Phillips earns England U17s late draw against Brazil

Sunday 30 Nov 2014
England and Brazil line up for the anthems in Florida

A late, late equaliser from Adam Phillips earned 10-man England U17s a deserved draw against Brazil in Sarasota.

Having taken the lead through Layton Ndukwu on the stroke of half-time, the Young Lions suffered a nightmare spell late on as Trent Arnold was shown red before two goals in the space of three minutes looked to have them beaten – but Liverpool midfielder Phillips had other ideas and smashed home an added time leveller.

This result gave England their first point of the Nike International Tournament, having lost their opener to USA.

England 2-2 Brazil

Nike U17 International Tournament
8pm GMT, Sunday 30 November
Premier Sports Campus, Sarasota

Having played a 4-2-3-1 formation during that loss, Three Lions head coach John Peacock switched to a diamond for the clash with the Samba Boys.

Daniel Wright, who notched his first international goal on Friday, was paired with Tom Davies in the middle of the park, with Phillips sitting in front of the back four and Marcus Edwards in the hole.

England started brightly and won several early corners and set pieces as they attacked with a quick tempo that was missing on Friday, and their opponents looked rattled.

Despite the promising start, Brazil began to push England back and they had the first chance of the game as Leandro Do Nascimento was played clean through on goal, but Paul Woolston stood up well to save for a corner.

The Newcastle United keeper was called into action again on 23 minutes, and he had to be at his best to save his side. Easah Suliman was caught in possession down the left and Lincoln Dos Santos pounced. He attempted a curling lob from a wide angle – but the back-peddling Woolston did well to palm the ball away before his defence cleared.

Brazil were in the ascendency now, but Peacock and his side thought they should have had a penalty moments later when Edwards appeared to have been felled inside the area – the referee had other ideas and waved away the protests.

Marcus Edwards takes on the Brazil defence

Marcus Edwards takes on the Brazil defence

Suliman then made amends for his early error with a fantastic last-ditch block to deny Do Nascimento, and England captain Reece Oxford blazed over on the turn following a scramble in the Brazil box as the game opened up – and the breakthrough came just before the whistle.

With 43 minutes on the clock, Spurs youngster Edwards ran forward and found Daniel Wright on the edge of the area. The Sunderland midfielder held off a defender before flicking it into Ndukwu’s path down the left, and he coolly slotted home to give England the lead with their first shot on target.

Peacock made two changes at the interval as James Yates and Danny Collinge replaced Tayo Edun and Tom Davies respectively, and they should have been celebrating a second goal five minutes in.

With the outside of his boot, Wright played the ball out wide to Edwards, and the attacker raced past a defender into the area, before hesitating to pull the ball back, allowing the defence to get back, and his eventual effort was saved.

Minutes later Ndukwu crossed to the front post for Ike Ugbo, but the Chelsea attacker could only head over from eight yards as Brazil looked to be on the ropes. 

Tensions were beginning to mount as Brazilian tempers threatened to boil over at times, but the Young Lions were looking strong and keeping their discipline incredibly well, and their efforts looked to have been rewarded on 72 minutes as Phillips headed home what appeared to be a second - but an offside flag cut short the celebrations.

Paul Woolston and James Yates celebrate the late equaliser

Paul Woolston and James Yates celebrate the late equaliser

As the seconds ticked down to full-time, England found themselves under pressure as their opponents threw everything forward, and the Three Lions’ task was made all the harder as Arnold received his marching orders for a late challenge on a Brazilian forward.

Seconds later Brazil were level as Lincoln Dos Santos latched on to a deflected pass down the right of the area to finish low past Woolston. Then the game looked to have been turned on its head as Evander Ferreira saw the ball sit up nicely for him 25 yards out, and he unleashed a piledriver that threatened to be the winner.

But as the clock reached its final seconds, England won a corner which saw everyone, including the goalkeeper, pile forward into the box, bar Phillips. Wright played it back to the midfielder 25 yards out, and he executed a beautiful curling chip over a mass of bodies into the top corner to spark wild celebrations and earn the Young Lions a share of the spoils.

England (4-1-2-1-2): 1 Paul Woolston (Newcastle United); 14 Trent Arnold (Liverpool), 16 Easah Suliman (Aston Villa), 5 Reece Oxford (West Ham) (C), 3 Tayo Edun (Fulham); 8 Adam Phillips (Liverpool); 20 Daniel Wright (Sunderland), 4 Tom Davies (Everton); 10 Marcus Edwards (Tottenham Hotspur); 17 Ike Ugbo (Chelsea), 11 Layton Ndukwu (Leicester City).

Substitutes: 2 James Yates (Everton) for Edun 46, 15 Danny Collinge (Stuttgart) for Davies 46, 6 Cameron Humphreys (Manchester City) 66, 12 Kyron Stabana (Derby County) for Ugbo 84, 19 Jahmal Hector-Ingram (West Ham United) for Edwards (88).

Substitutes not used: 13 Alfie Whiteman (Tottenham Hotspur), 18 Will Patching (Manchester City), 7 Nathan Holland (Everton), 9 Lukas Nmecha (Manchester City).

Goals: Ndukwu 43, Phillips 90

Bookings: Davies 26, Edun 40, Oxford 70, Arnold 76

Red card: Arnold 82

Head coach: John Peacock

Brazil (4-3-2-1): 1 Bruno Bertinato (C); 2 Kleber Leite Filho 14 Thiago Parmigiani, 4 Leo Dos Santos, 6 Caique Maria; 7 Andrey Do Nascimento, 15 Renan Areias, 8 Matheus Pereira Da Silva; 19 Evander Ferreira, 10 Leandro Do Nascimento; 17 Lincoln Dos Santos.

Substitutes: 11 Ramon Siqueira for A Do Nascimento 55, 9 Eronildo Rocha for Leandro Do Nascimento, 5 Matheus Fernandes Siqueira for Ferreira 90.

Substitutes not used: 12 Carlinhos Pinto, 3 Ronaldo De Souza, 13 Alan De Andrade, 16 Mauro Junior Dos Santos, 18 Jean Correa, 20 Loran Da Silva.

Goals: L Dos Santos 84, Ferreira 87

By Gary Stonehouse Staff Writer at Premier Sports Campus, Sarasota