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Family first for Rhian

Young Lions' hat-trick hero dedicates latest U17 World Cup treble to his family

Thursday 26 Oct 2017

Hat-trick hero Rhian Brewster dedicated his latest treble to his family and team-mate Jon Panzo at the U17 World Cup.

The Young Lions striker fired his second successive hat-trick in Wednesday’s semi-final victory over Brazil to send England into Saturday’s World Cup final with Spain.

Rhian Brewster
  • Position: Forward
  • Born: 1 April 2000, London
  • Club: Liverpool
  • Idol: Luis Suarez
  • Twitter: @RhianBrewster9

That followed swiftly on from a similar feat in the quarter final win over USA last weekend as the Liverpool man took his tournament tally to seven goals.

And with defender Panzo - a former team-mate from Brewster’s formative years at Chelsea - also turning 17 on the day of the game, the victory allowed the squad some time for a double celebration.

“I dedicate it to my mum, my dad, my little sister and my family and Jonny Panzo, because it was his birthday today,” said Brewster.

“It’s amazing to do it and I’m very happy to be able to contribute to the team and now let’s go and be the winners.

“You never think you’re going to get two hat-tricks in a World Cup and for it to come in a quarter final and a semi-final, it’s an amazing feeling. It’s a big dream come true for me.”

Steve Cooper’s side had to be at their best against a strong Brazil side in front of a sell-out crowd in Kolkata.

And after Brewster’s early opener, England had to fight back following a first-half equaliser from the South Americans with another strike putting the Young Lions in control at the break before the killer third arrived with just 13 minutes left on the clock.

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“It’s always good to take the lead,” he added. “The boys dug deep to push through to the end and it was a great team performance.

“We set out to do our task and we did it really well. I’m over the moon.”

The Young Lions are now preparing to meet Spain for the title, a re-match of this summer’s U17 Euro Final in Croatia.

That game ended in heart-ache for England as a stoppage-time equaliser from La Roja led to a penalty shootout with Spain running out as 4-1 winners.

But Brewster insists that game won’t be playing on their minds when they meet again, with plenty of football played since then.

“We’re looking forward to the final, when we’re hoping to produce again,” he added.

“We know it’s going to be another hard game, but we’ll look forward to it and work our socks off to win the World Cup.”

The U17 World Cup final will kick-off at 3.30pm on Saturday 28 October and will be shown live on Eurosport.

By Nicholas Veevers