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England U17s 3-2 Mexico

Young Lions make it two wins from two at U17 World Cup to seal group progress

Wednesday 11 Oct 2017

England sealed their place in the knock-out stages of the U17 World Cup, beating Mexico in a topsy-turvy encounter in Kolkata.

There was never any doubt that the Young Lions were deserved winners, to make it two wins from two games in their group, but they certainly experienced some of the pitfalls of World Cup football along the way.

England 3-2 Mexico
  • FIFA U17 World Cup
  • Wednesday 11 October
  • Kolkata, India
  • Live on Eurosport

A stunning free-kick from Rhian Brewster had given Steve Cooper’s side a half-time advantage before Phil Foden and Jadon Sancho added a quickfire double after the break as England seemed set to cruise to victory.

But when Mexico responded with a double salvo of their own through the impressive Diego Lainez, the Young Lions had to show their character and discipline as the Central Americans threw everything at it in a bid to keep their own World Cup dreams alive.

It wasn’t to be for them though, and England now head into Saturday’s final group match with Iraq knowing they are guaranteed a minimum of second spot in their group and a place in the first knockout round.

After their 4-0 win over Chile on Sunday, England made another confident start and could’ve been ahead inside five minutes, when Sancho and Callum Hudson-Odoi combined well on the left before the latter’s cross found Brewster at the far post. He just needed to apply the finish, but the Liverpool man saw his effort bounce into the turf and over from close range.

Hudson-Odoi was then denied by Mexican keeper Cesar Lopez, after expertly receiving a pass from Sancho and turning himself into a shooting position.

Brewster broke the deadlock six minutes before the break though, making amends for his earlier miss with a brilliant free-kick from 25 yards.

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And within ten minutes of the restart, England appeared to have victory wrapped-up with two quick goals.

Foden was first as he opened his World Cup account with a calm finish in the box, after substitute Angel Gomes and Sancho had linked-up superbly together to provide the Manchester City ace with his chance.

Sancho then glided past two defenders in the area, before his driven cross struck Mexico captain Carlos Robles on the arm and the referee pointed to the spot. It might have been harsh on Robles, but Sancho showed no sympathy and slotted home his penalty with confidence.

Mexico found their lifeline just after the hour mark, when Lainez nicked the ball in midfield before seeing his speculative shot take a big deflection off the chest of Joel Latibeaudiere to creep past Curtis Anderson and set up their hope of a comeback.

When Lainez added a second goal seven minutes later with a well-placed left footer, England had a few questions to answer in the dying stages.

The Young Lions were hanging on, and Mexico had an even greater chance to equalise when Roberto de la Rosa guided a free header over the bar from six yards out.

And Timothy Eyoma made a great block in the dying stages as Raul Sandoval’s volley struck the Spurs defender seconds before the final whistle.

But for England, those lessons will be learnt and focus will already be turning to their next clash with Iraq.

England (4-2-3-1): 1 Curtis Anderson (Manchester City); 2 Timothy Eyoma (Tottenham Hotspur), 15 Joel Latibeaudiere (Manchester City) (c), 5 Marc Guehi (Chelsea), 6 Jonathan Panzo (Chelsea); 4 George McEachran (Chelsea), 8 Tashan Oakley-Boothe (Tottenham Hotspur); 7 Phil Foden (Manchester City), 14 Callum Hudson-Odoi (Chelsea), 11 Jadon Sancho (Borussia Dortmund); 9 Rhian Brewster (Liverpool).

Substitutes: 10 Angel Gomes (Manchester United) for Hudson-Odoi 46, 20 Conor Gallagher (Chelsea) for Oakley-Boothe 74, 19 Morgan Gibbs-White (Wolverhampton Wanderers) for Sancho 82

Substitutes not used: 12 Nya Kirby (Crystal Palace), 13 Joe Bursik (Stoke City), 21 Billy Crellin (Fleetwood Town), 3 Lewis Gibson (Everton), 16 Danny Loader (Reading), 17 Emile Smith-Rowe (Arsenal), 18 Steven Sessegnon (Fulham)

Head coach: Steve Cooper

Goals: Rhian Brewster 39, Phil Foden 48, Jadon Sancho 55 (p)

Cautions: Timothy Eyoma 45

By Nicholas Veevers Content Manager - FA Owned Channels