Ellery Balcombe made his England Under-20 debut at the 2017 Toulon Tournament yesterday. The Brentford B goalkeeper played the full game as England beat Japan 2-1 at the tournament in France yesterday afternoon, Sunday 4 June. England’s goals were scored by George Hirst and Martell Taylor-Crossdale and the win ensured they top their group, Group A, with three wins from three and move to the semi-finals later this week.
Ellery had been a substitute for England’s first two wins but got his chance yesterday. England went ahead in the first half as Hirst scored a penalty and led at the interval. Japan levelled after the break and would have gone ahead but for a fine save from Ellery soon after. That meant when England were awarded a second penalty late on, Taylor-Crossdale’s conversion gave them the points. Ellery, 17, now has one Under-20 cap to go with the three he has at Under-18 level.
Two other Brentford players were in international action yesterday. John Egan and Romaine Sawyers were both involved in full international friendlies for Republic of Ireland and St Kitts and Nevis respectively. John was an unused substitute as Ireland beat Uruguay 3-1 in Dublin yesterday while Romaine played for his Caribbean country in a 5-0 reverse against Armenia.
Jonathan Walters, Cyrus Christie and James McClean scored for the Irish in the win over the South American side. Walters’ strike was cancelled out to leave the game level at the break but Ireland scored two after the break to take the win. John remained on the bench after playing in a friendly defeat to Mexico last week so did not add to his two caps. Ireland have one more game to come – a World Cup qualifying contest against Austria on Sunday.
It was a difficult evening for Romaine and St Kitts in Armenia. Manchester United star Henrikh Mkhitaryan scored twice as Armenia took a 3-0 lead at half time and the hosts added two more after the break to make it 5-0 at full-time. Romaine played the full 90 minutes and earned his 20th international cap, his second since joining The Bees last summer. St Kitts and Nevis will play Georgia in a friendly on Wednesday to complete their season.
The international action continues for Brentford’s players today as Chris Mepham could feature for Wales Under-20 against Ivory Coast in the Toulon Tournament. A win for the Welsh would ensure they, like England, reach the last four. Tomorrow, Tuesday 6 June, Brentford’s three Danish internationals – Andreas Bjelland, Henrik Dalsgaard and Lasse Vibe – will be hoping to feature in a friendly against Germany.