Ahead of the World Cup, take a look at our history in the competition.
By David Barber
England will make only their second appearance in a FIFA U17 World Cup when they fly out to Mexico for the 2011 tournament this week. John Peacock’s
side reached the quarter-final stage at Korea 2007 before going out to Germany, so often our footballing nemesis.
England had qualified after reaching the 2007 UEFA U17 Championship Final in Belgium, where they lost 1-0 to Spain, and the 21-player squad for the World Cup comprised: Jason Steele
, Nana Ofori-Twumasi
, James Reid
, Henri Lansbury
, Krystian Pearce, Tommy Smith, Daniel Welbeck
, Tom Taiwo, Rhys Murphy
, Victor Moses
, Nathan Porritt, Daniel Gosling
, Alex Smithies
, Michael Woods
, Jordan Spence
, Gavin Hoyte
, Tristan Plummer, Jonathan Franks
, Ashley Chambers
, Medy Elito
and Wesley Foderingham
England were drawn against DPR Korea, New Zealand and Brazil in the ‘First Stage’. We were on course to claim three points in the opening fixture against the Koreans in Jeju, Victor Moses having given us a lead that was held until Rim Chol Min levelled in the last minute of normal time. But England made no mistake three days later, achieving a comprehensive 5-0 victory against New Zealand.
We were 4-0 ahead at half-time, Moses and Welbeck scoring a brace each, before Chambers added a fifth.
Next up were Brazil, three-time winners of the U17 World Cup, and it turned out to be the match of the tournament. Tales scored for the Brazilians with a free-kick reminiscent of Ronaldinho’s spectacular effort in Shizuoka and there was plenty of drama to come. Lansbury equalised with a penalty, Smithies saved a spot-kick from Lulinha and skipper Jordan Spence notched a winner that took England to the top of the group.
Our opposition in the ‘Round of 16’ was provided by Syria, something of an unknown quantity. It was a closer match than the final scoreline of 3-1 in England’s favour would suggest. Lansbury shot home a penalty for handball and centre-back Pearce doubled the lead after the Syrians had created a string of chances. Ziad Ajouz finally found the net six minutes into the second half but Murphy converted Lansbury’s low cross to clinch England’s place in the quarters.
Germany beat us 4-1 in Goyang City to bring a disappointing end to England’s involvement in the tournament. There were no goals in a predictably cagey first half but the Germans really turned on the style after the break. Murphy gave us hope with a goal when England were 2-0 down.
Previous U17 World Cups:-
Nigeria 2009 – Winners Switzerland
Korea 2007 – Winners Nigeria
Peru 2005 – Winners Mexico
Finland 2003 – Winners Brazil
Trinidad & Tobago 2001 – Winners France
New Zealand 1999 – Winners Brazil
Egypt 1997 – Winners Brazil
Ecuador 1995 – Winners Ghana
Japan 1993 – Winners Nigeria
Italy 1991 – Winners Ghana
Scotland 1989 – Winners Saudi Arabia
Canada 1987 – Winners USSR
China PR 1985 – Winners Nigeria