Rhian Brewster’s hat-trick fired England to a convincing win over the USA and a place in the U17 World Cup semi-finals.
After knocking Japan out of the competition earlier in the week, Steve Cooper’s Young Lions were too hot to handle and took the lead early on with Brewster’s first.
The Liverpool forward scored a magnificent second minutes later and Wolverhampton Wanderers’ Morgan Gibbs-White added a third in the second half.
- FIFA U17 World Cup
- Saturday 21 October
- Goa, India
- Live on Eurosport
Brazil and Germany face each other in the quarter-finals on Sunday, with the winner set to meet a flying England side in the last four.
The Young Lions looked determined right from the off in Goa and Tashan Oakley-Boothe was the first to test USA’s Justin Garces with a shot from the edge of the box on five minutes.
Chelsea’s Callum Hudson-Odoi came close minutes later when he cut in from the left but centre-half James Sands came across well to block his effort.
The breakthrough came on 11 minutes with Phil Foden beating a couple of men down the right and sending in a low cross which Garces could only parry into Brewster - with the Liverpool youngster volleying home.
The same players combined again three minutes later, with Foden slipping a delicious through-ball to Brewster, who matched the Manchester City winger’s artistry with a measured chip over Garces to double the lead.
The USA were struggling to deal with England’s movement up front but did respond with shots from Andrew Carleton, Tim Weah and Sargent – with Sargent’s shot hitting the crossbar via the floor.
Just before the half-hour, Hudson-Odoi found Brewster again on the edge of the box but the striker pulled his shot wide of the left-hand post.
The United States pressed to get back into the game with several shots from distance, and Curtis Anderson denied Taylor Booth at the near post on 37 minutes to protect the lead before half time.
England head coach Cooper seemed to have fired up his troops during the interval though, as the Young Lions laid siege to the USA goal.
First Gibbs-White was able to beat the American keeper only for Chris Durkin to block his shot on the line, and minutes later Hudson-Odoi forced a corner with an effort from a tight angle.
On 53 minutes Joel Latibeaudiere headed in from a corner but the goal was ruled out, perhaps harshly, for pushing in the box.
But then in the 64th minute England got the breakthrough they’d been pushing for as Brewster turned provider, sending in a low cross from the right that Gibbs-White turned in at the near post.
On 72 minutes Sargent prodded home for the USA but in the fifth minute of injury time Dest received a red card for felling Brewster in the area and the Liverpool striker thumped his penalty home to make it four.
England: 1 Curtis Anderson (Manchester City); 18 Steven Sessegnon (Fulham), 15 Joel Latibeaudiere (Manchester City) (c), 5 Marc Guehi (Chelsea), 6 Jonathan Panzo (Chelsea); 8 Tashan Oakley-Boothe (Tottenham Hotspur), 4 George McEachran (Chelsea); 7 Phil Foden (Manchester City), 19 Morgan Gibbs-White (Wolverhampton Wanderers), 14 Callum Hudson-Odoi (Chelsea); 9 Rhian Brewster (Liverpool)
Substitutes: 20 Conor Gallagher (Chelsea) for Gibbs-White 78, 12 Nya Kirby (Crystal Palace) for Foden 85
Substitutes not used: 2 Timothy Eyoma (Tottenham Hotspur), 3 Lewis Gibson (Everton), 13 Josef Bursik (Stoke City), 16 Danny Loader (Reading), 21 Billy Crellin (Fleetwood Town) 10 Angel Gomes (Manchester United) 17 Emile Smith-Rowe (Arsenal),
Head coach: Steve Cooper
Cautions: Conor Gallagher 89