Academy of Football duo Divin Mubama and Sonny Perkins started up front for England U18s for the second time in three matches as the Young Lions concluded their Pinatar Tournament campaign with a 2-0 win over Portugal.
And for 17-year-old striker Mubama, who recently signed his first professional contract at West Ham United, a third appearance at U18s level coincided with a first goal as the No9 pounced early on to set his team on their way to victory.
The No9 showed his natural poacher’s instinct to read Hugo Faria’s short back-pass and prod the ball beyond goalkeeper Diogo Pinto inside four minutes.
Perkins and Mubama continued to link up well throughout the first half, but chances were few and far between for both sides.
Early in the second period, Manchester United’s Sam Mather released Mubama in behind, but the forward’s chipped shot landed on the roof of the net.
Perkins departed the field of play on 64 minutes to be replaced by Fulham’s Michael Olakigbe, who added a second goal 12 minutes from time after beating the goalkeeper at his near post.
England U18s finished the game with ten men after Arsenal defender Brooke Norton-Cuffy was booked for dissent deep into injury-time.
With a defeat to the Netherlands, a penalty shoot-out victory over Belgium and a win over Portugal in the space of seven days, England U18s manager Ryan Garry – as well as the two young Hammers and their team-mates – can take pride in a second-place finish in the friendly tournament, a result which rounds off their calendar year.