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27th May 2016

England’s youngsters show the future’s bright with progress to Toulon final

Tom Victor

Euro 2016 is still two weeks away, but England are already within touching distance of their first footballing honours of the summer.

Gareth Southgate’s Under-21 team are 90 minutes away from glory in the Toulon tournament, following a 1-0 victory over Japan.

Chelsea product Lewis Baker scored the only goal of the game with a first-half penalty, his third goal of the campaign, to set up a meeting with hosts France in the final.

TOULON, FRANCE - MAY 27: Lewis Baker of England(R) celebrates with Kasey Palmer of England after scoring his sides first goal during the Toulon Tournament match between Japan and England at the Stade Leo Lagrange on May 27, 2016 in Toulon, France. (Photo by Harry Trump/Getty Images)

England have conceded just one goal en route to the final, winning every single one of their five games.

Baker, who spent last season on loan with Dutch team Vitesse Arnhem, added to his strikes against Portugal and Paraguay with the 15th-minute spot-kick after club team-mate John Swift was fouled.

Baker and Swift are two of five Chelsea players in the squad, alongside Kasey Palmer, Nathaniel Chalobah and Ruben Loftus-Cheek.

France, like England, will take a 100% record into the final. Les Bleuets topped a group containing the Czech Republic, Mali, Mexico and Bulgaria.