Narrow defeat to Dutch
Tuesday, 12 February, 2013
John Peacock's U17s end Algarve Tournament with defeat against Netherlands in Lagos
England U17s ended the Algarve Tournament with a third defeat from their three games as a first-half goal from the Netherlands ended hopes of retaining their title.
John Peacock's side came into their final match of the annual competition following similar narrow defeats against Germany and Portugal in the previous five days.
And they couldn't end their trip on a high, as a harshly-awarded penalty for handball was despatched by Dutch captain Damian van Bruggen to win the game for Holland.
As the scoreline suggests, it was a close match and the Young Lions could consider themselves unfortunate not to have got on the scoresheet.
Everton striker George Green came the closest in the first half, proving a real thorn in the Dutch side and he had a couple of chances to add to his goal from the first match against Germany.
A fine run from Dan Crowley set him up in the 14th minute, but Green's shot went narrowly wide of the post just two minutes before Netherlands got the only goal of the game.
Green was again close to scoring soon after, as his own run forward was brought to an end on the edge of the area by Jairo Riedewald, only to curl his free-kick just over the bar.
There was still work at the other end for England and 'keeper Angus Gunn had to make a fine save just before the break as a slip from captain Bryn Morris allowed Finn Stokkers a run on goal.
Both sides made changes at the break, but there was no loss of momentum with opportunities for both teams in the second half.
England couldn't make a breakthrough though, despite the best efforts of midfielder Harry Winks who saw a shot saved by Jeroen Houwen.
It led to a frantic finish, with the Dutch defending deeper and deeper and England piled on the pressure, but unfortunately for Peacock and his squad, they return home with no wins to show for it.
However, with this competition being nothing more than a warm-up for next month's Elite Round Qualifiers, Peacock and his staff will be hoping that the lessons learned in Portugal will stand them in good stead for when the real action starts.
See the team line-ups through the 'Team Sheet' link at the top of the report.