England U-17 5-2 Spain U-17: match report
England recovered from two goals down to win the Under-17 World Cup in a thrilling final against Spain. A double from Sergio Gómez placed Santi Denia’s team in the ascendancy, but Rhian Brewster scored his eighth goal of the tournament on the brink of half time to cause nerves to fester. The Young Lions blew their opposition away in the second half. Morgan Gibbs-White equalised, before Marc Guehi and the sensational Phil Foden (2) secured a memorable victory.
England had fallen to a penalty shoot-out defeat against Spain in the European Championship final earlier in the summer, imbuing this showdown in Kolkata with added significance.
A sell-out crowd watched on as Manchester City’s Phil Foden tested the ‘keeper within the first minute. Brewster is accustomed to finding himself on the end of crosses, but on this occasion he was the provider for Foden inside the six-yard box. Spanish ‘keeper Álvaro Fernández saved well to his right to prevent a calamitous start for Spain.
England were made to rue that miss as Sergio Gómez put Spain in to the lead from close range after ten minutes. Fulham defender Steven Sessegnon played the No.10 onside, but would go on to redeem himself in the second half.
Gómez doubled Spain’s lead on the half-hour mark with a rifled left-foot finish. La Rojita had the two-goal advantage, but never seized control of the midfield.
When Rhian Brewster nodded in Sessegnon’s cross shortly before the break, it had been coming. The momentum shifted.
Morgan Gibbs-White profited from Sessegnon’s attacking prowess to tap in the equaliser after 58 minutes. Naturally, Phil Foden was heavily involved with the build-up. It is a rare delight to see an English player express himself with such elegance, poise, and incisiveness. He was comfortably the best player on the pitch.
And he had a goal for himself 12 minutes later. Calum Hudson-Odoi, a menacing presence on the left flank, squared the ball for Foden to guide in at the far post.
Spain continued to threaten, with Guillamón seeing his header cleared off the line. Yet it was England who scored the crucial next goal. Marc Guehi twisted inside the six-yard box to convert the fourth from Hudson-Odoi’s free-kick.
It was fitting that Foden completed the victory, and similarly appropriate that Hudson-Odoi was the provider. Foden collected his team-mate’s floated ball, took it in his stride, and struck it underneath the ‘keeper. Pandemonium ensued. The England bench bounded on to the pitch and then over to the section of the stand where their families were situated. Steve Cooper stood with his hands on his head, desperately trying to absorb the moment.
England Under-17s rounded off a spectacular summer for English youth football. But for this talented crop of players, the journey is just beginning.
90'+4' FULL TIME! ENGLAND HAVE WON THE U17 WORLD CUP!
90'+3' England are running the clock down. Curtis Anderson pumps a free-kick long, and they'll try to keep the ball in the Spain half.
90'+2' There's some pushing and shoving here. Come on chaps, you're about to win the World Cup!
90'+1' Brewster is booked for his part in an unneccesary ding-dong with Morey, who was presumably fed up with being skinned all evening.
90' Four minutes of added time.
90' Angel Gomes replaces Oakley-Boothe, a final change for England.
88' GOL GOL GOL GOL GOL GOL! Foden again! England have a fifth! He latches on to Hudson-Odoi's long ball and tucks it under the 'keeper. The entire squad spring over to where their families are sat. What a moment for Steve Cooper's squad.
87' England change, and it's Chelsea for Chelsea as the alice-banded Conor Gallagher replaces George McEachran.
84' GOOOOOOOOOOL! Guehi turns the ball in from close range following Latibeaudiere's knock-down from a free-kick, and there's pandemonium on the touch-line! The England subs sprint to engulf the centre-half. They think they've won it...
83' Hudson-Odoi's sublime first touch takes him past Morey, who goes in to the referee's book for hauling him down.
81' Spain also send on fresh legs. Villarreal's Beitia replaces Blanco in midfield.
81' England make their first change, with Kirby replacing Gibbs-White.
80' Abel Ruíz muscles through a couple of challenges and bears down on goal. The crowd takes a sharp intake of breath... but he shoots over.
79' Morey drives in to the area from deep but scuffs his shot wide of Anderson's goal.
77' Steve Cooper dispenses some final instructions as the teams come to the touchline for a water break. 'Nothing silly', will presumably be the overriding message.
74' Hudson-Odoi is stealing Morey's lunch money on the left flank. He bursts past the Barça right back and wins a corner. Foden manages to shoot after neat interplay with Gibbs-White, but Fernández' hands are safe.
73' Foden doesn't have as much time as he thinks on the edge of the box, and Miranda gets a shot away which is deflected behind. The corner falls to Abel Ruiz, who dinks it back to Chust to head down from six yards. It looks set for an equaliser, but the man on the line saves England!
72' Spain haven't managed to get a grip on the match in the second half, and England have always had the wind in their sails. A tense final 20 minutes beckons.
70' GOOOOOOOOL! Foden for England! They've turned it round! Hudson-Odoi bursts away from his man on the left, and lays it on a plate for Foden to turn home at the far post.
68' A lovely backheel from Sergio Gómez allows Morey to swing in a cross. Panzo deflects the ball behind, and a couple of corners later, England clear.
67' The referee has a stern word with Spain coach Santi Denia on the touchline. He appealed a little too vociferously for a penalty after Panzo and Ferrán Torres heaved each other to the ground.
65' Hudson-Odoi continues to threaten from the left. He wriggles through a couple of challenges before shooting low in to the 'keeper's arms.
62' Foden stings Fernández' palms at the near post. Hudson-Odoi looks mildly surprised to receive a short free-kick on the left, but recovers his composure to float a deep cross to Foden. He hits it on the volley and forces a smart save.
59' Ferrán Torres has been quiet for Spain, but he wins a corner from Guehi. Sergio Gómez whips it in to the head of Miranda but he directs his header straight at Anderson from close range. Anywhere else and the 'keeper would have had no chance.
58' GOOOOOOOL! Sessegnon has his second assist of the game, this time squaring for Gibbs-White to thunder the ball in to the roof of the net from close range.
57' Ice cold is the blood that courses through Álvaro Fernández' veins. The Spain 'keeper takes a risky touch to evade the onrushing Brewster but pulls it off.
55' Gibbs-White burrows his shoulder in to the centre-half in an attempt to get on the end of Foden's through-ball, but the Wolves man is outmuscled and the ball runs out for a goal kick. McEachran and Oakley-Boothe are controlling the midfield.
52' Foden jinks inside, feigns to shoot, twists, and then lets fly with his left foot. His low shot heads towards the near corner, but is deflected behind by a Spanish shin. Foden dances through the defence again after a short corner, but his shot is blocked.
51' Gelabert is down receiving some magic spray to his ankle after coming off second best in a 50:50 with England captain Joel Latibeaudiere. He's hobbling a little, but looks fine to continue.
50' Oakley-Boothe floats a ball forward for Gibbs-White, who lashes a shot over the bar on the bounce. Tit-for-tat in the second half.
49' Morey skews a free-kick straight to the feet of Foden, midway inside the Spanish half. He plays a quick through-ball to the feet of Brewster, but he can't bring it under control.
47' Spain hop on to the front foot in the first couple of minutes after the restart. A spell of pressure comes to an end when Sergio Gómez overhits a pass on the turn and gifts a throw-in to England.
46' Peeep! Spain get the second half underway.
A reminder that the final will go straight to penalties if it ends as a draw.
England are knocking the ball around between them on the pitch, waiting for Spain to emerge from the tunnel.
Manchester City's Phil Foden is the best player on the pitch by a considerable distance. He's at the heart of everything positive England do.
45'+2' Half time in Kolkata. Sergio Gómez scored twice to put Spain ahead, but Rhian Brewster scored a deserved goal for England just before the break.
45'+2' Ooooft! Fernández tips the ball over the bar. It was probably heading over, but the Málaga 'keeper makes sure.
45'+2' England have a free-kick on the edge of the box. Foden was too quick for Guillamón. A grand chance to draw level on the brink of half time. Brewster is over it.
45'+1' Two minutes of added time.
45'+1' Gibbs-White points to where he wants the ball at the near post, but Hudson-Odoi slips at the point of delivery and slices his cross behind.
44' GOOOOOL! England have one back through Rhian Brewster, who heads in from Sessegnon's pinpoint cross.
43' ENGLAND HIT THE POST! Hudson-Odoi cuts in and rifles a fierce shot against the base of the upright. A goal before half-time would change the momentum.
41' It feels like I'm typing 'Foden' and 'Hudson-Odoi' a lot at the moment. The former sweeps a diagonal ball towards the latter, and he miscontrols it behind for a goal kick. He rolls the ball across to the 'keeper with a force that betrays his frustration.
39' Phil Foden heads wide from point-blank range, but he wants a penalty. He has a fair claim, it looked like Guillamón was hauling him down as Hudson-Odoi clipped the cross in. The Paraguayan referee does not agree.
38' Hudson-Odoi plonks the ball over from the edge of the box. The rub of the green is very much going against England.
37' Foden is at his wriggling best in the centre of the park, Cruyff-turning his way out of trouble before spreading the ball to Brewster, who has drifted right. The delivery is weak and Guillamón clears.
35' It's all Spain at the moment. A chance for restbite arrives as Ferrán Torres shoves Panzo in the back at the far post. Anderson hoofs it long, but the ball comes straight back.
33' Hudson-Odoi nutmegs his first marker, but runs in to the second on the edge of the box. Steve Cooper's troops look a tad rattled. Plenty of individual runs, but not much of the combination that characterised England's performances in the earlier stages.
33' GOOOOOOL! What a goal from Sergio Gómez! He latches on to Gelabert's cut back, takes a touch, and thrashes the ball in to the top corner. England have it all to do.
28' Panzo has a dig from the edge of the box after Foden's corner went all the way through to Oakley-Booth. The ball flies well over, and that's the last play before a drinks break.
26' Gibbs-White sets up Foden for a left-footed shot just inside the box, but Chust launches himself in the way of it. That England move started with a superb pass from McEachran to Gibbs-White through the lines. It found the narrowest of gaps.
24' There was a lot of shouting in the Diario AS newsroom when Spain squandered that chance...
20' WHAT IS GOING ON?! Foden whips in an inswinger from near the corner flag after Sessegnon was fouled. Spain clear at the near post and gallop forward on the counter attack. The crowd roars as it becomes clear that England have no defenders back. Moha charges through one-on-one, but takes a heavy touch at the crucial moment and Anderson smothers the ball. It skews out to Ruíz, who is flagged for offside. That was suicidal from England.
18' Sergio Gómez scoots down the left and squares the ball for Abel Ruíz. The big striker's touch is loose, allowing Guehi to stick a leg in and release Hudson-Odoi on the left. It's end-to-end, breathless, and there appear to be lots of bats flying around the camera lens.
17' The possession stats are 64:36 in England's favour, but Spain have had 3 shots on target, compared to England's 1.
15' England are not playing out through the lines as freely as in previous matches. McEachran has been quiet so far, with Spanish positional discipline giving him limited space.
13' Phil Foden thuds to the ground under the challenge of Miranda. The City winger was trying to scoot around the outside of him and in to the box. To be honest, it looked like he ran the ball out of play and fell down in an attempt to gain something.
12' England react through Rhian Brewster, but the livewire striker sees his shot blocked. A corner and a free-kick ensure for England, but the Spanish defence deal with both.
10' GOOOOOL! Spain take the lead through Sergio Gómez, who gets a faint touch to Gelabert's knock-down to direct it beyond Curtis Anderson from a couple of yards out. The were suspicions of offside, but a replay reveals that Sessegnon was playing red shirts onside.
9' McEachran, Oakley-Booth, back to the defence... Steve Cooper's team have a nice spell of possession.
6' We're treated to a first glimpse of Ferrán Torres, who twists Panzo inside and out before flashing a cross in to the six-yard box. It's a bit lively, and Anderson needs a second bite of the cherry to bring it under control. Torres is a Valencia player, but is coveted by Real Madrid, and has already been to visit their Valdebebas training ground twice.
5' England have made the brighter start, but neither team is yet to really settle. The match is being played at a frenetic pace, which will be hard to maintain given the heat in Kolkata.
2' Abel Ruiz drags Spain forward, and hustles and bustles by the England box. The two centre-halves combine to muscle the Barcelona man off the ball.
1' England force Spanish 'keeper Fernández in to a decent stop within the first minute. Gibbs-White plays the ball in to Brewster's feet. The Liverpool forward, looking for his third hat-trick in consecutive matches, plays it to Foden in the six-yard box. He manages to get it out of his feet, but not in to the net. What a start.
1' Kick off! The 2017 Under 17 World Cup final is underway!
Joel Latibeaudiere and Abel Ruiz wear the armbands. What a proud moment for both of them.
A quick reminder of the teams (below) as the teams crouch down for a pre-match photo.
Spain XI: Fernández; Morey, Chust, Guillamón, Miranda; Moha, Blanco, Ferrán, Gelabert, Sergio Gómez, Abel Ruiz.
England XI: Anderson; Sessegnon, Latibeaudiere, Guehi, Panzo; McEachran, Gibbs-White, Oakley-Boothe; Foden, Hudson-Odoi; Brewster.
The teams are out on the pitch and in line ready for the national anthems. "God Save Our Queen" is up first, and is murmured in a questionable key by the young Englishmen. More 'PASHUN', the football blokes will cry.
43-year-old Paraguayan Enrique Cáceres will be the man with the whistle between his lips.
Since 1985, only five of 16 Under-17 World Cup finals have not included an African team. Nigeria are the most successful nation with five titles, including the last two (2013, 2015).
The Yuva Bharati Krirangan stadium in Kolkata is due to be a sell out for the final this afternoon. That'll be around 85,000 supporters packed in, adding to an already nerve-wracking occasion for the two sets of youngsters.
Good morning! Join us for build-up ahead of this afternooon's first ever all-European U-17 World Cup final!
England U-17 5-2 Spain U-17: as it happened