England Under-17s overwhelm Spain to land spectacular World Cup win
England Under-17s recovered from going 2-0 down in their World Cup final, pulling one back just before half-time and completing a magnificent 5-2 win
England Under-17s are world champions thanks to an inspired second-half performance in which they overturned a two-goal deficit with five unanswered goals. A talented Spain team were 2-0 ahead just past the half-hour but England, a side packed with attacking talent, recovered to win 5-2 thanks in large part to Manchester Citys Phil Foden and Chelseas Callum Hudson-Odoi. Spain could not handle the duo.
Rhian Brewster pulled one back just before the break after Sergio Gmez had netted twice for Spain, and from then on there was no turning back for Steve Coopers side. They came out after the interval and dominated the game: Morgan Gibbs-White drew England level before Foden took hold of the game, scoring either side of Marc Guehis fourth.
Foden scored in May to put England 2-1 ahead against the same opponents in the European Championship final. On that occasion Spain scored an equaliser deep in added time before winning the shootout 4-1. There was to be no such disappointment this time and the Under17 World Cup is added to Junes triumph by the under-20s, who beat Venezuela 1-0 in their final in South Korea.
In Mays final, Hudson-Odoi had opened the scoring. This time a lapse in concentration at the back allowed the Barcelona forward Gmez to give Spain the lead in the 10th minute. Juan Mirandas looping cross into the box was weakly headed at goal by Csar Gelabert and Gmez was waiting unmarked to flick the ball home, Steven Sessegnon playing him onside.
If lifting the trophy seemed a long way off for England, their spirits were not dampened. Indeed, they were the more consistently threatening thanks to fine combination play from Gibbs-White and Foden, and Hudson-Odoi tormenting the Spanish full-back Jaume.
The confidence of Spain grew thanks to their opening goal and they did their best to use Englands high pressing and fast attacking against them. It eventually earned them a second goal in the 31st minute, Gmez again finding space in the area to finish off the move. This time the forward volleyed the ball with his left foot across Curtis Anderson from 15 yards and into the top corner, leaving England looking demoralised.
Steve Coopers sides most dangerous play came down the wings and they deservedly found a way back into the game just before the break when Sessegnon crossed from the right after earning himself a few inches of space. He landed the ball on Brewsters head, the Liverpool forward powering the ballbeyond lvaro Fernndez to score his eighth goal of the tournament. Scoring just before the break gave England a momentum they would notrelinquish.