England Under-18s completed their three-game trip to Qatar with a resounding 4-0 victory against their hosts, thanks to a spectacular Edward Nketiah hat-trick and a late George Tanner strike.
After earlier victories against Saudi Arabia and Qatar, the Young Lions ensured they ended their stay in the Middle East with a 100 per cent record after a second triumph over their hosts.
- An International Match
- Monday 27 March 2017
- Al Arabi Stadium, Doha
The Young Lions dominated possession during the early exchanges, but created little in the way of clear-cut chances. Nketiah went close with a mazy run before seeing his shot blocked, while the imposing George Hirst was also lively.
At the other end Qatar’s Andri Syahputra looked dangerous as he charged at the England back four, but his shot was blocked well by England captain Morgan Feeney.
But it was the Young Lions doing the majority of the pressing, and in perfect spring-like conditions in the Qatari capital, the visiting team did not have to wait long to break the deadlock.
England worked the ball well out to the right flank and to highly rated Tottenham youngster Samuel Shashoua, who floated a perfect cross to the back post, where Nketiah was waiting to head in off the upright.
They continued to press, with Shashoua at the heart of the action. After switching from right to left flank midway through the half, he beat his man and squared, only for Hirst to be denied by a fantastic last-ditch tackle.
But the night belonged to Nketiah, who – eight minutes into the second half - lit up the desert sky with a moment of magic.
The Arsenal youngster picked up the ball in space on the left flank, beat his man easily before switching the ball onto his right foot – and in one seemingly seamless motion, curled an inch-perfect shot into the top corner from 25 yards.
He was not done there though, and made it three with his easiest strike of the night 10 minutes later.
Hirst broke free on goal, El Din did well to dive at the feet of the Sheffield Wednesday striker and smoother.
Unfortunately for the Qatar keeper the ball ran straight to the feet of Shashoua, who calmly clipped the ball into the path of England’s star man to complete his hat-trick – and effectively end the contest – with the simplest of tap-ins.
As proceedings meandered to a close, there was just enough time for substitute Tanner – on the pitch just 60 seconds earlier – to break free and fire a low shot past El Din and in off the post.
England: 1 Ryan Schofield; 3 Joshua Tymon, 6 Edward Francis, 5 Morgan Feeney (C), 2 Reece James; 4 Sadou Diallo, 8 Elliott Embleton; 11 Edward Nketiah, 10 Andre Dozzell, 7 Samuel Shashoua; 9 George Hirst.
Substitutes: 16 Marcus McGuane for Shashoua 69; 14 George Tanner for Nketiah 82. 15 Tolaji Bola for Hirst 86.
Subs not used: 13 Ellery Balcombe, 12 Japhet Tanganga, 17 Jonathan Leko.
Head coach: Neil Dewsnip
Goals: Nketiah 14, 53, 63, Tanner 87