England edge a nine goal thriller with Ivory Coast in final warm-up match.
England 5-4 Ivory Coast
Friendly Match (Behind Closed Doors)
4pm (local time), Monday 13 June 2011
Club America Training Complex
By James Marshall in Mexico City
England U17s tasted success in their final preparation game before the FIFA U17 World Cup begins in Mexico later this week, with a training ground warm-up match against Ivory Coast ending in a 5-4 victory.
However, the Young Lions had to come from behind to clinch a dramatic win against the Africans, who have also been preparing for World Cup action in Mexico City over the last few days. They have been paired in Group F with Australia, Denmark and Brazil and with England's first game coming against African opposition in the shape of Rwanda on Sunday, this represented an ideal match with which to prepare behind-closed-doors.
England started the game brightly, dominating the opening ten minutes and they got their just rewards when Hallam Hope
was brought down just outside the 18 yard box. Nick Powell
stepped up to take the free-kick and slotted home a brilliant rasping drive into the bottom corner of the net.
Before there was time to settle down again, Powell then got on the scoresheet again as the Crewe Alexandra midfielder smashed home a cross from Blair Turgott
on the 20 minute mark to make it 2-0.
It seemed as though England were cruising, but they were quickly rocked by a fine comeback from Ivory Coast, as the Elephants responded with four quick-fire goals before the half-time break to stun the Young Lions.
Peacock made numerous changes for the second half which breathed new life into his team. Just as they had started in the first half, England dominated possession for most of the second and produced some clinical finishing to turn the game around.
It started with Manchester City’s Alex Henshall
using his blistering pace on the left, driving in the opposition's penalty box before scoring from a tight angle, by smashing the ball into the roof of the net. The comeback was on...
England began to bombard the Ivory Coast’s goal and were soon rewarded with an equaliser. Great interchange football was played to start the move off on the half-way line as Henshall and Jack Dunn
combined to put Max Clayton
through on goal. Clayton showed great feet to burst into the penalty area only to be hauled down. The Mexican referee had no hesitation in pointing to the penalty spot and Liverpool’s Adam Morgan
smashed the ball home to equalise.
A resurgent England side weren’t finished there though and it was late in the game when Morgan’s Anfield team-mate Dunn smashed a wonderful shot into the bottom left hand corner, leaving the Ivory Coast goalkeeper with no chance.
A couple of minutes later the referee blew the final whistle and it capped a brilliant comeback for the Young Lions. They showed terrific character to come back from 4-2 down and will now go into Sunday's game with Rwanda with huge confidence and also a lesson learnt.