England Under-17s overwhelm Spain to land spectacular World Cup win

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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.

Englands Phil Foden, No7, celebrates scoring their fifth goal with his team-mates. Photograph: Danish Siddiqui/Reuters

There was no stopping England in the second half as they dominated possession, Foden taking hold of the game and Hudson-Odoi tiring out the Spanish defence. The shift in dynamic led to England drawing level just before the hour mark. This time the move was started by a Foden pass to Sessegnon, who burst beyond the defence before sending the ball calmly across the six-yard box for Gibbs-White to tap into an emptynet.

Foden was instrumental, making things happen for England throughout and eventually getting his personal reward by giving his team the lead with 20 minutes to play. The skilful Hudson-Odoi burst away from Moha Moukhliss down the left flank and crossed to the back post, where the onrushing Foden kept his cool to ensure the bobbling ballended up in the net. The celebrations behind the goals attested to both Englands dominance and the resilience within the side: they looked determined to not let Spain back into the game.

Spain were unable to affect the tempo and England continued to look like scoring with each attack, their fourth goal arriving in the 84th minute. Hudson-Odoi was rewarded with a free-kick after the tired Jaume rugby-tackled him to the ground. The Chelsea winger made Spain pay, sending the resulting free-kick into the box for the ball to eventually be turned in by Guehi. The centre-back steered home from inside the six-yard box after a knock-down by his captain, Joel Latibeaudiere.

There was no doubt about the result once the fourth had gone in, but it was fitting that the scoring was completed by a combination between Foden and Hudson-Odoi, Englands two outstanding players. The latter had spent most of the game outwitting defenders on the flanks and using his pace to get to the byline but with two minutes to go he showed another side of his game, picking out Foden in space. The City midfielder calmly controlled the ball and got away from the defence before hitting a shot through Fernndez. Cue scenes of celebration rarely seen by Englishplayers except this year.

Read more: https://www.theguardian.com/football/2017/oct/28/england-under-17-spain-under-17-world-cup

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