The FIFA U-17 World Cup 2017 came to a adorning conclusion yesternight at the wonderful Salt Lake Stadium (VYBK) in Kolkata with the mighty English running away with their maiden U-17 world title. The 66684 strong, super loud Kolkata crowd was treated to an excellent final on the night as the match ended 5-2.
The final truly needed to live up to its name after a more than lacklustre 3rd place match involving Brazil and Mali. The supporters set the tempo of the game even before it started as the whole stadium created a brilliant choreography of fireflies with the flashlights of mobile phones.
Unlike a whole lot of other finals, neither coaches adapted to an ultra-cautious approach which made the game more interesting. The tune was reflected in the fact that England’s first chance came in the very first minute when Morgan Gibbs White’s low shot was saved by Spain goalkeeper Alvaro Fernandez. Spain quickly responded with the brilliant counter-attacking display. Spain’s resilience paid off as the 3 times runners-up took the lead in the 10th minute through Sergio Gomez. Juan Miranda’s cross from the left was chested down by Cesar Gelabert from the edge of the 6-yard box, only for the La Masia youngster to touch in from 4 yards out. Spain did not sit back after taking the lead and they could have taken the lead when Spain were away in a 2 on 1 situation with Gelabert and fellow Real Madrid teammate Mohamed Moukhliss. But a heavy touch from the later allowed English keeper Curtis Anderson to gather the ball from his feet.
Spain’s dominance was rewarded when they doubled the lead through Gomez again, through some individual brilliance from the Barcelona youth. He controlled Gelabert’s pass with his left, to fire home a thunderous left volley into the right corner.
England came close to pulling one back in the 42nd minute when Callum Hudson-Odoi’s shot came back off the post. But their resilience paid off when Steven Sessegnon’s cross was beautifully headed in by top scorer Rhian Brewster for his 8th of the tournament just on the stroke of halftime. He almost scored his 9th from a free kick deep into injury time but was thwarted by the Spanish goalkeeper.
England finally went level on 58 minutes when Philip Foden’s brilliant piercing ball was crossed inside by Sessegnon again, for Morgan Gibbs-White to tuck it in completely unmarked.
Spain responded shortly only for Miranda’s header to be saved by Anderson after a slight fumble. England finally took the lead when one of the players of the tournament, George McEachran won the ball back in the midfield to free Callum Hudson-Odoi. Hudson’s brilliant sprint through the left was followed by an inch-perfect low cross across the goal for, who else but, Philip Foden. Foden obliged to score his second of the tournament with his right in the 69th minute.
Centre back Victor Chust almost levelled the game for Spain, 4 minutes later. But this time Sessegnon came to England’s rescue with a goal-line clearance after Anderson misjudged the flight of the ball.
It was England all over from then on, as Marc Guehi made it 4 for the 3 Lions on 84 minutes after Hudson’s free-kick was headed down by captain Joel.
England were not quite done by then as Hudson found Foden again with a long ball from the left. The player of the tournament obliged with some burst of pace before scoring a neat low finish with his right to strike the last nail in Spain’s coffin.
Steve Cooper’s men outclassed Santiago Denia’s men to emerge as deserving winners.
England U17 Vs Spain U17 Final Score:
England U17 Vs Spain U17 Lineups:
England: (4-2-3-1): Curtis Anderson, Jonathan Panzo, Marc Guehi, Joel Latibeaudiere, Steven Sessegnon, George McEachran, Tashan Oakley-Boothe, Callum Hudson-Odoi, Morgan Gibbs-White, Philip Foden, Rhian Brewster.
Spain: (4-2-3-1): Alvaro Fernandez, Juan Miranda, Hugo Guillamon, Victor Chust, Mateu Morey, Antonio Blanco, Mohamed Moukhliss, Ferran Torres, Cesar Gelabert, Sergio Gomez, Abel Ruiz.
England U17 Vs Spain U17 Match Highlights and Goals:
England U17 Vs Spain U17 Match Facts:
|Shots on target||11||5|
Roll of Honour:
|Golden Ball||Silver Ball||Bronze Ball|
|Phil Foden||Sergio Gomez||Rhian Brewster|
|Golden Boot||Silver Boot||Bronze Boot|
|Rhian Brewster||Lassana N’Diaye||Abel Ruiz|
|8 goals||6 goals||6 goals|
|FIFA Fair Play Award|