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WALTON'S SHOOT-OUT VICTORY

20 November 2014


Christian Walton has returned from international duty after helping England under-20s to a 4-3 penalty shoot-out victory over Portugal on Monday.
 
The scores were level at 1-1 after 90 minutes in Coimbra before the match was decided on spot-kicks.
 
The game followed on from a 2-2 draw with Canada at the Goldsands Stadium the previous Wednesday, where Walton was an unused substitute.
 
He told seagulls.co.uk, “It was a really good game. Obviously Portugal are a strong outfit, reaching the final of the under-19 championship last year, so we knew it was going to be a tough game.
 
“It was good experience for everyone to have this shoot-out in a friendly match and it was great to get the victory afterwards.
 
“In the biggest games, we do a lot of research on the players ahead of a penalty shoot-out, like we do at first-team level, so you have a rough idea of where they are going to put the ball. But in this case, it was just out of the blue really and I had to make my own mind up on where to dive.
 
“I think it was the third penalty that I managed to save, which was a great feeling. I also made two saves in the second half that kept us in the game, but apart from that I wasn’t really tested.”

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The draw also continued the side’s fine run of form, after winning the Four Nations Tournament in Holland last month and extending their own unbeaten run to six matches.
 
“We went to Holland and beat them on their own turf and have now gone to Portugal and beaten them on penalties.
 
“It’s been a good year and the manager said to the lads how brilliant it was that we kept our unbeaten run going.
 
“I’ve now made five appearances for the under-20s and four for the under-19s and have been able to take my experiences into the new age group.
 
“The same group of lads have moved up to the under-20s, so I haven’t had any problems settling in and they’re all a good bunch.
 
“All of the teams we’ve played this year have been strong sides, so it’s been a good test for me and the international breaks have been worthwhile.”

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