England Under-17s bowed out of the European Championship after a frustrating 1-0 defeat against Russia.
Having missed a penalty moments before, the Young Lions were undone when Aleksei Tataev’s header was adjudged to have crossed the line midway through the first half.
John Peacock’s side will now meet fellow losing quarter-finalists Spain in a World Cup play-off on Tuesday to try and secure their place at the finals in Chile this October.
England v Russia
UEFA European U17 Championship
Saturday 16 May 2015
Lazur, Burgas, Bulgaria
Three changes were made by Peacock from the victory over Republic of Ireland.
Tom Davies returned to the midfield after being sidelined for the last two matches, Chrissy Willock took up the role on the left flank and Stephy Mavididi was included at the head of the attack.
Willock looked lively from the off, gliding forward on several occasions, but it was Russia who threw the first punch.
After neat build up, the ball fell to Yegor Denisov on the edge corner of the box, but his low drive was tipped wide by Paul Woolston in the English net.
Denisov was looking the main danger to the English backline, and it was only a last-ditch recovery tackle from Danny Collinge that stopped him from pulling the trigger from 18 yards 20 minutes in.
Peacock’s charges were enjoying plenty of the ball themselves in what was an even first half.
Willock was looking a danger down the left and Edwards was showing glimpses, but it was Mavididi’s trickery that presented Peacock’s charges with the ideal opportunity to take the lead on 25 minutes.
The Arsenal frontman nicked the ball past the defender as he powered his way into the box before he was tripped.
Nathan Holland placed the ball on the spot, but his effort was saved by Aleksandr Maksimenko before Mavididi thundered the rebound against the post.
Seconds later confusion in the Russian box saw Maksimento’s attempted clearance from a backpass caused all sorts of problems for his defence.
The ball eventually struck his centre-half before rolling towards the empty net. But Nikita Kalugin recovered just in time to clear at the death.
It was all-action now, and back came Russia to break the deadlock in controversial fashion. They broke forward just before the half hour mark to win a corner.
The cross was whipped in deep towards the back post and was met by the head of Aleksei Tataev.
The centre-half’s effort looked to have been cleared on the line by Nathan Holland, and without the use of the hawk-eye, it was left to the assistant referee’s judgement. He awarded the goal.
Edwards had a chance to equalise from the left of the six-yard box before the break, but his strike went wide of the upright as he and his team-mates went in behind at the break.
England started the second period on the front foot and they were almost level within five minutes.
Willock dribbled his way through several challenges before the ball arrived at the onrushing Holland, but the Everton attacker’s thunderous strike thundered back off the crossbar.
The Young Lions were now in the ascendency, and Tayo Edun’s introduction saw them switch to diamond for the last 20 minutes of the contest as they looked to turn their pressure into an equaliser.
Russia looked to be running out of steam as England were dominating, but for all their possession in and around the opposition box, they struggled to test the keeper.
A chance did fall their way from a corner as the defence failed to clear, but Suliman’s drive was saved before the rebound was scrambled off the line to safety.
Chelsea’s Ike Ugbo had taken the place of Mavididi in attack late on, and Edwards played him in down the left as he was denied an instant impact by a Maksimenko save.
Russia then had a chance to seal it as they won a penalty after a counter-attack with seven minutes remaining, Edun adjudged to have pulled back Denisov. But Boris Tsygankov was denied by a great save from Woolston in goal – but hopes of a dramatic late comeback failed to materialise as the Young Lions bowed out, with matters made worse when Edun was shown a second yellow in stoppage time.
It was not to be for England, and attention now turns to Spain on Tuesday.
England (4-2-3-1): 1 Paul Woolston (Newcastle United); 2 James Yates (Everton), 5 Reece Oxford (West Ham) (C), 6 Danny Collinge (Stuttgart), 3 Jay Dasilva (Chelsea); 18 Herbie Kane (Liverpool), 4 Tom Davies (Everton); 7 Nathan Holland (Everton), 10 Marcus Edwards (Tottenham), 11 Chrissy Willock (Arsenal); 16 Stephy Mavididi (Arsenal).
Substitutes: 12 Tayo Edun (Fulham) for Holland (60); 15 Easah Suliman (Aston Villa) for Collinge (64); 9 Ike Ugbo (Chelsea) for Mavididi (69).
Substitutes not used: 13 Will Huffer (Leeds United), 8 Daniel Wright (Sunderland), 14 Trent Arnold (Liverpool), 17 Layton Ndukwu (Leicester City).
Bookings: Edun (73, 80)
Red card: Edun (80)
Head coach: John Peacock
Russia (4-3-3): 12 Aleksandr Maksimenko; 3 Konstantin Kotov, 5 Aleksei Tataev, 4 Nikita Kalugin, 18 Amir Gavrilov; 8 Georgie Makhatadze (C), 10 Boris Tsygankov, 2 Andrei Kudryavtsev; 16 Dmitri Pletnev, 13 Yegor Deni, 17 Mikhail Lysov.
Substitutes: 19 Aleksandr Scherbakov for Pletnev (12); 6 Ivan Galanin for Scherbakov (41); 14 Artem Selyukov for Makhatadze (52).
Substitutes not used: 1 Denis Adamov, 7 Danil Krugovoi, 15 Vladislav Bragin.
Bookings: Kudryavtsev (17), Galanin (80)
Goals: Tataev (29)
Head coach: Mikhail Galaktionov