FIFA U-17 WORLD CUP FINAL
England 5-2 Spain U-17 World Cup final: goals, as it happened, match report
Steve Cooper's Young Lions recovered from a two-goal deficit to romp to victory against Spain in Kolkata.Barcelona-Getafe live: LaLiga Santander matchweek 23
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.