A late goal from Jacob Walcott was enough to seal a well earned victory over Israel at London Road.
England 1-0 Israel
The FA International U17 Tournament
7pm, Friday 29 August 2008
London Road, Peterborough United FC
Click here for tournament details.
England recovered from Wednesday night's unfortunate reverse against Portugal at London Road, by picking up a hard fought and deserved victory over Israel on a balmy night in Peterborough.
The Young Lions certainly had to work for their win, with the visitors putting in a dogged and determined defensive show which looked to have been enough to get them a goal-less draw.
However, substitute Jacob Walcott had other ideas and he won the game for England with less than five minutes remaining of the second half.
It was what England deserved, after enjoying the lion's share of the possession and making all of the running against a strong and physical Israel team.
There was a lively opening to the game on what was a fine surface at London Road and with John Peacock having changed his line-up considerably, there were a few new faces on show with only skipper John Bostock, Eddie Oshodi, Tom Parkes and Nathaniel Mendez-Laing remaining in the starting eleven from Wednesday’s game with Portugal.
There were few opportunities in the early stages but after 17 minutes, a decent opening fell to Tom Hitchcock. It all happened when Bostock’s shot was blocked, only for the ball to loop in the air before landing at Hitchcock’s feet. He tried to sweep a side footed shot home, but didn’t really connect and Aviram Ziat had an easy save to make.
At the other end, Deale Chamberlain had his first save to make in the 23rd minute when Shahar Yamin broke forward from right-back and set up Zedan Ammar for a shot. He drilled a low effort at goal, but Chamberlain was down quickly to make a good save.
A flowing move from the Young Lions after 29 minutes saw Abdulai Baggie and Jamie Reckord combine well on the left flank, before the latter placed a cross into the area. Hitchcock beat his marker to the ball and nodded into the path of Ahmed Benali, but Ziat was out quickly to make a timely save just as the Manchester City midfielder was about to shoot.
Israel had an even better chance just two minutes later, when Eliyahu Elbaz was presented with a shooting chance but he smashed the ball high over the bar when he should at least have been forcing Chamberlain into a save.
As the first half drew to a close, England forced a series of corners, but Israel held firm to go in all square at the break.
England started the second half as they finished the first, spending the majority of the time in possession and trying to break down Israel, who were defending deep and in numbers.
The visitors looked as though they could pose a threat on the break, but England looked generally comfortable as they continued to press.
There was controversy after 55 minutes when a long ball over the top was chased by Baggie, only for Ziat to race out of his area and seemingly handle the ball before dropping it and returning to his area. However, it wasn’t spotted by the officials, much to the displeasure of the crowd.
Israel did come close themselves just short of the hour mark when midfielder Ahed Azzam tried his luck with a rasping drive from 25 yards, but it skimmed just wide of the post.
With 15 minutes to go, Bostock had a half chance when he broke in from the left hand side, but he placed his shot across goal and narrowly wide of the target as England continued to press in the search for a winner.
The goal eventually arrived though, with substitute Jacob Walcott entering the game with less than ten minutes remaining and making an almost instant impact.
Cutting in from the left hand side, the Reading forward looked to have a number of options in the middle, but he somehow found a gap to clip a shot over Ziat and into the far corner from a tight angle to start the celebrations.
Israel looked to produce a late flurry and get themselves back level, but with Oshodi and Parkes in commanding form at the back, it never looked likely.
After two minutes of added time, the whistle sounded to the joy of the supporters and seal what had been a thoroughly deserved win for the Young Lions who had shown patience and ability in their performance on what could have been a frustrating night.
England now finish off the Tournament on Sunday, when they face Italy at Northampton Town's Sixfields Stadium (3.00pm).England:
Deale Chamberlain, Jamie Reckord, Eddie Oshodi, Sam Mantom, Nathaniel Mendez-Laing (Cameron Park, 57) Ahmed Benali, Tom Hitchcock (Jacob Walcott, 72) John Bostock (c), Abdulai Baggie (Ryan Tunnicliffe, 60) Carl Jenkinson, Tom Parkes. Subs not used:
Ryan Allsop, Keanu Marsh-Brown, Ezekiel Fryers, Kieran Edwards.Israel:
Aviram Ziat (c), Shahar Yamin, Taib Tawatha, Or Lagrisi, Hussam El-Amori, Ahed Azzam, Shadi Shaban (Rashid Adawi, 46) Eliyahu Elbaz (Harel Polak, 41) Zedan Ammar (Adham Osman, 67) Rabia Qut, Eran Rozenbaom.Subs not used:
Rusian Barsky, Ibrahim Hijazi, Eliran George, Ram Strauss.Referee:
Dean WhitestoneAssistant Referees:
Stephen Martin & Tony MatonFourth Official:
Andy HendleyAttendance: 2002