Young Lions off to winning start
Wednesday, 26 October, 2011
Euro qualification starts with a 4-0 victory over Latvia.
England U17s took their first step on the road to the European Championship on Wednesday evening, with a comprehensive opening win against Latvia in the First Qualifying Round in Sarajevo.
This is the first real taste of competitive international football for John Peacock's Young Lions and the players took to it very well, with Aston Villa's Callum Robinson opening the scoring in just the third minute.
That no doubt settled any nerves England might have had and they were cruising even more when Southampton left-back Luke Shaw doubled the advantage in the 15th minute, scoring direct from a free-kick.
Arsenal striker Chuba Akpom then gave England a comfortable half-time lead and continued his impressive form for the Young Lions by making it 3-0 in the 36th minute.
Latvia made a double substitution at the break in a bid to stem the flow of England attacks and it worked initially, before Manchester City striker Devante Cole added a fourth goal just before the hour mark.
With the three points secured, Peacock took the opportunity to make a few changes himself and England could've had a fifth goal with just over five minutes remaining, when Jordan Houghton was brought down in the area by Latvian 'keeper Toms Viksna for a penalty kick to be awarded. Substitute Jordan Graham stepped up to take the spot kick, but Viksna made amends by saving his effort.
England continued the chase for another goal over the last few minutes, forcing a string of corners and pressure on the Latvian defence but it wasn't to be for Peacock's men, who would no doubt have settled for this scoreline before the game.
The Young Lions are next in action on Friday afternoon when they face host nation Bosnia-Herzegovina.