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A late goal from sub Bobby Duncan secures victory for the Young Lions over Portugal

Wednesday 08 Nov 2017
England came back from 2-0 down to beat ten-man Portugal in Chesterfield

Substitute Bobby Duncan squeezed in a late winner as England’s new-look U17s roared back from 2-0 down to beat ten-man Portugal.

This was an entirely new squad to the one that overturned Spain 5-2 to claim the FIFA U17s World Cup last month, but head coach Steve Cooper’s new crop picked up exactly where their predecessors left off - coming back from two goals down to see off Iberian opposition.

England U17s 3-2 Portugal
  • Wednesday 8 November
  • Chesterfield FC

England had the first real chance on 17 minutes after great work down the left from Nottingham Forest’s Arvin Appiah, with West Brom striker Rayhaan Tulloch not quite able to make the required connection with his diving header.

But Eduardo Ribeiro opened the scoring for the visitors just two minutes later, driving at the England defence before putting a powerful low finish past Southend’s Harry Seaden.

The Young Lions then escaped conceding a quickfire second as Francisco Saldanha’s header looped just wide of the far post from a corner kick.

Wolves midfielder Taylor Perry created England’s next opening, doing well to get to the byline and pulling the ball back for Tulloch, but an unfortunate bobble off the turf caused him to sky his full-stretch finish over the bar.

Sporting CP midfielder Rodrigo Fernandes doubled the Portugal lead with another header four minutes before the break – Seaden seemed to have pulled off a wonderful save but the officials deemed the ball to have crossed the line to leave England with a mountain to climb.

England responded and clawed one back soon after the interval, with skipper Thomas Doyle curling a 46th-minute free-kick directly into the goal from a narrow angle - with the entire Portuguese defence expecting a cross.

Umaro Embalo was booked for fouling Arvin Appiah to concede that free-kick, and another foul on the same player seven minutes later meant a red card for the Portugal captain.

The starting line-up for England U17s against Portugal

Two minutes later, the Young Lions were level with Appiah’s low cross deflecting off Tomas Tavares’ outstretched leg and past Joao Monteiro via the underside of the bar.

Substitute Curtis Jones nearly put England ahead on 59 minutes, but his 25-yarder fizzed just wide of the Portugal post and Mason Greenwood was twice involved in the closing ten minutes, but Tiago Matos’ timely intervention was followed by the substitute blasting Louie Sibley’s excellent cross from the left over the bar.

But it was Duncan who proved the match-winning sub, poking home Appiah’s ball from the right with just three minutes remaining.

Follow the Young Lions here. 

England: 1 Harry Seaden (Southend United); 2 Vontae Daley-Campbell (Arsenal), 5 Max Broughton (Bolton Wanderers), 6 Luis Binks (Tottenham Hotspur), 15 Ethan Laird (Manchester United); 4 Thomas Doyle (Manchester City), 8 Jimmy Garner (Manchester United); 12 Luis Longstaff (Liverpool), 19 Taylor Perry (Wolverhampton Wanderers), 7 Arvin Appiah (Nottingham Forest); 9 Rayhaan Tulloch (West Bromwich Albion

Substitutes: 10 Mason Greenwood (Manchester City) for Perry 46, 11 Curtis Jones (Liverpool) for Longstaff 58, Louie Sibley (Derby County) for Broughton 58, 14 Bobby Duncan (Unattached) for Tulloch 68

Substitutes not used: 13 Arthur Okonkwo (Arsenal), 16 Elijah Dixon-Bonner (Liverpool), 17 Jack Nolan (Reading), 18 Tareq Shihab (Brighton & Hove Albion), 20 Clinton Mola (Chelsea)

Goals: Doyle 46, Tavares o.g. 54, Duncan 77

Head coach: Steve Cooper

By FA Staff