Nketiah went straight into the arms of Mexico goalkeeper Jose Hernandez.

Mexico had two good efforts not long after. Cesar Montes could only loop a header over the crossbar from a corner before Diego Lainez showed off some superb skill to beat Callum Connolly and whip a cross through the box, but Uriel Antuna sent his volley wide.

Mexico could have been reduced to ten men in the 14th minute as Jorge Sanchez fouled Nketiah for a second time, being booked for a similar foul ten minutes earlier, but he escaped further punishment.

The best chance of the first half fell to Mexico in the 21st minute, with Alvarado’s strike tipped over the crossbar by Woodman after good work by Alan Cervantes and Antuna.

England began the second half well and could have opened the scoring within minutes, but Kieran Dowell’s cross from the right could only be directed into the hands of Hernandez by the head of Lukas Nmecha.

Tammy Abraham – who scored the winner against China on Saturday – was introduced in the 66th minute and almost scored with his first touch. Connolly headed the ball into the box from a cleared corner, with Nmecha scooping the delivery towards the back post for Abraham, but it just ran past the striker and drifted wide.

Lainez then drove towards goal a minute later, but saw a thunderous effort whistle over the crossbar. Not long after, the 17-year-old went down after a collision with Jay Dasilva in the box but the officials waved away the penalty appeals.

The remainder of the game went by without too much fuss although England saw the better of the possession, with the sides eventually sharing the points.

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