England U17s off the mark at EURO finals after France win

Monday 09 May 2016
Reiss Nelson celebrates with fellow goalscorer Ben Morris after netting in England's 2-0 win over France at the UEFA European Under-17 Championship finals

Goals from Ben Morris and Reiss Nelson were enough to give England a 2-0 win against France in Baku.

It was the Young Lions’ first three points in the 2016 UEFA European Under-17 Championship finals and came thanks to a a resolute and clinical team performance from Steve Cooper’s men.

England 2-0 France

2016 UEFA European Under-17 Championship finals
Group C
5pm BST, Monday 9 May 2016
Karabakh Stadium, Baku


England looked threatening on the break from the off but France started the game well, going close early on with a thunderous strike from Rafik Guitane that rattled back off the crossbar.

But, after sustaining some early French pressure, it was England who went in front with a lovely goal. It started with a neat exchange between Mason Mount and Andre Dozzell down the left hand side, before Ipswich Town man Morris tapped in from close range.

France responded well with a spell of concerted pressure but the Young Lions’ defence looked solid throughout, as they continued to look dangerous on the counter going into the break.

Within seconds of the second half starting, England had doubled their lead. A lovely looped ball over the top from Dozzell put Arsenal's Nelson through, only for him to be taken out by the French keeper, who was consequently sent off. Nelson picked himself up and dispatched the resulting spot kick with aplomb, following up his goal in last week’s campaign-opening defeat to Sweden.

Watch the goals and best of the action from Monday's game in Baku

France rarely threatened in the second period, with Jared Thompson hardly tested in the England goal. The Young Lions were regularly getting in behind the French defence and they nearly added a third on ten minutes from time when a darting Ryan Sessegnon run found Mount, who laid the ball off to Marcus McGuane only for the Arsenal midfielder to fire just over the bar.

England now sit third in Group C, level on points with second-placed Sweden and just one behind table-toppers Denmark, who won earlier in the day. France foot the standings with a solitary point from their two fixtures.

The group leaders are next up for the Young Lions, with the sides meeting in Baku on Thursday 12 May with a kick-off time of 4pm BST.

England (4-2-3-1): 1 Jared Thompson (Chelsea); 2 Dujon Sterling (Chelsea), 5 Trevor Chalobah (c) (Chelsea), 18 Morgan Feeney (Everton), 15 Ryan Sessegnon (Fulham); 4 Marcus McGuane (Arsenal), 6 Dennis Adeniran (Fulham); 8 Andre Dozzell (Ipswich Town), 10 Mason Mount (Chelsea), 11 Reiss Nelson (Arsenal); 7 Ben Morris (Ipswich Town).

Substitutions: 9 George Hirst (Sheffield Wednesday) for Morris 64, 17 Joshua Bohui (Brentford) for Nelson 74, 16 Samuel Shashoua (Tottenham Hotspur) for Mount 79.

Substitutes not used: 21 Nicholas Hayes (GK) (Ipswich Town), 3 Jaden Brown (Tottenham Hotspur), 14 Tolaji Bola (Arsenal), 12 Edward Francis (Man City).

Goals: Morris (15), Nelson (47 pen)

Head coach: Steve Cooper

By Peter Maxwell Communications Officer in Baku, Azerbaijan