Leeds United striker on target with cheeky finish as Archie Gray makes early return from international duty
Leeds United striker Mateo Joseph was on target for England's Under-20 'Elite League' squad on Monday evening as the Young Lions defeated Germany.
Joseph equalised midway through the first half with an improvised, backheel finish to level proceedings at the Continental Arena in Regensburg. The Spanish-born striker's goal was his third for England in youth international fixtures and a first for the Young Lions this season, the beginning of which was disrupted by injury.
Leeds midfielder Darko Gyabi accompanied Joseph in the starting line-up and was unfortunate during the opening stages as his attempted intervention in defensive transition presented the ball to Germany's Paul Wanner to open the scoring.
England were able to fight back, though, first through Joseph but were pegged back shortly after half-time. The Young Lions subsequently equalised again before clinching a comeback victory with ten men in the final stages as substitute Charlie Webster applied the finishing touch on a third England goal.
Leeds midfielder Archie Gray was conspicuous by his absence, however, having returned to Thorp Arch prematurely following his England U20 debut against Italy earlier this month.
The 17-year-old continues to have his minutes managed by the coaching and medical staff at Leeds and the YEP understands an agreement was struck between club and country for the teenager to participate in just one of England's U20 fixtures this month, as opposed to two.
Gray has featured in over 1,000 league minutes so far this season, while manager Daniel Farke has expressed his thoughts candidly on the merits and drawbacks of the first-team midfielder competing regularly at youth international level.
Gray's early withdrawal from the squad is not injury-related.