Goals from Jamie Sheldon and Ryan Donaldson made it two wins in two days for England.
England 2-1 Finland International U17 Youth Tournament
The Nordic Championships
31 July 2007
England U17s made it two wins in two days as they overcame Finland to put them in pole position to make it through to the final on Saturday.
Newcastle United striker Ryan Donaldson got on the scoresheet once more, adding to his brace against Iceland on Monday evening, and together with a superb strike from Birmingham City's Jamie Sheldon it was enough for a second successive victory.
Donaldson carried on where he left off against Iceland with a fine poachers finish after just 15 minutes to put England firmly in control of their second encounter of the Nordic Tournament. Having drawn their opening game with Sweden, the Finns knew they would miss out on the final if they failed to score and they duly tried to claw their way back into the game.
But Noel Blake's young side, watched by England Under-21 Head Coach Stuart Pearce, put further daylight between themselves and their Scandinavian opponents with a fantastic effort from Jamie Sheldon. Curling the ball home from 20 yards out, Sheldon doubled the Three Lions' lead and sent them into half time with their tails up.
The second period saw further chances for England to extend their lead, but due to a combination of misfortune and some fine saves from the Finnish keeper the score remained the same until injury time.
Finland grabbed a late consolation from the penalty spot after a goalmouth scramble that led to their striker being upended. While Sam Walker guessed the right direction and got his hand to the ball he was unable to keep it out, but Blake's side held on for victory.
With Sweden winning the other match in Group A, Thursday's encounter now takes on more significance as it will decide who will compete in the final with the winners of Group B - most likely to be Belgium or Denmark. England:
13 Sam Walker, 4 Matthew Briggs (2 Chris Solly 75), 5 Jack Rodwell, 6 Scott Wootton, 9 Ryan Donaldson (10 Dan Philliskirk 64), 11 Conor Henderson (8 Sean Highdale 53), 12 Ashley Sammons, 14 Luke O'Neill, 16 Jordon Mutch (15 Chris Stokes 70), 17 Jorrin John, 18 Jamie Sheldon (7 Ashley Hemmings 77) Subs not used:
1 Dean Lyness, 4 John BostockGoals
: Donaldson 15, Sheldon 41Coach: