Tottenham’s Alfie Devine starred as England reached the knockout stage of the Under-20 World Cup after a 3-2 win over Uruguay.
Guess who Athleticism is followed as part of the series My football journey: the road to 2026 — set up Chelsea player Bashir Humphreys’ 22nd-minute opener in La Plata, Argentina, before striking a second himself in first-half stoppage time.
Franco Gonzalez halved Uruguay’s deficit in the 49th minute but Leeds United’s Darko Gyabi put England back in injury time.
Although Matias Abaldo struck again for Uruguay just before the full-time whistle, it turned out to be too little, too late.
“It’s huge for us to win,” Devine said after the game. “We knew the crowd wouldn’t be on our side and I think everyone dug really deep and I think we used that as an advantage to motivate us even more. Everyone did superbly.
“(The crowd) motivated us more. Playing in front of a crowd like this, you know you’re going to get it. I think we did very well. »
Ian Foster’s side, who last played the tournament when they won it in 2017, top Group E and have reached the knockout stages with one game to spare.
England will face Iraq in their final group game on Sunday.
The team that finishes top of Group E will face the runners-up in Group D – currently Brazil – on May 31.
Guess: ‘World Cup 2026? It’s the “why not?” factor’
Devine was a Liverpool academy player who was released aged 11, before joining Wigan Athletic.
After impressing the Under-23s, he was sold to Tottenham Hotspur for £300,000 in July 2020 when Wigan took over.
Capped for England Under-16s and Under-19s, Jose Mourinho gave Devine his senior debut for Spurs in the FA Cup third round against Marine in January 2021. He scored within minutes.
“Every time I watch the Marines goal, it always feels a little weird to me,” he said. Athleticism. “For the next week, I couldn’t believe it. I didn’t expect to come in at halftime. I was very nervous, I admit.
“I was in seventh year when I was released by Liverpool. The hardest part was worrying about what my mates were going to say. Feeling embarrassed about it when you shouldn’t. I didn’t want to go at school because people were like, ‘Why aren’t you in Liverpool anymore?’ You don’t want to say you’ve been released. But that’s not really a bad thing, a lot of top professionals were released from clubs at an early age.
“Everyone’s dream is to become a Premier League player and that’s what I’m looking forward to now. Once I achieve that goal, that’s when you can watch other things.
“I’m really thinking about England. My first game was with the Under-16s against Scotland… putting on this shirt, the feeling you get is incredible.
And the 2026 World Cup? “It’s the ‘why not?’ factor. You take each day as it comes, stuff like that you look forward to, but the bits in between, if you don’t do it right, you’ll never get there.
Alfie Devine, My Football Journey: ‘There’s no one better to look up to than Harry Kane’
My football journey: the road to 2026
My Football Journey: The Road to 2026 is a series that follows some of the world’s most exciting young footballers at a key point in their careers.
It will follow the highs, the setbacks and the hard work that they and their clubs put in, and show how different their journeys are as they dream of making it to the 2026 World Cup.
Read more below about the highly rated youngsters – identified for us with the help of scouts who work for Football Manager – as they work towards the holy grail of a place at the 2026 tournament in the United States, in the United States. Canada and Mexico.
Introducing My Football Journey – following seven young stars on their way to the 2026 World Cup
(Photo: Getty Images)