THEY’RE just two games away from defying all expectations and conquering the world.

But most of Gareth Southgate’s young lions cut their teeth playing in the lower leagues meaning die-hard Us fans will have seen them perform at the JobServe Community Stadium.

Both of England’s quarter final goalscoring heroes against Sweden have bagged against the U’s.

Burly centre half Harry Maguire slammed home a header in the first half on Saturday, and it was a similar story in November 2013 when he scored for boyhood club Sheffield United in a 3-2 FA Cup win over Colchester.

A controversial penalty for future U’s captain Chris Porter won the tie for the Blades.

Dele Alli made waves in League One with MK Dons before being snapped up by Tottenham Hotspur.

He scored in both games against Colchester in the 2014/15 as his incredible form made the big boys sit up and take notice.


Safe hands - Jordan Pickford played against the U's

England’s number one Jordan Pickford made three remarkable saves at the weekend to follow up his penalty heroics against Colombia and was also impressive in keeping a clean sheet when he was on loan at Bradford from Sunderland in 2014 and visited the stadium in the early weeks of the season.

Porter managed to score past him in the reverse fixture at Valley Parade.


Rising well - Nick Pope

His fellow keeper Nick Pope also turned out at the stadium just two-and-a-half years ago as his Charlton side were put to the sword in the FA Cup.

He shipped goals from George Moncur and Marvin Sordell on the day.


Captain fantastic - Harry Kane captained Spurs in the FA Cup game

That result saw the U’s land a plum tie against Tottenham at home where Harry Kane captained his team to victory.

But it was another England charge - Eric Dier - who found the net that day with Kieran Trippier patrolling the right flank.

Kyle Walker and Alli were both on the bench.

The stadium has also played host to several England youth level games where stars of this squad have appeared.


One and done - Marcus Rashford score a hat-trick at the stadium

Gareth Southgate himself was in charge of Marcus Rashford’s only under 21s appearance where he bagged a hat-trick in a 6-1 romp over Norway.

After the match Southgate jokingly said he would be unlikely to ever coach Rashford again as he expected to remain in charge of the youth ranks.

He said: “I was tempted to say to Marcus, ‘It was nice working with you’.”

Ruben Loftus-Cheek also scored in the game and Southgate was eventually promoted to the top job as Sam Allardyce - who was at the Community Stadium for the match - was sacked after just one game following a national newspaper sting.


Young lion - Kyle Walker

Back in November 2011, an England under-21 side featuring the likes of Jordan Henderson and Jack Butland beat Iceland 5-0 in a European Championship qualifier.

And in 2010, Henderson featured again for Stuart Pearce’s under-21s in a 3-0 win over Lithuania along with Walker, Phil Jones, Danny Rose and Danny Welbeck.


Goalscorer - Danny Welbeck

Welbeck had also played for England under-19s at Colchester in their 3-0 victory over Germany alongside Trippier.