England U17s slip to Sweden loss in Euro Finals opener

Friday 06 May 2016
England Under-17s' Ryan Sessegnon

A brace from Sweden’s Joel Asoro proved decisive as England U17s started their European Championship Finals campaign with a 2-1 defeat in Baku.

Reiss Nelson netted in the second half but Steve Cooper’s side will be left scratching their heads as to how they failed to convert their domination into more goals.

The Young Lions got off to the worst possible start as Sweden took an early lead courtesy of a mix-up in the England defence and Asoro nipped in between Tolaji Bola and goalkeeper Jared Thompson to score.

England 1-2 Sweden

UEFA U17 Championship Finals
Group C
Friday 6 May 2016
Karabakh Stadium, Baku, Azerbaijan

England reacted well, though, enjoyed more possession and nearly had an equaliser in a frantic end to the first half. First, a Mason Mount corner was met by George Hirst’s header only for the ball to narrowly miss the bottom corner with the keeper beaten.

Minutes later it was Nelson who found himself one on one with Pontus Dahlberg after latching on to a Dujon Sterling through ball, but he was denied by the Sweden keeper.

England’s domination continued in the second half as they enjoyed large spells of possession and created a number of chances, but they were unable to find an equaliser.

Sweden hit them with a sucker punch by adding a second in the 59th minute, when Asoro fended off the England defence to slot home.

England responded once more and hit back immediately as Nelson tapped in after good work from Sterling down the right.

The match ended in frustration, though, and despite creating a number of chances late on, they were unable to find an equaliser.

Cooper’s side now face France at the Karabakh Stadium on Monday at 5pm GMT.

England (4-2-3-1): 1 Jared Thompson (GK) (Chelsea); 2 Dujon Sterling (Chelsea), 14 Tolaji Bola (Arsenal), 5 Trevor Chalobah (capt; Chelsea), 3 Jaden Brown (Tottenham Hotspur); 4 Marcus McGuane (Arsenal), 8 Andre Dozzell (Ipswich Town); 10 Mason Mount (Chelsea), 15 Ryan Sessegnon (Fulham), 11 Reiss Nelson (Arsenal); 9 George Hirst (Sheffield Wednesday).

Substitutes: 18 Morgan Feeney (Everton) for Bola 25, 16 Samuel Shashoua (Tottenham Hotspur) for Brown 50, 7 Ben Morris (Ipswich Town) for 9 George Hirst.

Substitutes not used: 13 Ryan Sandford (Millwall), 6 Dennis Adeniran (Fulham) 12 Edward Francis (Man City), 17 Joshua Bohui (Brentford).

Goal: Nelson 61

Head coach: Steve Cooper

Attendance: 266

By Peter Maxwell Communications Officer in Baku, Azerbaijan