James Ward-Prowse scored a stunning free-kick as England fell to a 2-1 loss at the hands of Brazil in the Under-20 Toulon Tournament on Monday night.
The Saints midfielder’s curler from the edge of the area failed to prevent the Young Lions from slipping to third place in the tournament’s Group B, with South Korea moving one point above into second after a slender 1-0 victory over Colombia, who languish in the bottom spot.
Alisson’s eighth-minute goal handed table-toppers Brazil a one-goal lead going into the break before Lucas Silva capitalised on an unfortunate England mistake to open up a two-goal cushion soon after the restart.
Ward-Prowse gave the Brazilians cause for concern in the final quarter-hour with his whipped set-piece but Gareth Southgate’s side couldn’t snatch a point as the winners rose five points clear at the top of the group with a game to play.
Meanwhile, England, who trail Brazil by six points with two matches to go, must win both and hope to pip the latter by goal difference to meet the winners of Group A in the final.
Next for Ward-Prowse and the rest of the squad is South Korea on Wednesday at the Stade de Lattre-de-Tassigny – kick-off 6.30pm BST.