England are through to Friday’s UEFA U17 European Championship final after goals from Callum Hudson-Odoi and Jadon Sancho earned a narrow victory over Turkey.
The Young Lions will now be bidding to make history in Varazdin when they face Spain or Germany by becoming the first nation to win the competition for a third time having triumphed in 2010 and 2014.
On a baking hot evening in Zapresic, first-half goals from Hudson-Odoi and Sancho, his fifth of the tournament, secured this hard-fought win with Kerem Kesgin scoring what turned out to be Turkey’s consolation on the stroke of half-time.
- UEFA European U17 Championship
- Tuesday 16 May 2017
- Zapresic, Croatia
Having not conceded in 312 minutes heading into this final four showdown, head coach Steve Cooper named the same starting XI for the fifth successive match.
On the same ground he scored his first goal of the tournament against Netherlands last week, Hudson-Odoi got England underway in the 11th minute. Sancho unleashed Hudson-Odoi into space inside Turkey’s box and the Chelsea forward clipped a delightful effort beyond the reach of Berke Ozer.
The game was halted for a quarter of an hour in the first half as Tashan Oakley-Boothe received lengthy treatment on the pitch following an accidental collision with Hasan Adıgüzel. With the Tottenham Hotspur midfielder carried on a stretcher into a waiting ambulance, Everton’s Alex Denny entered the fray for his first appearance at these finals.
Despite the delay, England remained focused on the task at hand and doubled their lead in the 37th minute. Phil Foden’s neat through ball played in Sancho down the left and he neatly dispatched a low effort into the far corner.
Turkey struck back in the 13th minute of first-half stoppage time. Captain Recep Gul picked out Kesgin on the edge of the area and he hammered a low drive past Josef Bursik.
That goal set up a nervy second half for Cooper’s side but the Young Lions managed to dig deep to reach their fourth Euros final at this level of international football.
England: 1 Josef Bursik (AFC Wimbledon), 2 Timothy Eyoma (Tottenham Hotspur), 3 Lewis Gibson (Newcastle United), 4 George McEachran (Chelsea), 5 Marc Guehi (capt; Chelsea), 6 Jonathan Panzo (Chelsea), 7 Phil Foden (Manchester City), 8 Tashan Oakley-Boothe (Tottenham Hotspur), 9 Rhian Brewster (Liverpool), 10 Callum Hudson-Odoi (Chelsea), 11 Jadon Sancho (Manchester City)
Substitutes used: 15 Alex Denny (Everton) for Oakley-Boothe 26, 16 Daniel Loader (Reading) for Hudson-Odoi 69, 18 Emile Smith-Rowe (Arsenal) for Foden 76
Substitutes not used: 12 Reo Griffiths (Tottenham Hotspur), 13 Curtis Anderson (Manchester City), 14 Jake Vokins (Southampton), 17 Aidan Barlow (Manchester United)
Goals: Hudson-Odoi 11, Sancho 37
Head coach: Steve Cooper