FIFA U-20 World Cup: Dane Scarlett Scores As England Dominate Tunisia

FIFA U-20 World Cup: Dane Scarlett Scores As England Dominate Tunisia
Credit: Iconsport

Montasser Louhichi’s men got their FIFA U-20 World Cup campaign underway against England in La Plata. It was a game that Ian Foster’s side mostly dominated, and Tunisia had to thank goalkeeper Dries Arfaoui for keeping the score at a respectable 1-0.

The injury-hit England side lined up in a 3-4-3 formation captained by Liverpool’s Jarell Quansah. Meanwhile, the young Carthage Eagles set up in a 4-3-3 formation led by Ghaith Ouahabi of ES Tunis.

There was a frenetic start to the game, with both teams flexing their attacking muscles. Ten minutes into the first half, Tunisia showed they could cause the English defence problems on the counter. Arfaoui collected the ball from an England corner and found Chaïm El Djebali with a wonderful throw.

The Lyon starlet, who possesses copious amounts of ability on the ball, took the opportunity to run at the England defence as they struggled to recover their shape. El Djebali carried the ball to the edge of the area and played a nicely weighted pass to Monaco’s Béchir Yacoub, who played in a lovely cross to the far post to Jibril Othman, whose volley flew over the bar as England scrambled back.

Tunisia was made to rue their missed opportunity 15 minutes later as Chelsea’s Harvey Vale was given far too much space on England’s left wing. His whipped cross was headed home by Tottenham wonderkid Dane Scarlett who got the better of Zinedine Sassi in the air to put England 1-0 up.

Scarlett proved to be a thorn in the side of Sassi again soon after as he rose to meet Sam Edozie’s cross, but this time Arfaoui was equal to it.

The second half followed the same pattern as the first. The English were certainly the more dominant side but struggled to make it count as the Tunisian defence remained steadfast.

Just after the hour mark, Louhichi decided to make an attacking change as he introduced Mohamed Dhaoui, who proved to be more than a handful for the defenders. Ian Foster’s side remained in control, and Alfie Devine squandered a wonderful opportunity to put them 2-0 up mid-way through the second half. Sam Edozie once again skipped past Karim El Abed, who couldn’t cope with the England winger’s silky skills. Edozie played a low cross into the box that was turned just wide by the Tottenham midfielder.

Later, Dhaoui came close for Tunisia with a smart free kick. Everyone expected a cross, but the youngster took a potshot that looked to catch goalkeeper Matthew Cox off guard. However, the Brentford man was alert and managed to scramble across to make a save.

As the game entered the closing stages, Tunisia became slightly desperate and resorted to long shots, none of which troubled Cox in the England goal.

Amazingly, England managed to squander two more golden opportunities as substitute Daniel Jebbison first saw his low drive well saved by Arfaoui. The Sheffield United man hit the post from the resulting corner, keeping the score 1-0.

England dominated the game, and it was only down to the brilliant individual performance of goalkeeper Dries Arfaoui that prevented it from becoming a heavy scoreline. Fortunately for Tunisia, it was only the first game, and they can redeem themselves against Iraq on Thursday.

This article was most recently revised and updated 11 months ago

Chandan is a passionate writer, editor, and marketer with a love for football. He has bylines in leading online publications and has worked with renowned sports brands like The Olympics, Fox Sports Asia, and the Indian Super League (ISL). As for the unimpressive part, he loves Chelsea.