Bermudian Nathan Trott and his West Ham United team-mate, Domingos Quina, will meet in the final of the Under-19 European Championships when England play Portugal in Georgia on Saturday.
Quina looks set to play but Trott, the second-choice goalkeeper for England, is likely to miss out on a starting role.
Quina helped Portugal reach the final with a 1-0 victory over Holland yesterday, the 17-year-old playing the whole match as the game’s only goal came in the first half.
England beat Czech Republic 1-0 in the other semi-final, the winner coming in the last minute of stoppage time when substitute Lukas Nmecha, of Manchester City, turned in a cross.
Trott, a former BAA player, has had to be content with a place on the England bench during the group stage victories over Bulgaria, Holland and Germany.
Aaron Ramsdale of Bournemouth has been the preferred first-choice goalkeeper of head coach Keith Dowling.
Downing, a former Wolverhampton Wanderers and Stoke City midfielder, has stressed the importance of his squad management, as England now turn their attentions to Saturday’s final.
“The longer the competition goes on, the more important it becomes,” Downing told the FA website. “I think it’s a coach’s duty over the four games to get a balance to how they all play and we have to think about the offence and defensive side of it.
“We have to consider all eventualities and the welfare of the players. We had an 18-man squad, which is now 17 after [Trevoh] Chalobah went home.
“Everybody has had certain minutes on the pitch apart from Nathan Trott, the goalkeeper, so we try to share it around but obviously with an emphasis on winning as well.
“I know [the semi-final] is a massive game and some players have had to play in all four matches, but we have to strike a balance really to get the best players on, considering their energy levels. But with the impact of the substitutes, we do have game-changers.”
n Nahki Wells and his Huddersfield Town team-mates made a positive start to their pre-season campaign with a 1-0 victory away to Sky Bet League Two side Accrington Stanley yesterday.
Tom Ince, one of nine new signings Huddersfield have made since being promoted to the Premier League in May, scored the winner in the 56th minute.
Some good work down the right channel allowed the £7.5 million capture from Derby County to wriggle free on the edge of the area and fire home.